Chris Day on the importance of IT documentation
In episode 10 of TubbTalk I speak with Chris Day of IT Glue, an IT documentation platform, and the CEO of one of Western Canada’s biggest MSP’s, Fully Managed.
In our conversation, Chris and I discuss:-
- How an MSP can think globally rather than just locally.
- The biggest challenge in being the CEO of not one, but two businesses.
- How running a SaaS business is different to running an MSP.
- Why IT documentation is so important to MSP’s.
- How to calculate the cost of poor IT documentation to an MSP business.
- What the benefits of good IT documentation are to an MSP’s clients.
- The best way to get started with IT documentation.
- Mitigating the risk associated with bad or lack of documentation.
- Which RMM tools will integration with IT Glue.
- The concept of Documentation-as-a-Service.
- An IT Glue discount code for TubbTalk listeners.
[tweet_box design=”default”]IT documentation is one of the top factors in MSP’s running more efficiently[/tweet_box]
Mentioned in this episode:-
- Fully Managed
- IT Glue
- 40 under 40 award
- Alberta’s Best Workplace
- British Columbia Small Business Best Employer
- ConnectWise Partner Community
- Service Leadership Index
- Video: Simon Sinek: Start why why
- Book – Mistakes MSP’s Make – The Five Most Important Mistakes IT Managed Service Providers Make Which Cost Them Time and Money
- How to create a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)
- Autotask Endpoint Management (AEM)
- Request a demo of IT Glue
- IT Glue on Twitter
- Fully Managed on Twitter
Connect with me
- Subscribe to TubbTalk RSS feed
- Subscribe, rate and review TubbTalk in iTunes
- Subscribe, rate and review TubbTalk on Stitcher Radio
- Follow @tubblog
Richard: Hello, everyone. Richard Tubb here and I’m speaking today with Chris Day, the CEO of Vancouver-based managed service provider, Fully Managed. Fully Managed is one of the largest MSPs in western Canada. Chris is also the CEO of IT Glue, a software-as-a-service solution to the problems of IT documentation for IT companies.
Now, among his recent honors – Chris has been awarded the 40 Under 40 award for his individual success as a CEO. Fully Managed, as a business, had been named Alberta’s Best Workplace and British Columbia’s Small Business Best Employer as well. I’m delighted that Chris can join us today. Chris, how are you?
Chris: Doing very well. Thank you, Richard. Thanks for the wonderful intro.
Richard: You’re welcome. How’s Vancouver today? I know it’s early in the morning for you.
Chris: You know what? It’s a beautiful day here. Sunny which is unlike Vancouver, which is known to be like Seattle — very, very rainy — but it’s been beautiful, so I can’t complain.
Richard: Excellent. Sounds a lot like Birmingham in the UK where I’m calling from this day. We’ve got an absolutely gorgeous day, and that’s a rarity.
I’ve mentioned that you’re CEO of two companies, a managed service provider much like many of the listeners to this podcast, and also a company that provides solutions for MSPs in IT Glue. Perhaps you can share a little bit about how you ended up running not one, but two very successful businesses.
Chris: Yeah, absolutely. The last couple of years have really put me through the ringer, I would say. There’s a lot that goes into – it’s just mainly starting a new business, in general. But particularly with IT Glue, where we have been on a very, I would say, aggressive growth curve. It’s been absolutely nuts.
The good thing about Fully Managed is that it’s a fairly established business. It’s been around since 2002, and I have a partner in that business – Charlene. Thanks to her. She’s the president and then I have another, basically a VP of Ops and Sales. The collective three run the business, essentially.
I’ve been very fortunate to be able to take the last two years and focus, I’d say, 95 percent of my energy on IT Glue. The five percent – Fully Managed has been really more on quarterly strategy meetings and annual strategy planning meetings. I’m very thankful for that.
Richard: IT Glue, I’m intrigued. I know a little bit of background of IT Glue. I understand IT Glue came together as a result of peer pressure, for lack of a better word. Perhaps you could explain a little bit more about that.
Chris: It was. Probably like yourself, I spent a lot of time in the ConnectWise community back then. Obviously, I’m spending time in both the ConnectWise and Autotask communities now. We were in HTG. We were in service leadership peer groups. I was doing presenting at Microsoft events. Through a lot of those initiatives, I would always be talking about documentation, and I would be pulling up screenshots. I would have the structured information that I would show people. Every time, they would say, “What is that?” It’s not SharePoint and it’s not Word documents. It’s not a Wiki.
I guess it was honestly just enough people saying to me, “You should really sell that software.” This is probably starting five, six years ago that people were saying that. The story about IT Glue is that my brother and I developed a software initially just as a standalone tool just for Fully Managed. We did that probably nine years ago. It just evolved into the point where we were paying – we almost had a full-time developer just working on features just within Fully Managed, on that tool.
Eventually, it just came to a point and that was probably about three years ago, where I decided, “You know what, I’m going to actually start a company.” It was completely separate from Fully Managed.
I spun up a team, found a developer-partner, and I guess the rest is history. It took about two years to build the app from sort of what I would consider a prototype or a nine-year beta test to the point where it is today, where it’s a software-as-a-service platform and hundreds and hundreds of MSPs using it. Crazy.
Richard: Fantastic story. I want to talk a little bit more about IT Glue as our conversation goes forward. But I really want to look upon Fully Managed now and your history with that just for thirty minutes.
Richard: You’ve very publicly shared – in your own words here are – and to quote, “Driven by the tireless pursuit to inspire, improve, create peace of mind, and build a successful, world-class global brand.” I think that’s a fantastic sort of tagline there. That in itself is an inspiring vision.
Now, most IT businesses I know of tend to think locally, tend to think to certain geographical area. They certainly don’t think globally for the most part. Chris, what drives you to think globally about Fully Managed?
Chris: With Fully Managed, we always had this vision of 10 million in 10 cities. We’re nowhere near that vision yet, I’ll be honest. But we’re around 55 employees today. We always thought that – partly just with the name, we really believed in the purpose of the company. The “creating peace of mind” was – I’m sure a lot of companies have gone through this exercise with Simon Sinek, understanding why you’re in business and not what you do.
That was a big profound thing for us in Fully Managed in understanding that we wanted to instill and create emotion through our service, not just be a service provider that we’re fast and we give you a good strategy. It was like, “What do people feel when they engage with our brand?”
Then, not thinking so small as single city. We were able to take that to the next step and have a second city. Then we got a third city in the last 18 months as well.
I think we’re executing on that vision slowly. I don’t know that Fully Managed is going to be global. In the end, maybe Canada-wide would be the extent of our vision. There’s just so much business available even inside of Canada that I’m not sure we would need the global challenge. Certainly, a different beast to the software-as-a-service business like IT Glue which is very, very much international and global.
Richard: Understood. What would you say the biggest challenge you face as being the CEO of not one but two quite different businesses?
Chris: The challenge would always be considered time, I guess. Again, I’ve mitigated that largely by having a great team. Certainly, time and like, “Where does your passion lie?” I would say, for me that would be the other piece. Where do I get the most inspired?
I’ve been in the IT provider space for a long time. I started the company probably 13, 14 years ago. For me, the MSP space – I’ve been there and I really value being connected to that world because I still get great insights. I meet and talk with MSPs every single day – probably, five or six different companies every single day.
The things that I learned or things that I can share – the challenge is definitely how much value can I still add to Fully Managed when I’m spending 95 percent of my time on IT Glue. That’s a good problem to have, but certainly that’s probably the largest one.
Richard: I agree. Just some parallels with – you know I’m the former owner of a managed service provider business myself, and now I work with the owners of IT businesses. After I sold the MSP, there was a big concern over – I know it can become irrelevant. I’d say this stage certainly not because I’m fortunate enough to work with some really cutting-edge MSPs doing some great things, and that keeps me grounded, keeps my foot in the industry and understands what’s still going on. It sounds like that’s very much for you with running IT Glue and running Fully Managed as well.
Chris: It is. It’s exactly that. You’re right. You’ve seen it as I’ve seen it. There’s some companies doing some incredible things. In every area of the business that are just so dialed-in that I would aspire for our business to be that dialed-in in that area. It’s really interesting what you run across.
It’s very difficult to get all those levers working at the same time and generating the bottom line and everybody’s looking for that. That’s a big struggle still. Nobody’s got it perfect yet.
Richard: Definitely. Let’s change gear for a minute then, talking about levers. How would you say running a SASS business in IT Glue different to your experience of running a managed service provider?
Chris: That’s a great question. I would say there’s a number of things that are different. The thing that’s very similar, which I love about running a SASS business, is that I’m still connected with the CEOs, the executives, the owners of these businesses like I was with Fully Managed. Selling to that same level which we did and generally the same size of companies, which is very interesting, right?
I would say the predominant – I’m sure 80, 90 percent of MSPs are below 50 employees. I would say 80 to 90 percent of the MSP customers that we would sell to are below 50 employees, maybe a little bit higher but very similar anyway, in terms of the size of companies that we sell to.
What’s different, I would say, is certainly the scalability of a SASS business. The fact that we have days, where we brought on 20, 30 customers in a single day. Try doing that in MSP world.
Richard: Oh, yeah.
Chris: It may not fly.
Richard: I’m just thinking about that, but yeah.
Chris: Then the other thing that’s really, really cool about the SAAS business is – and some of the MSPs have figured this out, too — is we’re selling to a vertical. I very much understand the pain points and the value proposition for an MSP for the software that we sell for documentation.
In the MSP world, given our markets that we’re in, we’re not in very large markets. We don’t have that capability of going super vertical. You’re not tailoring your managed services to legal or to accounting or to manufacturing. We actually have to take all three in order to have enough of a market to get us the growth that we want. With that come the challenges of not being vertical-focused. You can’t be as good if you’re spread on verticals.
That piece, it really highlighted for me. It was actually only in the last couple of weeks that I realized, really, it’s such a vertical — IT Glue so vertical. It’s MSPs that we sell to that everybody has the exact same challenge. You can really hone the software, the solution set to that vertical.
Richard: Makes a lot of sense, makes a lot of sense. Let’s talk about IT Glue. Let’s talk about IT documentation a little bit more. A while ago, I wrote a book entitled The Top Five Mistakes MSPs Make that Cost Them Time and Money. One of those five mistakes was lack of documentation. I’m getting that sense of you agreeing with me, Chris. Why is IT documentation so important to MSPs?
Chris: It’s actually crazy that this part of the MSP space hasn’t been a focus until now. It sounds like until your book. The thing about documentation is it’s one of the top factors in being able to run efficiently. If you run efficiently, you make more money.
There’s a statistic, which if I ask a room full of MSPs this question, almost everybody agrees. “Do you think that IT people spend at least 20 percent of their time looking for information?” Everybody’s hand will go up. I’ll say, “Leave your hand up if you think it is maybe 30. Leave your hand up if you think it’s maybe 40 percent.”
It’s shocking. There’s still quite a few companies with their hand up at 40 and 50 percent.
Richard: So true.
Chris: I’ll ask the flipside question, “Who would rate their documentation skill of one to 10 higher than a five?” In a room of 200 people — I’m not kidding — there’ll be like five hands. Even those guys, they’ll say they’re no higher of even maybe a seven.
It’s very interesting because I think that our industry was really focused on the technology and the tools for so long. My view is that maybe that was necessary, because we were really struggling with a lot of the tools. Servers were still blue-screening, the backup software wasn’t reliable, the RMM tools didn’t work that well.
There’s all these things that needed some maturing. I feel like a lot of those things have happened. Now, their next logical thing – they always say there’s three keys, three levers to business success: people, process, and technology. I think everybody understands the value of good people. I think everybody understands the value of good technology, and then there’s this last bucket of process or process. If you’re in Canada, you could say either one, but in the States, it’s process.
It’s left to the wayside. It is like, “Yeah, we understand that’s important.” Then I would drill into these examples and say, “If you sit me down in your company today and you’ve got a new service request for Company X, and I have never seen that company in my life, how long would it take me to be up to speed and be able to support that customer?”
Then you run through scenarios. Then they’ll say, “Oh, no. We’ve got all that information. We’ve got guys that know that.” I said, “Yeah but that costs you time and money.”
If I have to ask somebody, “How does that virtual environment set up?” If I have to ask somebody, “What is the DHCP server over there?” or “How is that server being backed up?” or any of these scenarios that really are the necessary pieces of great documentation, very rarely do most MSPs have a good handle on that stuff.
The outcome is it’s burned. It’s time burned. You take that 20 percent of wasted time and you multiply it by your staff count, and then you multiply that by the cost per hour of those employees. That’s your actual soft cost. Then you take, let’s say, 20 percent of that time. What would those people have been doing with that 20 percent of their time? Have they not been wasting it?
All of a sudden, you realize, “Oh, my goodness. The cost of bad documentation and bad process is astounding.” It’s like for a five-person company, it can be a quarter million a year.
Richard: Wow. You’re absolutely preaching to the converted here. I’m melting away as you’re saying this because it’s so true what you’re saying.
Chris: I would say it’s not sexy documentation. In IT Glue we wear the shirt that say “I love documentation” on them. Everybody laughs. “Who likes documentation?” You know what, it’s absolutely necessary. It’s the only way you can scale a business.
In my case, I was able to extract myself from the day-to-day running the nuts and bolts and extract all those key high-level players that are inside the business, the very technical rocket scientist types. The better the documentation, the less need you have for those people, the faster your people get their work done.
In our case, in Fully Managed, we were able to take tasks that used to require Level 2, Level 3 engineers. We were able to push those tasks forward to Level 1 engineers.
That is good for everybody. That’s good for the business owner. That’s good for the Level 2 and Level 3 engineers because they’re thankful that they don’t have to do those mundane tasks. It’s good for the customer because they prefer working with Level 1 engineers, because they’re generally happier and more customer-focused, I would say.
There’s so many benefits to it. But at the end of the day, when I look at anything in my documentation, I look at this as an investment. I look at things as an investor. I want to produce higher returns in the business. That’s what process and documentation will do.
Richard: Absolutely makes sense. I’m sure there’s going to be lots of IT business owners who are listening to this podcast, who absolutely agree with it as well. Well, let’s keep off with our theme for a minute. Most technicians I know and I’ve employed in the past and that I know within MSP businesses now are pretty much driven by a desire to help end users.
Let’s not beat around the bush. Most engineers enjoy being seen as the hero. They get a kick out of helping people with things. It is really an admirable trait to put clients first. But in my experience, it does mean these technicians often dismiss documentation as something that’s time-consuming and gets in the way of them actually helping clients. What’s the benefit of good IT documentation to an MSP’s client? How can the business owner sell good IT documentation to their engineers as something they should be really doing?
Chris: I can mention a few ways. But one of the things that I know has been a big struggle for documentation, in general, it was this idea that, “I want you to update the documentation.”
Even in our business, there would be a project plan and at the end of it, it would say “update documentation”. That was part of the billable scope of the project. We’d scratch our heads and go, “What does that exactly mean?” Generally, the project would get closed off and that was that.
The reason that that’s always been the case since the dawn of time, as in an IT provider space, is that I think there is generally a desire to do documentation. I think that if the system doesn’t support the ability to very easily, quickly, and efficiently maintain and create that documentation, then you’re right. It’s an obstacle to getting work done.
The software or the platform that you’re using to track the documentation, it has to be something that you can do in the line of fire that’s not going to prevent you from getting the work that you need to get done, done. That’s the first thing. In terms of selling it to a customer or selling – for us in Fully Managed, this is a major part of our sales process.
We show our customers how transparent we are with the documentation, how detailed we store everything. We’ve got all of their information on file — from passwords, to how the backups are configured, to the network, to applications. It’s all there.
For the customers, they really get peace of mind from that because they say, “Well, this company is not the type of company that’s going to hold us hostage for information. In fact, they’ve given us a login, and we can look at our documentation at any time.”
The customers definitely see it. The other things that the customers see, in my experience, is the consistency, which is another serious problem in IT. Something like creating a new user account could have 28 steps. Depending on who gets that service request, there could be a significant or at least some variance in the outputs of that request. That is something that the customers feel and obviously something – they don’t love it when you miss a step in a new employee hire technical process.
We have found that having very consistent procedural documentation to go with each customer drives a better customer experience. They say, “Wow, it’s really cool that Jim or Sally can both do that type of task, and it’s very consistently done.” Even the email template that we get at the end, it’s all the same.
Not that you can’t achieve that with brute force, in other ways through great management, but certainly having a system that supports that effort. For example, every request that we do in our service desk — our service desk has probably 28 to 30 people now, so quite a few people just in the service desk team. It just allowed to perform a technical task without following a standard operating procedure (SOP). Those SOPs are linked, and they must be referenced inside the ticket notes that they do.
That means that if there is not an SOP, then one must be created. That starts to drive very consistent service delivery which – even though you used to get long awaited answer to your question, but the engineers that may be not believers, generally, if they truly believe in providing a very consistent experience, we have found that they will create those SOPs, and then they will refer people to those SOPs. That actually sort of creates a, “You know what, that documentation is already there. Just follow the procedure, and then I can get back to work.”
We found that the main problem, in a nutshell, is that nobody wants to work on a crummy system or go update a SharePoint page or a Word document or some file somewhere. Because they don’t believe that anybody else is ever going to see it or use it, so it’s kind of a waste of time.
Richard: Yeah, absolutely. I think it was a great answer, by the way. While you’re talking about that, I was just thinking, some MSPs that I speak to, they ask the question, “What’s a good way to get started with IT documentation?” For anybody who is maybe retaining information in their head, or they’ve got a key employee who knows all about the clients but nobody else does, what advice would you give to them, Chris, on where to get started with IT documentation?
Chris: There’s really two sides to documentation, and I think this is one of the things – not to toot our own horn – but this one of the things that we nailed with IT Glue.
There is the structured documentation. This is like the field-driven, “What does that server do? What does that device do? What is the DHCP server? What is the backup scheme?” Everything is structured — its drop-down list, its tags, that kind of stuff. That is, to my mind, 70 percent of what’s very critical. It’s sort of I can understand a customer’s environment at a glance without having to ask anybody anything.
That is from a ROI perspective in terms of inputting documentation – one of the quickest, fastest, easiest, and highest ROI ways. You’re looking at probably an hour to two hours on average to produce that documentation for a single customer.
If you’ve got 25 customers, then you’re looking at 25 to 50 hours to produce that documentation. That’s inside of your team. That will give you a huge lift in terms of your peace of mind, I would say, and also in terms of the ability to start to shuffle customers and allow other people to work on different customers, bring new people in and all that kind of stuff.
The second part – the last 30 percent – is what I would say is the long tail part of the process. That will be the procedural documentation: the steps, the screenshots, the here’s-how-to-do, here’s-the-SOPs for this customer or that customer. There are essential articles that are more generic like, “How do we deploy our backup platform? How do we deploy a new firewall? How do we deploy a switch? How do we upgrade our RMM?” You know those types of articles that are centralized.
I think that the biggest ROI is in taking your largest customers, documenting them first, getting all that structured information. It’s kind of what they talk about in ITIL, which is the approach we follow for documentation that the idea of a service catalogue. What are all the services? What are all the applications that are running on this network?
Once you’ve got that, you can then start to build the more detailed procedural documentation around it.
Richard: Fantastic, really good advice. It reminds me of a story – back when I was running an MSP. We used to document just about everything. I was actually quite OCD about it, I guess. Even as far as in Comms rooms, we document it, the make and model of the air conditioning unit.
Going back to what you said earlier all about consistency and quality of service you deliver to clients, I remember that one day, we actually had a phone call from a client saying that the air conditioning units in the Comms room were leaking. There was water all over the floor. They were in quite a flap, in a panic about it. “What do we do,” turning to us for advice.
We have it all documented. We knew who’d installed the system. We knew who to go to for maintenance on that unit. Within a couple of hours, we’d made the phone call. It was an engineer there and the problem was resolved.
Now, that doesn’t sound very much like IT when I tell that story to people. But the end result was the client thinks we’re absolutely fantastic. We’ve got all the information we need. Anything, basically with a plug on, we can have them out waive on that. It gave so much credibility to us as a business. You can take IT documentations to the nth degree, but really I think most things are probably better off documented at people’s heads and down on paper than it is just floating out there.
Chris: It’s unreal how much of that information – there’s just so many examples. I will often say, just almost as a test, I’d say, “Let’s pick a customer and bring the engineer on the line that knows that customer best.” Then I’ll ask them a random question from the standard set of services that would be on that network. I’ll say, “What’s the webmail URL?”
They will just shake their heads, “I have to go look it up.” Then I look at them and I say, “Exactly. That’s exactly what the problem is.” The way this is running.
There’s a million of those examples. Big part of my feeling on documentation is there is a – it’s like the common ROI, ROE (Return on Energy) thing. There’s probably 20 percent of the work that you can document that would give you 80 percent of the return. You don’t need that much information to be a way further ahead than most IT providers are right now.
Documenting something like email, you could certainly document 30 or 40 fields if you wanted to. But even just getting six or seven key aspects of email documented for every customer provides an immediate lift. Then you can always do a Round 2, add more documentation later.
Richard: It makes a lot of sense. It does give you a competitive advantage over your competitors, who are not documenting this stuff, who are carrying the information around in their heads, isn’t it?
Chris: It does. It absolutely does. It’s peace of mind. The teams surprisingly – it takes away one of those things, one of those differentiators between people within the company, where this guy has got all the information, so he’s sort of the big man on campus walking around. From my experience, it created just more of a team vibe where everybody knows that everything is in there. Everybody can just focus on delivering great service instead of, “What do I know?”
Richard: It actually protects the MSP business, I think, as well. I’ve come across multiple scenarios or situations, you should say – examples where there’s been one senior engineer within the business who has known so much about our clients, none of it documented. Then the MSP ends up in an awful situation, where that senior engineer either leaves or worse, goes to work for a competitor. It’s panic stations. It’s like, “What are we going to do about this one of these big clients that we’ve got, when this guy knows everything about the clients, and we know nothing of this business really?
Chris: Yeah, it’s unbelievable. I never mentioned or used those things in our ROI calculators that we have for IT Glue, but it’s very true. I mean, one customer walking away for something like that is far more expensive than anything we would possibly charge.
It’s really true. That’s one of the things we talk about is getting rid of the risk, the risk associated with bad documentation. That’s one of the key risks.
Richard: Cool. I suspect we could talk about IT documentation as a subject. We’ll have to invite you back for a second podcast. I know people are going to be interested in talking about this.
Let’s revisit IT Glue, just a little bit there. You recently announced integration with Autotask. I know that your background is similar to mine. You’ve got a background within the ConnectWise community as well. What else is on the horizon for IT Glue upcoming?
Chris: Well this summer, we are working on our next series of integrations, most of the RMM tools. We’ve got LabTech, AEM — we’re not sure about the API on that one, depending if they release it — Kaseya, N-Able, Continuum, and a whole bunch of other ones that we’re looking at.
One of the reasons we called ourselves IT Glue was that with the more systems that we can connect to and sort of bring relevant information into the documentation, the better. We started with the PSA tools, Autotask, and ConnectWise mainly because that’s a great asset database to begin with. But now, we’re going to start to overlay more network information on top of that.
That’s huge. The integrations are huge. The other thing that’s on the horizon, we actually just sent out a survey to customers yesterday, which we’re pretty excited about is the idea — I had mentioned this to you, Richard — but documentation as a service.
We are in the early stages of putting a program together, where we would actually help do the documentation, given access to the right tools by our partners. For example, give us access to your RMM tools and we can go in and do some of the documentations.
Because one of the biggest challenges we hear from our MSPs is just preventing them from getting documentation done, even the ones that are already customers, is lack of time. We’re thinking, “Well, maybe we can help with that.” Because a lot of the documentation that needs to be done is very standardized, and we can pretty much do it with access to RMM tools.
Anyway, that’s a very exciting thing that’s on the horizon for us.
Richard: Very cool, documentation as a service. When can we expect that to come to market? How far forward are you with that?
Chris: Well, we’ve rounded out what the key elements of that service would be. We’re now going to go into a beta group with five or six companies. We’re going to just see how it goes. We would expect probably in the next two months or so to have the results of that, and then hopefully launch it on a larger scale.
Richard: Cool. Well, I should certainly keep an eye out for that. I know that’s going to be of interest to lots of people. Many MSPs I speak to, when I talk about IT documentation, they roll their eyes a bit and they say, “Yeah, Rick, as soon as we get the time for it.” I can see that definitely be a good one. It’s cool.
There’s going to be people listening, and they want to find out more about IT Glue. Where would they go to?
Chris: The best thing to do, obviously, is just hit our website ITGlue.com. What we generally do is we have a certain – some people say it’s a little regimented but we like it this way. We have a regimented sales process. Watch it. There’s a 15-minute product overview, which we like to get people to watch in advance of really starting to chat with us. It covers off most of the key features in a very short time frame. You can get access to that by filling out the request demo form on our website.
Once you’ve watched that, we generally do a live demo then just to allow more interaction, ask questions, and show me how to do this or that. Then from there, we can unleash a 7-day trial, which people can use and sign up at any time.
From there, once you sign up, we reach out to you. We have an on-boarding project manager. All of our sign-ups include a consulting and setup package, which is basic consulting from our side, to help people get off on the right foot.
Richard: Surely, that makes a lot…
Chris: Yeah, schedule those seven to 10 days out from sign-up.
Richard: Makes a lot of sense. I think one of the reasons I perceive you as being so successful is you do a really good job with qualifying and on-boarding people. That’s probably no surprise for most SASS businesses that are successful. You do that really, really well. It sounds like you’ve got a great process in place for doing that at the moment.
Chris: Yes. It seems to be. We didn’t use to do it at the beginning. We learned that that was just absolutely critical. I always say this, too. Don’t sign up if you’re not ready to commit to doing this in the next quarter, because you’ve got to understand the value of good documentation. It shouldn’t be something that jumping at the chance to get this done. Because it delivers, it gives you time back. If you just simply don’t have the time to do it, then it’s probably not the right time.
Richard: Absolutely. But there are going to be some people that are listening to this and they’re going, “Chris, shut up and take my money.” I know you’re being very generous. You’ve got a step further than that. For people listening to the podcast, you’ve actually got a code haven’t you, that they can receive a discount on the setup fee?
Chris: I do, yeah. The setup fee is USD 495. We’re providing for all of Richard’s partners a discount of $50. The code is T-U-B-B-1-5. T-U-B-B-1-5. If you sign up with that code, you’ll get a $50 discount, which we generally don’t do. If anybody is so inclined and wants to sign up, it’s very quick ROI. Again, if you’re not ready to sign up, just engage with us, and we will certainly work with you directly on that as well.
Richard: Fantastic. Well, I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask you how people can find you and Fully Managed online as well. Are you present on social media?
Chris: Yeah. I’m hiding behind the IT Glue Twitter account most now. That’s the one where we’re having most fun, but it is @ITGlue. Fully Managed is @fullymanaged. Twitter’s the best at this point. Obviously, our website, FullyManaged.com.
A lot of people have told me that this site’s been out for six or seven years, the Fully Managed site. But we got a lot of feedback — quite honestly, a lot of plagiarism on our website. People say it seems to – it’s the idea of putting the customer first. Check it out.
Richard: It is a really good website. Absolutely. Chris, I’m really, really appreciative of your time today. I think this is going to be valuable for anybody listening, so thanks so much. I’m sure if you’ve got the time, listeners would love to get you back for another podcast, perhaps where we can talk about qualifying customers, sales process, and talk some more about IT documentation.
Thanks so much for your time, Chris, really appreciate it.
Chris: Thank you very much.