The first full day of the inaugural IT Glue event at GlueCon was all about providing MSP attendees with valuable takeaways that can improve their business. That’s also a theme of the second day of the event. But IT Glue, which makes documentation software specifically for MSPs, also found time to announce new integrations to make MSPs’ lives easier – lots of them. They also announced a new self-paced educational initiative, IT Glue Academy, that provides a more structured training offering than they have had in the past.
Luis Giraldo, IT Glue’s VP, Product, announced the enhancements in the opening keynote session of the second day.
“The overarching theme of IT Glue has always been driving process and efficiency for MSPs,” Giraldo said. “Our MSPs tell us that once they realize the time saving and efficiencies we provide, they understand that it gives them time back, which allows them to scale their business more profitably. Smaller MSPs often haven’t worked much previously on learning that efficiency. They have an inkling they need a tool like ours, while the larger ones can’t imagine a life without it. It’s an interesting dynamic between the two at this event.
“The big message is that we want people to think of us as a platform, and not just as an app,” Giraldo emphasized. “It’s a tool and platform that’s essential to an MSP’s operation.”
All the new announcements drive new efficiencies for MSPs, Giraldo stressed. Three of them – GlueFiles, Flags, and an Office 365 integration, were the most voted-for features in the company’s suggestion portal.
“GlueFiles provides the ability to upload any type of file directly into the documents list, without having to create an IT Glue file to do so,” Giraldo said. “With GlueFile, an MSP can directly upload things like a PDF file, Word file, or Visio diagram, and preview them before creating an IT Glue file. It saves them time, because they don’t have to create that extra document to attach. It can also save them money. Many MSPs have a couple people who do all the network diagrams. Not all employees have a copy of Visio, because it costs money to license. They don’t need a licensed copy to use it with GlueFiles.”
The new Flags feature highlights and contextualizes documents that require more attention by adding flags to documents in IT Glue that alert users to required action, prioritization and tracking.
“It lets you make notes of things that need more work, such as a Manager Review flag for an escalation item,” Giraldo indicated. “It gives more clarity on what stage any document is currently in.”
The new Office 365 integration is a major announcement.
“We have had integrations with many platforms, but we have never had one for Office 365,” Giraldo said. “It is unique in that while it is not a management tool, a lot of information resides there that has to be collected manually, around things like onboarding customers, and typically all this information is gathered manually. With this integration, we now go and retrieve it, sync it and provide additional rich data about these user mailboxes, like how much of the quota of each is being consumed.”
The Office 365 integration is being rolled out in two phases.
“This is the mailbox integration phase,” Giraldo said. “In a few weeks, we will add all the licensing information. MSPs sell Office 365 licensing, and may not be able to easily determine if customers have the right number of licenses, which they will be able to do with this.”
The direct benefits of the Office 365 integration benefit the MSP, but the customer will benefit indirectly as well, Giraldo indicated.
“The MSP will be able to provide them with more consistent service, and better speed to resolution,” he said.
Three new vendor integrations were announced, with networking-centric Cisco Meraki and Auvik Networks, and with combined RMM-PSA provider Syncro.
“The integrations we provide from Auvik and Cisco Meraki are the first from tools that are specifically network-centric,” Giraldo said. “We have others who provide some networking data, but they are primarily focused on computers, servers or workstations. With these two, the network is their primary function. Before, the MSP had to collect this data manually. These new integrations let us automate this, and keep things updated. Cisco Meraki has a lot of data, and a lot of MSPs will be happy to bring all that Cisco Meraki data inside IT Glue.”
The Syncro integration, like other RMM and PSA integrations, expands IT Glue’s value to their customers.
“It expands how many MSPs will be interested in IT Glue,” Giraldo said.
IT Glue Academy is a first for this type of structured training in the company.
“We have had informal webinar training, and 1-on-1 remote training, and have made small videos that highlight how to do something specific, but nothing that has been structured,” Giraldo said. “IT Glue Academy sets out to change that, with structured, module-driven content. The biggest benefit for MSPs is when they bring a new tech into the business. Before, the tech would tap shoulders for days to learn things. Now we have a self-paced way for them to learn our platform, and an exam to let them get a certification.”
The certification is designed as a reward, not a structured requirement that MSPs need to have specific numbers of employees to achieve.
“This is a learning opportunity, not a structured program requirement,” Giraldo said. “The Academy is a way to facilitate the ability to learn in a self-paced manner, and the certification is an honour for completing that.”
IT Glue also announced an API contest [itglue.com/APIContest] for enterprise partners to submit unique scripts or integrations using the IT Glue REST API, which will be assessed by IT Glue’s API review team. All approved scripts and integrations will be added to their GitHub, and the partner with the winning submission will be awarded a $5,000 credit to IT Glue, as well as a feature promotion on the IT Glue website. Second prize is a$1,000 Amazon Gift Card, while third prize is a $500 card.
“This is the first time that we have done something of this nature,” Giraldo said. “We have been singing the praises of automation. By bringing our MSPs’ ideas on it to light, we want others to notice what they can do and see the opportunities that exist, around things that are done manually today, but which can be automated tomorrow. It’s all about bringing more efficiency to MSPs.”