Monday, October 22, 2012

Improvements needed in ConnectWise Configurations Page

A Rant

ConnectWise is powerful, there's no doubt there. It is even more powerful when it integrates with Labtech. Unfortunately, the user interfaces of both programs leave so much to be desired that it is really hard to be efficient on a daily basis.

The problem is that ConnectWise configurations are, after two years, still very immature from a usability standpoint.

A technician may work on hundreds of tickets each day. In theory, having computer information attached to that ticket would actually make that technician much more efficient. If you've been to a ConnectWise sales session, you know that this is the pitch you're given.

Unfortunately, in my opinion, ConnectWise still misses the mark in this area. Managing a computer from ConnectWise actually takes longer than clicking into Labtech and searching for the computer by the same name.

The Problem

I'll try to demonstrate this by counting the number of clicks it takes to manage a server via RDP. For the purposes of this demonstration I'll assume the technician already has the ticket opened.

  1. See that little "view" link? That's click #1.
  2. Now we get a bunch of information, which although potentially useful, mainly just takes up space. I am really just interested in the "Manage" button which will bring up the computer screen in Labtech. That's click #2.
  3. Ready for things to get a bit ridiculous? We're about to have three clicks all in one step. Here we are clicking Redirectors > Network redirectors > Remote Desktop. Ok, so now we're at a whopping 6 clicks to just get a remote connection screen up.
Understandably, 6 clicks is small in the big scheme of things and may seem nitpick-y, but multiply that by thousands of tickets.  

I respect the power of ConnectWise, but am always floored by the shear volume of self congratulation at their user events.  They have a ton of work to do in the usability area and really haven't made any investments in this area in over two years.

A short term solution

Here is a mock up of a theoretical UI that would make me much more efficient as a technician.:


  1. Fully agreed. Great idea! Let's hope CW listens.

    1. Let's hope so Lynn. Someone is bound to make an interface like this. If it isn't CW then they'll risk losing customers.

  2. Dude, like the idea. We are all about making the systems easier to use. The best ideas come from our partners. I forwarded this blog entry to Kevin Gibson. He is in charge of the integration to all PSA tools. He controls the roadmap, the communication to the CW development team, and the business level design of how we interface.

    Kevin will likely be chiming in after my comment.

    -Matt Nachtrab

  3. I actually saw this last night and have requested a meeting with a BA within ConnectWise to see what would be needed to make this a reality. I agree this is much easier and as a prior MSP I certainly understand the value in reducing overhead within processes.

    We will see difficult this will be to accomplish and then see what we can do to make it a reality.
    -Kevin Gibson

    1. Sounds good Kevin. I appreciate the response and am looking forward to seeing what you guys can come up with.

  4. I have submitted a formal proposal to CW to make the required changes so that we can implement this idea. The API stuff should not take a long time to complete but the UI changes to the ticket and configuration screens will tkae longer. Once I get an ETA I can post it here but I suspect it will be 2013 before we can get this built in.

    If you routinely use RDP to access remote computers you might consider switching the LABVNC button on the computer screen over to RDP as the default. You can do this by opening a computer screen and right clicking on the LabVNC button and selecting set default and then simply selecting what you prefer. This will cut down on a few clicks in your process if you routinely use the same connection method over and over.

    -Kevin Gibson

    1. Thanks Kevin! I understand it is no small change to the UI but appreciate you guys taking the needed steps. 2013 is just around the corner so I'd expect most changes won't be happening until at least then. We're currently even split between VNC and RDP depending on if we're doing workstation or server work.