Posts Tagged ‘MSP’

2020 – a year like no other at Datagate

December 17, 2020

At the start of this year, we thought 2020 was going to be “special” because it marked the start of an exciting new decade for Datagate. While that might still be the case, that particular aspect of 2020 was about to be overshadowed by what unfolded in the coming months with the global Covid-19 pandemic.

2020- A year like no other

For Datagate, being an international business, a major impact of Covid-19 for us was finding that we were restricted from travelling, both locally and internationally, and we were forced to do 100% of our meetings and interactions on-line. All our staff suddenly had to work from home, and we soon found that working from home was actually more productive and efficient than working from a city office. We’ve now decided to stay with the work-from-home model, as it works better for our staff and our business.

The whirlwind that was 2020

Despite all the Covid-19 carnage and disruption around the world, and being forced to work from home and not travel, the Datagate team, along with our partners and clients, managed to achieve a lot.

In January we formalized our new and very successful distribution partnership with SkySwitch – a leading US white-label wholesale VoIP, UCaaS provider for MSPs, who are based in Florida.

In February, prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, we attended what was to be our last in-person conference for a while, the ITExpo in Fort Lauderdale FL, where we met with a number of our partners and clients.

In March the Covid-19 outbreak took hold, and our plans for travelling and industry conferences came to an abrupt halt. At the same time we could see that our MSP clients were becoming even more busy than usual. The world had changed and the demand for VoIP and UCaaS solutions from businesses everywhere was skyrocketing, to enable staff to work from home. Fortunately for us, being a Cloud-based business, we could keep up with this higher level of demand under our new working-from-home configuration.

Our MSP-Telecom industry conferences started announcing that for health & safety reasons, they were “going virtual”, so that meant we became booth-sponsors of Canadian Channel Partners 2020- virtual, Cloud Connections Summit, Channel Partners 2020 Virtual, and ConnectWise‘s IT Nation Connect 2020. We found that virtual conferences were a great option when there are no in-person conferences, but they really are not as good as the real thing for the purpose of connecting with people. We certainly missed all the great MSP & Telecom conferences that we normally attend, and look forward to when they restart.

In addition to SkySwitch, we also signed Datagate distribution deals with OITVoIP of Miami, Florida and Access4 of Australia, so we now have three strong white-label VoIP -UCaaS providers selling Datagate telecom billing solutions to their MSP resellers.

During the year we also formed a number of new integrated-product partnerships – all of whom we consider important to our MSP customer base. These include Avalara and their AvaTax for Communications tax engine, ConnectBooster and their popular payment automation solution, the quoting solution Quoter, payment solutions IPPay, Stripe and Authorize.net and MSP analytics solution, Cognition360.

We produced and participated in MSP-focused webinars with AdavantageIVR (professional voices for phone systems) and Cognition360 (advanced analytics for ConnectWise and Datagate), as well as with ConnectBooster, SkySwitch, OITVoIP and Avalara.

Geographically, we expanded our footprint in 2020 to include Sydney, Australia and London, UK. These added to our existing locations of Jacksonville Florida, Vancouver Canada and Auckland, New Zealand. We’ve also added five new staff to our North American customer services team, to increase capacity to serve our MSP clients.

Further to all the above, we did a lot of great work in collaboration with our established industry partners (in no particular order): ConnectWise, Microsoft, CCH SureTax, Compliance Solutions, GSA/CLA, RTC, Xero, QuickBooks and others,

It’s been quite a year!

Happy New Year! Roll on 2021!

Datagate featuring at IT Nation Connect 2020 – Virtual

November 2, 2020

Next week (November 10th, 11th & 12th) Datagate will be a gold-level booth sponsor for the fourth time in a row at the ConnectWise IT Nation Connect conference, which is traditionally held in Orlando, Florida each year.

This year, due to Coronavirus-related health & safely concerns, the event will be “virtual” for the first time, instead of in-person. This presents a great opportunity for MSPs around the world to “attend”, what I believe to be the greatest industry event for MSPs, without the expense and time commitment that is normally required.

Datagate wins “Best Newcomer” award at IT Nation 2017 in Orlando, Florida

Datagate’s first appearance at IT Nation was in November 2017, which marked the first time that we connected face to face with American MSPs and started to understand their requirements for a telecom-billing solution that would integrate deeply with ConnectWise Manage and handle the inclusion of numerous telecom taxes at the federal, state, county and city level.

We also won the “Best Newcomer” award from ConnectWise and along with that, received a lot of publicity within the ConnectWise MSP world.

We came away from IT Nation 2017 with over a hundred sales leads for MSPs wanting a solution like Datagate, that would save them days of work each month, share its data with ConnectWise Manage and make the complicated task of telecom billing very easy and quick.

This started the ball rolling for Datagate with ConnectWise, and since then we’ve grown to serving over 150 MSP clients using Datagate for telecom billing with ConnectWise Manage. We’ve sponsored each IT Nation Connect event since then, and this year we’re doing the same – except for the first time, it will be a virtual event.

Anyone wanting to virtually attend IT Nation Connect 2020 can register here.

I hope to see you there.

MSPs see strong revenue growth in business VoIP despite Covid-19

September 28, 2020

Computers and phones have converged, so the providers of IT services, known as “Managed Service Providers” or MSPs, are now selling VoIP phone systems as a natural and profitable extension of the managed services they provide to their business clients.

From the strong revenue growth we at Datagate see through these MSPs, even during a global pandemic, it is clear that businesses around the world like to buy their telecom and IT services from the same source – their MSP. This is hardly surprising, given that the network technology is common to both, and nothing can be more frustrating to a business customer than having multiple technology providers pointing to each other when something goes wrong.

After some recent conversations with Ken Davis, the president of ConnectWise BI & Analytics provider Cognition360, I was inspired to look more deeply into the numbers to draw insights into what is happening to the MSPs using Datagate for telecom billing, especially during this complex time of the Covid-19 pandemic. Cognition360 now has the capability of providing analytics specific to Datagate telecom billing within a ConnectWise Manage database – which I am very excited about.

To date, Datagate has signed up over 150 MSPs who use our SaaS billing solution to bill VoIP services, spread throughout the United States, Canada, UK, Europe, Australia and New Zealand (with most in the United States).

In calculating the following numbers, we looked at the period from August 2019 to August 2020 and we only included MSPs that had been with us longer than the measured 12 month period. Six of the twelve months in this period included international Covid-19 restrictions which only appears to have had a somewhat negative effect on New Zealand and Australian telecom revenue.

The international average revenue growth rate for MSPs billing telecom services through Datagate over this period was 33%. In the Australia-New Zealand region the average growth was down to an average 25%, while in the United States, the average was a whopping 77%.

Obviously, achieving a high percentage revenue growth gets harder, the larger a business is, and is was notable that our larger MSPs were still achieving impressive growth rates, with large dollar value increases.

Internationally, Covid-19 seems to have made our MSPs busier, helping their business customers reconfigure for staff working from home, and implementing “Unified Communications” VoIP systems.

My conclusion from looking at these high-level numbers, is that selling VoIP and Unified Communications, is a solid high-growth opportunity for MSPs which seems to be mostly resilient to the Covid-19 lockdowns.

Cognition360 analytics is boosting visibility and profitability for ConnectWise and Datagate users

May 23, 2020

In this time of Covid-19, more than ever, business leaders need to keep a close watch on what’s happening in their businesses in real time. They need to see trends, issues and opportunities as they occur, so they can swiftly tune their businesses to protect and maximize their bottom line.

Cognition360 Business Analytics platform

This is why I’m so impressed with Cognition360, which a “next generation” analytics solution that uses machine learning and predictive AI. It’s optimized for users of ConnectWise Manage and is now being further optimized for users of Datagate telecom billing.

Cognition360’s president and co-founder is Ken Davis, who has an impressive IT industry track record, having built and exited a large and successful MSP business in New Zealand. Ken understands the MSP business model implicitly, and that expertise, combined with his knowledge of ConnectWise comes through clearly in Cognition360.

Instead of static monthly reports that show where the business has been, Cognition360 drills down into interactive reports using live data to reveal what is happening in the business right now, day by day. Instead of reacting to what happened last month and not understanding why, you can track your KPIs day by day, immediately seeing what changes you need to make. Your reports become a dynamic part of your day by day tuning of your business.

Now with more than 30 million tickets in its database, Cognition360 is the largest repository of industry-wide ConnectWise data in existence. This enables Cognition360 to show MSPs how they are performing compared to current and accurate industry benchmarks, for all their key metrics. Importantly, this gives them the ability to home in on the areas of their business which can be improved.

Of particular interest to Connectwise MSPs who use Datagate for telecom billing, is that Cognition360 will soon have the ability to recognize Datagate telecom invoices and report on these specifically.

I recommend that all MSPs who use ConnectWise Manage, should have a close look at Cognition360.