The nifty solution to a common problem for users of the PSA platform was the product of the vendor’s first-ever IT Nation Hack-a-Thon event.

Aldrin Brown, Editor-in-Chief

January 6, 2017

3 Min Read
AutoCopy Multiple Contacts on ConnectWise Tickets

The problem has long been a burr in the shorts of Andreas Lekas and his colleagues at Florida-based MSP iVenture Solutions.

Each time a new ticket is created on the ConnectWise Manage PSA tool, someone has to go in and manually add all of the various parties who wish to be notified on each communication.

The problem is so common, it was among five use cases rolled out by ConnectWise last November for its first-ever IT Nation Hack-a-Thon competition, an effort to stimulate a developer community and illustrate artful ways to overcome common product limitations.

“The case that we ended up choosing is: ‘company xyz’ wants to automatically have other contacts cc’d on all ticket communications,” said Lekas, an internal developer at iVenture. “Before, you would have to go and look at a list of contacts that a company would want contacted, and then every ticket, you have to put that ‘cc’ email in the ticket.”

Andreas Lekas

​Lekas enlisted the help of co-worker Vince Chicerelli, a process engineer and a ConnectWise administrator for iVenture.

As they set off for IT Nation in Orlando, they felt that regardless of how things turned out, taking part in the competition would be a win-win.

“We read all of the use cases and this one hit home because it’s one that we actually grapple with at iVenture,” Lekas said.

“It’s a real thing that is actually influencing us,” he said. “Why not kill two birds with one stone and do something we can actually use internally?”

In addition, Lekas feels it’s important to support efforts to encourage custom development by MSPs, demonstrating how it’s possible to extend the functionality of the ubiquitous platform and solve real-world problems.

“I think that’s an extremely positive outcome from this conference,” Lekas said. “My whole job is around that.”

Lekas and Chicerelli kicked around a few approaches for solving the problem. One very

Vince Chicerelli

reasonable idea they discussed involved creating a whole new ticket-creation user interface.

But they decided against that.

“We didn’t want them to have to go to another interface, when they spend 100 percent of their day in ConnectWise,” Lekas said. “We just wanted it to be as easy as possible.”

Instead, the duo decided on a tweak involving the “custom fields” function in ConnectWise Manage.

“We leveraged custom fields in ConnectWise to specify which contacts of a company should be cc’d on tickets,” Lekas explained “Once we have that custom field, all we have to do is listen to callbacks when a new ticket is created.”

“It sends a message to our integration and we look up what company the ticket was for, look up all the contacts that are specified as “cc” contact based on that custom field that we made, and we tell ConnectWise to add those contacts to the ticket – automatically,” he continued. “This whole process happens in less than a second.”

Designing the automation during IT Nation consumed every bit of the 7-or-so hours scheduled for the Hack-a-Thon, plus an additional eight optional hours of work in the wee hours, when the conference wasn’t going on.

The hack won Lekas and Chicerelli First Place in the inaugural Hack-a-Thon, which includes free registration to IT Nation 2017.

More importantly, integrating the solution is on this year’s Q1 to-do list at iVenture.

“We knew that, at the very least, we would be able to implement it in our own business,” Lekas said.

“We went in with that kind of mentality,” he added. “That’s probably why we won.”


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About the Author(s)

Aldrin Brown

Editor-in-Chief, Penton

Veteran journalist Aldrin Brown comes to Penton Technology from Empire Digital Strategies, a business-to-business consulting firm that he founded that provides e-commerce, content and social media solutions to businesses, nonprofits and other organizations seeking to create or grow their digital presence.

Previously, Brown served as the Desert Bureau Chief for City News Service in Southern California and Regional Editor for Patch, AOL's network of local news sites. At Patch, he managed a staff of journalists and more than 30 hyper-local and business news and information websites throughout California. In addition to his work in technology and business, Brown was the city editor for The Sun, a daily newspaper based in San Bernardino, CA; the college sports editor at The Tennessean, Nashville, TN; and an investigative reporter at the Orange County Register, Santa Ana, CA.


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