Using technology to track each and every minute a reseller spends working on behalf of a customer, billing for it and then chasing the invoice, makes a great deal of sense.
But in an always switched-on world, where increasingly expectations are that managed services will be an option put on the table by the channel, the bar gets raised a little bit higher.
Autotask is more than able to jump the managed service hurdle and deliver a service that not only makes life a great deal easier for resellers, but also for customers.
The system, Taskfire, works by allowing the customer to hand over IT tasks that it cannot deal with itself.
This process is not only clearly visible, and therefore is logged and billable, but from a reseller point of view adds a great deal to the service and relationship it is able to offer the customer.
Those resellers that have already been using the Autotask database are able to add on the functionality of Taskfire and then sit down with a customer to discuss how their needs will be catered for.
It is possible to set up policies that make it even smoother for customers looking to the web for technology to take the strain, and through the client portal the customer has visibility of the entire process.
There are several benefits of using a managed service tool to monitor IT assistance, including increasing the visibility of what the reseller is delivering and gaining better accountability of what the internal technology staff are up to.
There can be more flexibility in the way requests from staff for technical support are dealt with and from a reseller point of view, complete transparency around the ticketing of support, making it easier to track bills.
The best way to describe why Taskfire is different from other help desk offerings on the market is to take a quote from Luxtech, a UK partner which is offering the service: "What separates Taskfire from every other internal help desk system - even solutions costing many times more - is the direct link to our own systems. This gives you the unique ability to configure the platform in any way you choose, so that you can efficiently and seamlessly share the responsibility of managing your IT resources."
Giving a customer this level of flexibility with its chosen IT partners is something that ultimately is going to be a pitch-winning feature.