ConnectWise Manage Review

Easy to set up, good central management, and is a super-powerful tool

What is our primary use case?

We have one of the servers that our managed stuff runs on, and it's hosted by ConnectWise themselves. They keep all of our stuff up to date.

The primary tool that we're using is the service desk functionality. Our help desk ticketing system goes through there. Pretty much what that allows us to do, is it allows us to keep all of our clients in one location. It also keeps track of all the tickets and contacts. On top of that, we have what are called configurations and our configuration is like any type of endpoint or log-in or object or anything like that. Therefore, workstations or accounts or all that type of stuff is stored all in ConnectWise. That way, whenever we create a ticket, we can quickly look at the configurations for that client and pull useful information.

What is most valuable?

Some of the most valuable features, at least for us, are definitely apparent when it comes to the kind of central management on offer. Being able for it, number one, to directly integrate into ConnectWise Automate, goes hand in hand. What that allows us to do is it allows us to, have an up-to-date inventory on all of our stuff, and also have all of that information available to us in ConnectWise. Being able to pull pretty much any information needed directly into our ticketing system without having to go outside is always really useful. 

We handle our service agreements and our billing and finances and all that stuff. Being central helps us keep track of how much we need to bill each of our clients, as well as how many different tickets we have and how long technically takes when it comes to time and expenses and stuff like that.

It's definitely one of those tools that is super powerful.

The initial setup isn't too difficult.

What needs improvement?

There definitely is a learning curve to it. It has its issues. You've constantly got to make sure you're saving everything. You have to refresh and save stuff all the time, to make sure that things are applied as needed, and also, you have got to have some patience when it comes to making changes to things. 

A lot of times, it'll take a couple of moments for things to go through. If you're not patient about it, it may seem like things aren't working. 

If anything, I would say when it comes to just their features and stuff that are available, sometimes, it just needs a simplified view or some sort of way to offer a simplified view for our customers. Sometimes it's just so much information available to the point where you don't even know where to look. It could be more user-friendly.

Technical support could be better.

You're kind of locked down when it comes to how the interface is laid out and what your branding and stuff look like. Increased customization is useful for us as well.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution for a year and a half at this point. It hasn't been too long.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Pretty much everybody on our team utilizes Manage, even including people who aren't necessarily technicians. Our technical account manager is the guy who's in charge of making sure agreements and stuff are up to date and sends out quotes and invoices, et cetera. He's in the time and expense and financing section of Manage most of the time. However, it pretty much allows all of our team members to connect in one place, in a central office. Anyone who is using ConnectWise Manage is also using ConnectWise Automate, and they do directly integrate. All the information from Automate gets pulled into ConnectWise Manage by itself and then it's available in those configurations.

How are customer service and technical support?

They definitely need better tech support. There's a lot of instances where we are kind of forced to go to them for their support team. It is a slow process and it constantly just feels like they're pretty much sending you to the documentation page that you already would have found, rather than actually offering direct assistance. Sometimes we'll send a question and then they'll just reply with a link to a documentation page. I would definitely say that there is tech support available, however, I would say it's a growing point that they need to focus on.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

The only other tool I've really used before that I would say is comparable would be ManageEngine. It's a very comparable ticketing system. And just based on my experience between the two, ConnectWise does seem like it has a better feature set. It seems like everything's well-drawn out a little bit better and also, one thing I like about ConnectWise is that there's a kind of consistency between menus. Once you figure out where things are normally located and what menus typically look like, it's not like every single window you open is a brand new settings window. It's a lot of the pages, however, once you start using ConnectWise Manage, a lot of the things will look really familiar between the two solutions.

How was the initial setup?

The setup isn't too crazy, however, due to the learning curve, you need to be training actual technicians. During that setup process, it was a bit of careful checking to make sure you've got it set stuff up all correctly. From my understanding, it wasn't too bad and not impossible to get set up.

I wasn't yet at the company when it was deployed, and therefore, I cannot speak to how long the process took.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I'm not 100% sure about pricing. My understanding is that ConnectWise is cheaper than ManageEngine, however, I would have to double-check.

What other advice do I have?

We're partners with ConnectWise.

Our deployment is partially on the cloud and partially on-premises. 

If we needed to restart it, which we really ever have to do, that's all hosted by ConnectWise. This is convenient to us, as that's something that, due to the fact we're already managing so many systems, it's one less thing we have to worry about.

For others implementing the product, I'd advise that it's very much one of those ticketing systems that it's as powerful as you want to make it. My advice would be to utilize as many of the integrations that are available as possible. A lot of the integrations will help auto-populate data and pull in information that you'll want/need. Take advantage of the available integrations and add-ons. For example, we use Webroot antivirus for our clients and we can deploy Webroot through Automate. Through Manage, we have a Webroot integration that keeps a log of where our agents are at and that type of stuff. We're able to access that information from multiple places and it helps us. That way we'll get a ticket in our system that says, "Hey, this person got an alert on their antivirus. You need to look into this." Therefore, it allows us to catch things a little bit quicker.

I'd rate the product at an eight out of ten. It's really good software, however, they definitely have some things that need to be worked on, in regards to actually supporting their software. We've run into problems where, if we're able to fix it ourselves, it's not an issue and when we're just using it on a day-to-day basis, it's fine. However, once something goes wrong and we're trying to get it fixed, it's a slow process. Their support definitely needs to be fixed. It would be nice to just have some more customization options. 

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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