LiveDash is looking to build a channel of MSPs to take their tool for making dense and interactive dashboards to market. They are starting with Tigerpaw, as they are a Tigerpaw user, but plan to broaden this out in time.
OMAHA — Calgary-based LiveDash emerged at the Tigerpaw user conference here this week with what it considers a compelling proposition for those users. They have developed very dense and visually striking dashboards using Microsoft’s Power BI. They are offering them to users at an extremely low cost as part of their strategy to build up brand recognition, and develop a channel to broaden their reach.
LiveDash was founded by Bill Scott, a serial entrepreneur who also runs Final Frontiers, an MSP based in Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta.
“As an MSP, we have been a Tigerpaw user for 20 years,” Scott said. “In order to better get real time data out of the Tigerpaw tool, Final Frontier hired a business intelligence specialist, Ruslan Cebotari. Using Power BI, he started pulling out live dashboards for us, and completely revolutionized our business.”
Scott said they decided to spin LiveDash out into a separate company.
“Within six weeks, we put together a business plan and set up LiveDash as a separate company to debut at the conference,” he indicated. They share the same back-end resources as Final Frontiers.
LiveDash is more properly a business intelligence consulting firm rather than a builder of dashboards.
“The primary intent of LiveDash is to engage with other industries, as a consultancy, to build customer dashboards,” Scott said. “We want to get into a lot of industries as a consulting group. We are not a product company. We are a consulting company with cool widgets based on Tigerpaw.”
Scott stated that they are premiering at the Tigerpaw event because they are a Tigerpaw user.
“We are at the Tigerpaw event to give back to the Tigerpaw community,” he said. “The plan is to give some of these widgets to the audience and try to work with them to help them move up the stack to the consulting level. If they aren’t in a position to do that yet, we can provide them and they can white label them as their own.”
This will turn the MSP market into an effective route to market for LiveDash.
“We are hoping to turn MSPs into a channel for us,” Scott said. “To do that, we offer them incredible dashboards they can customize on their own. This is our gift to the channel, so we get invited to the table to help them build their business consulting practice.”
The plan is to expand well beyond Tigerpaw and its partners in due course.
“This is just the start for us,” Scott indicated. “While these dashboards have been specifically developed to let users pull information out of Tigerpaw, we plan to make this available much more broadly over time.”
“MSPs are always looking for new value-added services,” said Shawn Simlik, Solutions Consultant at LiveDash. ‘While other tools are good, they are more limited on the range of data that they provide. Using Tigerpaw for example, we could see our existing queue. However, if we wanted to compare it to historical data, for last month, last quarter or last year, we would have to run calculations to do that. Our experience with Microsoft Power BI lets us bring all this together, and present it in a visually powerful and interactive way.”
Simlik said that most MSPs typically don’t have the skillsets to do this themselves.
“MSP struggles with using Power BI are like the original issues with using SharePoint,” he said. “MSPs don’t really have the specific business knowledge to put a KPI up on the wall. The numbers have to be meaningful to the business, or they have no value at all.”
Scott said that Power BI is ideal for this type of development work.
“Power BI is so much more ubiquitous as part of Office,” he noted. “Microsoft is investing heavily in it, developing new features literally every week that we can incorporate.”
“Because MSPs are heavily invested in Office 365, this sets Power BI up to be the perfect tool for them,” Simlik said. “It is integrated into a platform that thousands of clients will already be on.”
Scott indicated that the response at the show has been extremely positive.
“People have been blown away,” he said. “At our breakout session, we had an engaged audience with lots of questions. They liked the power of the tool, and how interactive it is.”