Recently we built an integration between ConnectWise Manage and Slack. ConnectWise is a professional services automation platform used by thousands of IT Service Providers, handling ticketing, timesheets, projects, invoicing and more. One of the key drivers was to have our engineers focused on work instead of fighting to manage the ticket system and entering time.
What follows is a Q&A interview with Richard, one of our senior Linux/DevOps engineers as to his experience using CraftyBot. See also the interview with Sam regarding his experience building this chat bot.
If you are interested in learn more or utilizing CraftyBot, just reach out and let’s chat. We have not productized it yet but are willing to do that if there is interest.
Q: What’s frustrating about creating tickets and adding time in ConnectWise?
The sheer number of clicks and changes to just get a basic ticket going. Quite often we are working with clients and our team in Slack. If an issue or request comes up that we need to make a ticket for we need to be able to make one as quick as possible so that we don’t forget about it while in the middle of perhaps another ticket, missing potential billable time.
ConnectWise new ticket operations (we run Linux workstations, so we use the Connectwise WEB access):
- Get a ConnectWise Manage browser tab open, or hit a bookmark for ‘new ticket’.
- Fill in a summary
- Fill in a company and if your first few keystrokes don’t get the top one from the list, leave your home keys and arrow down to the needed one, or worse, go get the mouse and pick from the scroll list.
- Scroll down beyond the page (again, leaving your keyboard) to find the assign me button
- Add in an initial description
- Change the status from the CW default to your ( as a user) actual preferred default
- Change the board from the CW default to your (as a user) actual preferred default
- Save and close
- Go back to slack, where you were before this started. Get back into what you were doing before this context switch.
- Later, go back to Connectwise and try and search that ticket so you can put time on it, or add more detail, etc.
All this time, there is much waiting for ConnectWise to render each of these drop down lists, pages, and its save operations.
The context switch is so annoying and with the sporadic delays if ConnectWise is heavily loaded, quite often you just don’t bother, stay on focus with the current task, and hope to remember when you have a break. This results in missed tickets and missed potential billable.
With Craftybot, this becomes something super simple, right in Slack itself.
!ticket the_client_cw_id_name “The subject line” Some text to go into the first Initial Description
Poof! A second later, CraftyBot has made the ticket, already assigned me, because duh – I made it, put it into the right status and board for 80% of my tickets that I would make this way, and also pushed back a link into Slack so that I can go directly to it, and it is in my slack history, right in the middle of the conversation that lead to the ticket, so I can scroll back to it later. I can then easily make any changes needed when the ticket is one of the weird 20% ones.
As a side bonus, the rest of the team, in the room where the alert or issue is being discussed, maybe not even directly with them, sees that a ticket was created and someone is taking ownership of the issue. If they were involved, it is easy for them to also just click on the link and assign themselves or add time or notes.
Q: What do you love most about the CraftyBot integration for Connectwise & Slack?
The one line ticket creation, and the response with the direct link to the ticket.
Q: How much time (especially billable hours) do you save using CraftyBot?
Easily 5 minutes for every ticket I create, plus whatever the time and mental cost for task switching itself incurs. In the past, unless the work needed was over 15 minutes, I would usually not even bother making a ticket, and just do the work with no documentation, especially if after hours. If the work was just an ‘idea’ for potential billable to work for a client and I was in the middle of something else, I simply wouldn’t make a ticket. Hard to say how much potential billable work was lost from that.
Q: Anything else you want to say about CraftyBot?
I want more CraftyBot commands to help cover more of my 80% tasks! For example:
@craftybot next ticket please