In our second webinar for IT Documentation Users Group, we host a panel of IT Glue users with some prepared tips and examples as well as take Q&A from the audience. 

Video Transcript

Allen Edwards
All right, so uh, today’s webinars are second attempt at a webinar for the it documentations users group. based on feedback from last time, we decided to pick a topic of it glue tips and tricks. First off, a little information about the it documentation users group. It is a Facebook group that Tracy, one of our panelists today helped found. Tracy, can you give us a couple of seconds about the why you started this group and what you hope it achieves.

Tracy Hardin
Um, I started the group because I went looking for help and organizing and setting up my documentation. And I thought, well, I’ll go out and go to the forum, you know, and talk to other glue users. And lo and behold, I couldn’t find one. I thought, well, I’ll start a Facebook group and see if I get other people to join. And I did some advertising through some other Facebook groups I was a member of and got a lot people to join. But I found out a lot of people like me, we just didn’t know how to start, where to start and really how to do it. But we all seem to know it was really important to do. So that’s how the group came along is to do stuff like this, where we’re sharing ideas, and getting inspiration from other people. That’s why I put together and as you can see, that’s grown. We hit a mark, when we hit over 200 users, it really took off, I think Facebook was out there pushing it more. And so we have gotten users from all over the country, especially recently, we’ve really gotten a lot of international people. And I hope some of the people get to make it today, despite the time difference.

Allen Edwards
I hope so too. So real quick about the meeting. Today, I am just facilitating I want to help coordinate between Tracy and Eric. I joined the forum pretty early on one of those groups that Tracy was broadcasting on, she invited me to help admin that group in August, I have been in it my entire adult life and part of my teenage life as well professionally. So I’ve been out there in the ranks with you guys as well. And then found that my own process consulting company specifically for it firms in 2017. I now managing three it glue instances, which Tracy and I were just fighting over some issues this morning with that. So we live it and breathe it. I am facilitating this meeting today instead of presenting. So if you would like to use any of your features inside of zoom for like raising your hand asked me a question asked me to speed up slow down sending a chat message was a perfectly fine, I’ll be able to watch those and I will find a place to insert your questions for Tracy and Eric to answer. Same, there will be I will stop for q&a after every person’s presentation about their specific topic. And at the end, we’ll also have a chance for all questions and answers and for us to compare notes. If you prefer to talk the audio at you do have permission to unmute yourself if you so choose. Please watch your background noise if you leave it unmuted. Without further ado, this is a panel discussion about it glue it is not a sponsored by T glue or even given with permission of it glue. Even though they may or may not be in attendance. Please submit your questions via chat. We’re hoping Terry with Mac tech can join us. But he’s been extremely busy. He didn’t know if he can make it today. I have his notes. I might give you his little pep talk for his slides and they come up. We also have Tracy harden with next century technologies joining us and Eric Anderson with the purple guys. And they will all have a longer introduction. During their moment in the spotlight. We’re going to start with Terry’s information. Terry’s longtime active duty usasf. I had a couple of conversations with him out of out of Wichita Falls, they recently switched to monkey box to ice glue. And I love the simple advice that he gave when we were discussing. And it was simply to get started. I was like Terry, what do you mean, it’s we always have this fear of the unknown, and all the work that we have to do to get started. But these things take time. And just to give you an example. Another one of my clients. This is a case you haven’t seen this chart, this is an IT glue under global under I believe it is engagement. This is an activity points. And this is over a two year history for this client like either notices and the first third of the graph even more than a third. It took them that long to get to 10,000 points. Next thing you know over the whole center third of the graph that they skyrocket of 40,000. And you would think at some point you’ve finished your documentation and it starts to level out. But lo and behold, at the end of the the last part of the graph, it’s up double again. 70,000 and I think the moral of the story is You got to get started because you have to lay that foundation and things get easier and easier and easier, which is the whole point of it glue. I don’t see any questions yet. So we’re gonna go on and introduce our next panelist as well. Our next panelist is Tracy harden of next century technologies, I’m actually let her introduce herself in greater detail.

Tracy Hardin
Hi, I’m so anyway, as you know, I started the Facebook group, and I am the owner, founder of next century technologies. I’ve been running the company since 2001. I hired my first employees in 2011, I now have six employees plus myself and I’m started adding MSP services in 2012. Like I said, Before, I found the group basically to learn how to document better, I think documentation is key to improving efficiency in our companies making money being more profitable. And it allows good documentation allows me to go on vacation, it’s really nice to be able to go out of town and trust that my staff can take things over and not have to worry about what password I have in my head or what notes I have in my email. So that’s the reason I started the group. And we can go on to the next slide there. So I took a little bit different angle. Again, I am not, this is my really, I’m not really good at documentation I’m learning I’m truly a student of it. So I did my standard operating procedures, I organized them by number and I got that idea. From accounting systems, a lot of accounting systems, they actually number their accounts. So I took that idea and applied it to my slps. And here in the first column, you’re gonna see an actual overview, I took the snapshot right out of my it glue of how I ordered my documents. I have financial administration, compliance policies, it managed services, human resources, sales and marketing. And as you can see, some of these have no documents in it. Because I’m still working, I’m still working with glue, I’ve only been with glue a little over a year. So I’m still learning. If you go inside drill down inside the Finance and Administration, where I have most of my documents, this is where I’ve been focusing most of my time at, you’ll see everything’s it starts with the number one, it’s in the thousands. And I have 1001 autotask 1200, QuickBooks 300 1300, financial 1500 employees, 1600, taxes, 1900 automobiles, because I have a couple of company cars, I dedicated a whole folder to autotask. Because it’s huge. It’s the most important program, we use my business, everything runs on it, so it gets its own separate folder. QuickBooks is the second most important thing, that’s my accounting platform, we have a lot of documents and procedures revolving around QuickBooks those first two, as you can see, definitely most of my documents lie there.

But if you drill down inside the 1001 autotask folder, you’re going to see this is where I really liked the numbering system. I ordered the numbers, the order of the documents matter in the numbers help keep them together. So for example, if you go down to 1020 1020, you’re going to see building a golden Platinum contract 1021 and 1022 are going to see how to build a silver contract in there’s two parts to silver. So just opening up the folder in browsing, using the numbers, it automatically order stuff logically for me, so I got all my contracts in one area. And I’m really consistent and I kind of kept to a standard I’m have I named my documents as well. What’s cool is if you’re in 10, inside the 1021 document, there’s a reference link to the 1022 document. If you’re in my employee handbook, and we reference something in the employee handbook that has to do with HR, you will actually see a reference to a 6000 document, it might say reference or vehicle use policy, document number 6010. And so what’s really cool, if you go into glue, you want to find one of these documents, all you do is type the four digit number, and you go exactly to that document. If on the other hand, I know when to glue and I type in contract, I might pull up 1015 different options. If I type in 1022 because I want to find build a silver contract, it’s gonna take me straight there. So it the numbering system helps me two ways it groups like documents together shows relationships between documents, put them all together and organize them in a way that’s important to me. So as you look inside this 1001 autotask folder, the very first document is a new user setup for autotask 1002. That is like the most one of the most important things we do. One of the things we need to find is how to serve a new user and approving and posting is really important in autotask. So then higher you know the numbering, how I numbered them And how important they are, they go to the top. You know, if they’re all related, I put them in, like the 1020s are all dedicated to contracts. As you can see, 1020 2122 2628 29 are all related to contracts, and I left myself room, that’s key, there’s room there to add more really to contracts. And I’m sure that will come along soon. So I like the numbering system, it helps me keep organized, it’s easy to reference, one document inside another if we need to. And of course, I use the relationships within glue to keep them all linked together as well.

Allen Edwards
I have two questions for you, just to reminder is anybody who has a question you can type it into the chat? Or you may unmute yourself and ask the question directly as well. So Tracy, you mentioned leaving room? How do you decide a numbering when you need remember, when you don’t,

Tracy Hardin
I don’t have um, you know, I’ve never done this before. So I don’t even do it this way, my accounting system, I’ve never done numbers in accounting, I got the inspiration from accounting, because when I saw this, I instinctively I just knew I wanted all my contract documents together. So I picked 1020 as a place to keep them all together. And I just gave a book of Numbers, you know, 1020, through 1029, are on big contract related. I don’t you know, I’m kind of just learning as I go. You know, I knew autotask was going to be a big folder and need a lot of numbers. So I kind of set aside a big area for it to grow into. And I may outgrow this, I don’t know, I’m kind of learning as I go along. But I really liked the numbering system and keeps things will organize for me. And

Allen Edwards
but the second question is, it says document naming version 2.0. What did 1.0 look like?

Tracy Hardin
I don’t know. 1.0? i? Well,

Erick Anderson
I could probably speak to it. This is Eric from the purple guys, we’re probably running 1.0. We don’t have it very well organized like this. In fact, you know, the, you know what, you know, kudos to Tracy to get all of their internal documentation in here, because you know, we have separate accounting department billing. If account managers that do their own thing, we have sales that do their own thing, we typically use it glue around the technical aspect of it, and keeping our technical documents in line. But I T glue is really company wide. And speaking to Tracy’s point of you know, being able to go on vacation as an MSP owner, being able to step back, you need everything in your SLP You know, every department, every procedure, every part of creating a contract if you’re not there, or even if people just have questions about it. You know, the doodle? Did you look there first. You know, putting this kind of documentation in place. Really benefits reducing distractions and interruptions throughout your day. I’m sure Tracy, where you’d have this rolled out you have way less people coming to you asking you where’s this? Where’s that? How do I do this? How do I do that? And your answers probably looking blue. Because it’s there. So who knows for this. And like I said, I think we’re we’re a good example of one Dotto.

Unknown Speaker
All of it

Erick Anderson
organized this way this is this is a really great tap. One of the things I’ve mentioned is the the numbering system that you have there is only in the title of the document. So the great thing about it glue is you could change the title over and over again, it will never change the URL, the URL and all the linking stays there. So she runs out of numbers in the 1000 to 200. range. And she needs to reorganize everything, it’s just a matter of going into each of those links and renaming the title, not recreating all the linking and the related items.

Allen Edwards
I did learn that changing the company name will change the URL. But all the other folders and stuff is the same URL. Yes.

Tracy Hardin
Now, I will say that that is when you say about the time. The name of the documents is true, Eric, but however, in my employee handbook I referenced article numbers of other are other documents in the 6000 folder for human resources. In that case, that’s a Word document. So I would have to manually jump over there and change it.

Allen Edwards
Why is that?

Tracy Hardin
Because I built that. Quit laughing I built that word and I’m using the instance I print copies of them. You can build an index and word that’s really cool. And I’m not sure how to replicate that in glue at all. So and you’ve seen that handbook. It’s a beast and I’m not really thrilled about breaking it apart and putting it into glue. Right yet at this point. Because I do printed copies every employee even every new employee gets a printed copy in For physical, they can have plus, they can go to glue and get a copy, we have both.

Allen Edwards
And I’ve yet to see anybody fully go to it glue without using that one special document they have somewhere else of some sort for sure. And Tracy, you and I were talking about a different numbering system, you’re considering adding letters to that.

Tracy Hardin
Yeah, somebody I know had that system. And I saw that and I was like, Oh, that’s great. He was instead of like, for example, human resources, I haven’t a 6000. This person who will remain unnamed, had HR, like oh one or HR o two, or HR. So the word, you know, the letters in front gave me an idea that it was tied to human resources document, that would even be better to organize stuff, you could do, you know, sorry, your folder names with HR and into numbers, you can do finance into numbers, or si n, or it into numbers, you know, managed services into numbers. So there’s different ways of, of organizing it. I do like the letters, I wish I had thought of that. I was lucky because I was kind of new to glue when I started this numbering system. So when I decided to do the numbering system and go back and number stuff, it didn’t take me very long. I didn’t have much out there. So if I had 10,000 documents, this would be kind of hard to go back and renumber stuff, it would take quite

Allen Edwards
a while. So backing up a comment. If it’s not an auto task, it didn’t happen. And if it’s not an IT glue doesn’t exist, right?

Tracy Hardin
That’s right. Are you kidding? And I’m not as you can tell by my document numbers under these titles, I am still working on getting stuff organized in here. And I think going back to what Eric said, under documents, those roughly uncle’s folders roughly relate to actual departments inside my company, although my company’s kind of small yet. I don’t actually have departments but it this is meant to grow. You know, if I have 2030 4050 people, I hope my main structure doesn’t change much. That’s my goal. When you’re doing a main structure, think big. So that you grow into it. You don’t want to have to change your structure

Allen Edwards
later. Great advice. Tracy. Again, if you guys have questions, feel free to unmute yourself or type into the chat window. Tracy has one more tip to share.

Tracy Hardin
Oh, yes, this is one I just came up with recently, we were trying to figure out so we want photos, every time we go to clients, some of our clients are remote. And if you have to walk some somebody through something or resetting a piece of equipment, it’s great to have photos. So but I found out with my staff is that not everybody took the same photo, the same stuff. So I thought, well, if I had a template in glue, I could put a template out there that would guide you and tell you what to make pictures of. So here on the left are some examples. All this is equipment, either at my office or at my house. But it’s meant it’s mocked up to look like an example at a client. Unfortunately, glued does not let you do captions to pictures, I have not found a way to do that yet, I would love to have captions on pictures. So if you look at this first one, the first line relates to the first picture, the second line relates to the middle picture. And the third line of the untangle is of course, the third picture. And I was just trying to make sure that when my staff goes on site, they take the same photos of the same equipment. And in some case, the same photo may be used twice. Because if you look at this example, the top line the middle photo actually has a UPS as well as spectrum equipment. So that picture could be repeated at the bottom when it talks about different ups. We also have how I built this, the next picture pops up here, I just made a template, they don’t have actual templates and glue, you can’t call something a template that I’ve seen, you can make copies of an existing document and rename them so I made this quote unquote template where you put the client name at the middle in the beginning and put the word photos and then it tells you each set each type of photo I want you to take obviously I want the ISP and firewall photos and below that I put this equipment is located this close my text into I know where this is at. I know what building or what side if there’s multiple sides and in some cases, it’s all in the same building. So it’s easy but this tells you what items I want to take and pictures of and this is in progress. We’re getting ready to roll this out. But this is one of my ideas of using of standardizing My Documents getting the same type of quality documents across all my clients. This is why I did this

Allen Edwards
sounds great. Once again, if you have questions, you are welcome to unmute yourself or two Send it in the chat. And we’ll move on introduce Eric, who’s already waiting the good bit force. Eric Anderson’s with a purple guy as he is a member of our forum and graciously volunteered to give a presentation with us today. Eric, could you introduce yourself?

Erick Anderson
Sure. Actually, before we get started and go into my background on, I’m just curious in the participants that there if you guys can pop up in the chat window, just tell me, you know, are you guys using it glue Yes or no? And then how big is your company. So just be curious for the participants that we have to see what what kind of MCs, we have people that use it, don’t use it. And then the size of the company. So a little bit about my background. So I’ve been with the purple guys. Now for three years, two years, I came from a smaller MSP called we’re it purple guys purchase them in 2017. My team grew from six Tech’s that we were, we were size of a team of 13 people. 13 people in the company, we had six Tech’s full time that I oversaw as a service manager. And when we merged, we grew to 44 people, I oversee 16 people now, I have two coordinators, three team leads three pods. And each pod has 60 to 80 customers that we manage at each of them. So really important for us to have documentation done properly, consistently. And well across the organization. It’s very much a culture, you know, like Alan said, there, if it’s not Nike glue, it didn’t happen. That creates accountability, a shared responsibility for the whole team to contribute to it, make it grow flag, things that are that are wrong, take the time to go back and fix things. It’s a concerted effort, and it takes a lot of time. But it is something that provides consistent results, reduces inefficiencies. Our customers love it, they’re able to, we’re able to print out a procedure or share a procedure on something for their end users would happily share it on a runbook. So we have enterprise and we could just export a run book and hand them their documentation is not something that we are controllers of we’re purely purely curating their information. We don’t own it, it’s theirs. When the off board. If there’s another company that uses it glue that is taking over, we export it and share it with them. We don’t have a problem with that, because we feel like that goes both ways. we’ve acquired customers and have struggled through the documentation process. And sometimes we get that reciprocated. So just good karma. I know not all relationships and and the way you want them to. But I wanted to talk a little bit about today, just the documents, two related items ratio. So one of the exercises I did about a year ago with it glue. I had I had one of their Tech’s jump on go through all of our documentation and say, hey, what what are we doing? Well, what are we doing? poorly? What could we improve on? So one of the areas was related items. So part of the power of it glue is being able to link things together. So being able to link a configuration to an application to a password to a vendor. These are all different sections that it glue. But if you’re able to add those, you make it very easy for your text to have a point of entry. Because they may be looking at a ticket and go, Oh, this is an application issue. And they go to the application. They may not know what configuration This is on what other things are related to it. So we scored very poorly on this. So the way that they figured this out as you add up your number of configs, the number of Doc’s and the number of passwords that you have. And then you divide that by the number of related items. This is all on the main dashboard, and it glue. So you take those three things and divide it and get a ratio. And really the examples of good examples of bad here would be, you know, 2000 configurations and 2000 endpoints, maybe firewalls, networking equipment, thousand documents, 1200 passwords, you have 4200 items divided by 500 related items 8.4. So really poor, that’s actually real ratio where we were not the numbers were correct. But

we have been able to drop that over concerted effort of everybody just taking a second while they’re making a documentation page and going what relates to this similar to Tracy’s point with the photos. Okay, well, I have a picture here. of the server and a picture of the firewall, I should be having related items back to those configurations. I should put a related item back to the firewall password. So it’s on this page. So if somebody comes to it trying to find out, you know, well, here’s the picture of the firewall, and I’m trying to walk through the user. Okay, that was on now I got green lights. What’s my next step? Well, I made a log into it. So one click right there, it’s already on the pages related. So we, we found that that’s helped tremendously. real real world, you know, 7.1 to 4.1. You know, in a year is really excellent progress. It Glu Nirvana, they say one to one, or even two to one is really ideal. They have even some members that get down to one to two. So for every configuration or document, they have two related items attached to those. Yeah, you want to be careful not to relate items just for the sake of relating items, either, you know, there needs to be some value there. They need to be connected somehow. But that’s kind of my, my help. Hopefully, that makes sense to you all.

Allen Edwards
So we’re still taking questions by unmuting yourself and talking to us or by sending it in the chat window. I have a question for you. In the meantime, Eric. So you mentioned we just, you know, related some items that were in there made a concerted effort, what type of efforts does you have to go through as a manager or an IT administrator to get the team on board with doing that?

Erick Anderson
Sure. So we have a Wednesday staff meeting, every Wednesday from 730 to 830, our whole team attends, it’s mandatory. So we took a good portion of that to walk through what it glue relayed back to us. And we showed where the holes were, you know, we pulled up documentation that was just dug. So we would pull up the, you know, recently created list, and just go through it and go, you know, here’s some examples of things that could be related back to this. So didn’t want to throw people under the bus and call out specifics, but we just went through it in a nudge, non judgmental way. We also do some awards quarterly around this. So Allen talks about engagement tab, under global, he keeps track of who’s creating documents who’s making edits, we give our top performers every quarter, a gift card, do a $50 or $100, Amazon gift card, they also get a button professor of documentation that they get to add to their bag or their workstation, work or desk area. And that’s that’s helped create a culture and keep the culture going. It’s really, you know, none of this work without the people. So keeping people focused is the you know, you can’t, you can’t do all documentation by yourself. It’s just not gonna work. No matter no matter what size you are. Last year, single owner, and you’re using it just to keep things in there so that when you do add that second employee, you’re not going to have to regurgitate everything that you know, into one place. So definitely look at it as a scaling thing. You know, we’re at 44, you know, employees, we’re not stopping there. You know, we have visions of growing the company bigger than that. So every time we add new employees that it helps for onboarding reduces training time, gives him one place to look. And like, you know, Terry said the inefficiencies are Tracy said that the inefficiencies to are reduced tremendously when you have your documentation, correct.

Allen Edwards
Okay, Brian has a question for you. How do you capture count the number of related item links?

Erick Anderson
That should be on your dashboard, and it glue. They have a related item stop there.

Allen Edwards
And I actually, based on this, I took a couple of minutes before this, I went to go look at my dashboard. And I also had difficulty finding it.

Unknown Speaker
Finding that related I don’t

Allen Edwards
Yeah, I went to dashboard. Is there certain rights, you have to have to see it?

Erick Anderson
That’s a good question. If you give me a second, I could log in and take a look at it.

Allen Edwards
All right. So Brian will come back to you and answer that one. Great question. Um, and another question that I had. When you reward top behavior, and it goes, do you find that a person’s position may give them more opportunity to update documentation and you had some repeat winners every quarter?

Erick Anderson
Yes. So we have our onboarding team definitely creates way more documentation than the help desk. But we also have a fairplay clause so you can’t win back to back quarters. You could do that back to back months. Whatever you want to do. But yeah, that’s that we just have that prevented so that you don’t have the same person over and over winning.

Allen Edwards
Okay, thank you. Well, once again, you can ask questions via the chat window privately or it to the public, you can raise your hand inside of the Xoom patient list, or unmute your microphone and just say hi, I, we got a couple of questions during the registration process. I’m gonna go ahead and pull those up. And let Tracy and Eric attempt to answer them as best they can.

Unknown Speaker
We have a question especially,

Tracy Hardin
I have a question about what Eric was just talking about. I’m doing the ratios. I kind of looked at this too, when I saw what Eric was going to talk about. And I have, I have a couple of struggles with this. For one thing, some of this includes vendor, so I have a lot of vendor information in here. I like keeping my vendors and glue, mostly for the management company, not so much that the employees need to know, occasionally they do if there’s partners, and we’ll have our contacts in there. So these numbers include those kind of entities. Also, it’s a challenge for me because I have break fix in MSP. Well, I don’t document my break fix nearly to the level I do my MSP, I would love this report based on only my MSP clients, but you cannot go in there and categorize the type of clients they are. So maybe someday you can glue. But for me, this number is kind of hard for me to, you know, really get behind. Because we don’t actively, you know, document out our break fix the way we do our MSP clients.

Erick Anderson
Yeah, the way that you use it, glue is certainly going to affect this, how many flexible assets, you choose to document instead of configurations or instead of having a document written, you’re creating a separate page for it. All those have any passwords you you create, instead of inline passwords, which I hope nobody’s doing, but yeah, well, it’s not a perfect system. And I couldn’t find any documentation in it glue anywhere talking about this. So this is one of those tips that, you know, we got some time with it glue to have them go through our system and make some recommendations. None of this was on the onboarding or training setting up accounts. So it’s probably it’s not a perfect tool. But maybe it’s a guide to see how things are connected. Really the the end goal is to make sure that your techs can get to things without having to search over and over and over again. Right. So logically, things just go from one place to the other to the other. You want them to go down a rabbit hole where the information live.

Allen Edwards
And guys, and Tracy my answer, I usually get to all clients that say yes, but we’re different. The metrics don’t apply to be the same as your right you have. It’s different. But we all can agree that the more connected it is, the better. Maybe your targets won’t be the same as Eric’s targets are best in class, they’ll just be different because of your client makeup. And that’s okay. To seek to improve it incrementally bit at a time. Yeah, sorry. Go ahead.

Erick Anderson
No worries. So I had logged into our dashboard and under system usage last 60 days, is where I have those stats and related items is one of those. So I have organizations, asset configurations, contacts, documents, domains, location, passwords, related items, certificates and users. I don’t know if that’s something that you can set on your dashboard from the back end set that way for me, so I apologize if it’s hidden down in your account somewhere.

Allen Edwards
And Brian found the answer as well and is also looking into a dashboard above the system user graph. And there’s a number so yeah, he was he found that as well.

Unknown Speaker
Okay, good.

Allen Edwards
It was it was a tie race. So one question we got submitted by Sebastian, during registration was how to best organize devices and equipment. Seems like you have to have them all under configurations. And it’s hard to find stuff. We had a little pre chat about this. Such as configurations that it glue, who would like to take a first stab at it?

Tracy Hardin
I guess I’m trying to understand the question properly. Of course in for me RMM feeds into it glue and it comes in on the configuration side. So when I look at configurations, and I’m looking at now here on my screen, I you know, I got the name, status type and serial number. This is under a particular client, but if I changed, I can change the order of what I see things in by clicking on type and I can order it alphabetically by type. So I can I don’t find it hard to find, as long as everybody’s equipment is under the the correct organization name. Maybe I need a bit male. Maybe this needs to be more specific question.

Allen Edwards
And earlier, Eric, you were mentioning that you don’t like storing things and configurations in it glue that’s flexible assets or configurations are actually controlled outside of it glue, is that correct?

Erick Anderson
Well, I think it depends on the type. So and this is around onboarding and training. Because we have it linked to our RMM. We have at synching with, we’re connectwise automate, shop. So we have automate synching with it glue. So any manage configuration will get deleted, if we have to delete the agent for any reason. Oftentimes, and I’m sure all our memes are like this, we have to uninstall and reinstall an agent from time to time and it pops in as a different ID. Or we off board and you lose it or it gets uninstalled incorrectly, whatever the case is, once that resyncs, back to it, glue is purged from the system. So we don’t like to store passwords, notes about the system in any managed config. So manage workstations, manage servers, but we have our firewalls, our switches, in those other configurations, or really any hardware goes in there. So yeah, I mean, we have flexible assets for like printers, applications, when information or wireless information security information. So we try to not keep things under configs. That way, because because we’re afraid of losing things. So that’s my only, you know, pause point for that if you’re trying to do that.

Allen Edwards
So to ask, maybe same question. Second direction is, so you do have configurations that you rely on an IT glue that may not have an attached flexible asset and vice versa. Is that correct?

Erick Anderson
That’s a good question. I have to look at that. I can’t say definitively either way.

Allen Edwards
Many of my clients are actually in the transition it glue. So they’re still very reliant on the configurations they had set in connectwise. Manage. So they’re still putting everything in connect with managers, they used to then creating a flexible asset with all the extra details they want. Yeah, connecting to the config. But I wonder if a lot of that’s just vestigial, it’s just a habit. And if one day configurations might go away for them,

Erick Anderson
so we we were a everything lives in Connect wise or didn’t exist. shop before I move to the purple guys. So we’re it we did everything under connectwise configs. And yeah, that was that was it, it was the same thing there we go inactive and be harder to find. But we would put clear line passwords in there procedure, write outs and the notes about what to do. So really, it glue those things kind of get broken out. So you have the main config. And the information there’s going to report in on warranty information maybe and the stats of the system. But you really want to link out separate things like your password, your procedures for things. And all the other documentation that really should go in documents, passwords are flexible assets.

Allen Edwards
So segwaying into procedures. Can you give us an example of a type of procedure that would be attached to a flexible asset? I’m gonna moving on to Jason’s question.

Erick Anderson
Sure. For applications, we have a separate documentation that gets attached or related with step by step instructions for installations of any line of business application. So we have a specialty app that we support for a customer construction business say have you bid. So we have a step by step process as a document that was in the document section under procedures for that customer. And it’s tied to the application. The application has the information, maybe about the licensing and the products, we may have a vendor link to the vendor information, their account number or support phone number if we need help, or to make a ticket with them. One of the things that we were discussing is where we can put SLA times for wine a business support is we have a lot of these line of business application support agreements out there and our customers don’t realize what level of support they get. So we don’t really have a place right now in it glue to keep that But we’ll create a ticket with a heavy bid and they’re on the bronze support plan. Well, their SLA is 24 hours. And to the customer, when they read that on agreement and sign their contract to us 24 hours, whatever, we’re down for that amount of time, we can live with it. Well, it’s 24 business hours. So it’s three days, click, can you afford to be down for three days? So some of the frustration that we can try to iron out is, you know, setting that expectation with the customer upfront, hey, I put a support ticket in the heavy bid, just to let you know, they have three days to get working on it. Usually here, right, what, and then that forces them to maybe upgrade to that silver or gold plan so that they’re getting the right response in the fastest resolution. So.

Allen Edwards
So in an organization, your size, the solution seems straightforward, which is you add a field and the flexible asset, that’s for the SLA time. But obviously, there’s other things you have to consider in your organization to make it happen, or you have already solved that problem. What are those other considerations?

Erick Anderson
We did this, that’s the challenge with with growing, right. So if you have an excellent structure in place, like Tracy’s building there, with six people and looking at it from a, you know, as a business owner of, you know, two people or three people in your company, you’re wearing a ton of hats, and you have to step out and say, Okay, well, I am the salesperson, I am the marketing person, I am the you know, CTO, I am the CEO. And you have to start envisioning there of what those different processes and procedures are in places as you grow, you build out your documentation that way. And I feel like for us, changes a lot harder when you’re bigger, right? So now, instead of going through 50, or 60, you know, customers to go true up those SLA s that we have over 200 that we have to go track down and it just gets a lot harder to implement. So hopefully I answered your question, I’m not sure.

Allen Edwards
Yes, thank you very much. So next week is total, open live q&a. If you have a question, ask it, you may unmute yourself, you may raise your hand and I can unmute for you. You can also ask a question via chat. I’m going to give one more bonus tip. Before opening up a question. Let’s see, we already have one coming in. And that’s just a it’s been an epidemic for me for the last couple of months is that when I talk to people about documentation, they’re using it gluer that this move, and they’re they’re kind of doing it and they don’t quite get it. They’re doing it, but they don’t quite know what far. I mean, the underscore is supposed to be but it’s not there yet, perhaps because of this interconnectedness, this relationship ratio. However, I found the most handy SRP To start with, it was actually the new user setup template. Everybody seems to have some challenges there. And, and I like how interconnected that one is just typically when I set up a new user setup simply, it’s what applications do they need? Well, for applications, you have to have application flexible assets created, what printers Do they have access? Again, that’s a tag to printer assets. What data drives the access to or folder or folder shares, again, tags. And usually we end up starting there and assigning those things. And it turns out, that’s usually the process that complain about the most like, Oh, we sold four new PCs and edit three new users last week, and it’s taking us forever. The client called Maxi forgot a step or the new guy didn’t know he was supposed to add QuickBooks. And all those things are answered in there. I hear I have a question from Kenny. Tracy. I do not see that question.

Tracy Hardin
I’ll read it up. He asks, What tips would you give to a team looking to choose a documentation solution? Is something better than nothing? Or is it time lost? to bother having documentation prior to selecting a system? My team is trying to recommit themselves to authoring documentation also maintaining it, we found that we’re pretty good at creating a piece of documentation initially, and trail off after that. Nothing he used more documentations solutions than I have. So it was wondering how you would answer that.

Allen Edwards
I’ll take a shot and Eric and Tracy Feel free to also answer. This comes down to a process is only as good as the reward that it gives. If you tell people you have to document this is what happens they document for a time but they don’t see that the purpose of doing it. So it kind of trails off and when you find that One place to gain purchase to that one thing that makes so much sense that they want to go to it glue to read it to use it, it’s kind of a self fulfilling reward, to go to the next one to keep creating. And that’s why I kind of just mentioned that the news or setup template was a great place to get started. Because there’s a lot of steps to setting up a computer, there’s your company’s way to set up a computer. And then there’s your client for the set up a computer. And even then there there might have 234, or five different ways they need different user setup. And that’s a lot of information that most people can’t remember. I mean, it’s only your text has been there 510 years that have that in their head properly. So I say pick a place that everybody cares about, start there and get everybody involved in the entire process not running the one SAP. One other strategy I use is I actually always have a service team meeting. Even in small organizations, even if it’s two or three people, the service team gets together, they prioritize their issues. Most of the time, it is something related to processor documentation. And the team helps figure it out. You might have all the answers as a service manager and owner and you’re probably right. But by getting them to come to that conclusion, we’re gonna be further bought in and keep helping the process. And if I missed the mark at all, Kenny, feel free to chat back and let us know. Eric, did you take a crack at that one?

Erick Anderson
though, you guys did a good job on that. I think I saw Brian Menzel asked a question here about any automation script, writing glue founder GitHub is pretty sparse, sparse. We don’t use a lot of automation. In our it glue, there is a company called wire guard. That is doing a lot of automation tasks, especially on onboarding. They’re connecting things through Active Directory, office 365, user groups and permissions. So check them out. They’re they’re relatively reasonable to implement, and they’ll do a demo or walkthrough. They probably have a lot of webinars on their website that you can watch to. Alan, do you have experience using Lion Guard at all?

Allen Edwards
I do not. I definitely I heard part of the sales pitch at it nation last year, and I didn’t quite catch my interest yet. It may very well do next time.

Erick Anderson
So it’s definitely maturing. Every time I see it, I see something a little bit different than I like so.

Allen Edwards
And I want to defend my statement. For those who who know me, I am very to the point I am not attracted to bright and shiny. So I have to have a glaring hole to fill before I find a new tool because I always believe in handwritten process first, and then we automate. So I’m always skeptical of tools at first ends it glue automation. Obviously, there is the office 365 integration. Now, my clients, they like to implement it because it’s doable. But it doesn’t provide a whole lot of value that I’ve seen. It basically provides mailbox stats per contact. And Eric Tracy, if you use it, feel free to let me know if I if I missed something that it does. And I did see something on GitHub related to a script to populate more officers 65 stuff. But me being a process consultant and not an API writer, it was quite linky with scripts that I couldn’t quite follow despite a computer science background. So I was afraid to execute.

Erick Anderson
We haven’t implemented 365 integration yet. They’re on the path. So I would say in the next 12 months, we’re gonna see more and more of it. They probably have a half a dozen integrations right now. Another released a few around glue con and a couple others. The Fall avec I think was one of them. If you if you using that service. I think they had some maybe ubiquity or Cisco integration as well.

Allen Edwards
And another minor one is sending a notification to slack and or teams when documentation is updated or created. A lot of folks will put that into a Slack channel, for example. So they can can have a change log. And for them, they’ll go to the change log before service meaning go, Hey, here’s the might have been 18 updates, but they recognize it three or four of them were actually really cool new processes. And they will share those in front of the whole team out loud. So they get looked at as well.

Unknown Speaker
That’s awesome.

Tracy Hardin
We also have a member per sprint that has their hand up and john Ashby

Unknown Speaker
it might be rotating.

Unknown Speaker
A little slow.

Unknown Speaker
I had two questions. Essentially, I’ll start off with one that will help kind of pertain to what we’re talking about. And then I’ve got another one that may be a rabbit trail. So my first one is how do you guys keep everybody on the Same naming syntax when it comes to like passwords, especially, to make sure that it’s clear about what has actually been documented.

Erick Anderson
That’s something that we’re we’re currently working with trying to get a better app. Oftentimes the text put in the password as admin, as the description. And then the user name of whatever it is, and the password, whatever it is, and a note, when you go to the password section, you see, admin, admin, admin, admin admin.

Unknown Speaker
I’ve got a few of those, too.

Erick Anderson
Yeah. So I think that’s inherently an issue. But just making the tech slow down, really just load it up in a team meeting and go, here’s the problem, guys, gals, you know, let’s make sure we’re doing it, putting descriptions of what all these titles are.

Allen Edwards
So as a funny coincidence, just this morning, I actually finished writing our templated password naming policy. It’s written with passport of the mind, I’m still working on customizing it to include passwords, and it glue as well as connectwise. Manage. I’m glad to share that with you. I’ll share my contact info on the next slide when we’re done. Feel free to email me and I’ll send you a copy. Yeah. But that just like Eric was saying, it’s really about coming to an agreement on what that is putting some logic behind it, obviously. So you realize how to differentiate, integrate, integrate to it. And of course, a document goes in it glue for you to reference if you ever are in doubt. And I do the same thing for equipment naming PC naming. And I even have a process process, which is how you name your processes and it glue and where you store them.

Unknown Speaker
I love it.

Erick Anderson
Yeah, one of one of the things that you know, we joke about is having an SLP how to write an SLP. That is definitely that keeps things consistent as you grow. Yeah, having a template or a document that you can copy Tracy showed that example today around the photo templates. That’s really, really important as you maintain some standards.

Tracy Hardin
Yeah, I really wish glue had on the left side, or it’s got core assets, apps and services. I really wish there’s a section called templates. And I can just put that template stuff key ones in there. So you can just click any two seconds.

Allen Edwards
There is a feature request for that on the forums. I know I have voted it up before myself. Different different reasons for me is that I don’t use it glue personally. Because I do process for livings, every process that I write is designed to give to somebody else. And there’s no template mechanism for that and it grows. So I just have to handwrite it anyways, and re implement it. So there’s definitely a feature request out there. Okay,

Unknown Speaker
cool. Okay, so we’ll move on to my second question is my glue. I’m just now getting into, I’ve got a customer who is very interested in my glue. I should know if you guys have any tips or experience on patiently starting this off getting the right group set up, and just really how to implement it. Well, I know there’s a lot of really good documentation that they put out. But I know if you guys had an experience to kind of speak into about my glue.

Tracy Hardin
Well, I’ll tell you that I don’t use my glue. And I don’t recommend it. I found it not. By default, when you create a password, it’s open to everybody in the myglue group. And I could not they weren’t they’re supposed to change that last year. So the default setting was that when you create a password, it was private, which is pretty important if you’re doing it through a Chrome extension. But they have not yet changed that. So I did not roll out my glue my clients didn’t like the one client I was testing with didn’t like that. It was a real showstopper for me. And we end up going past portal. So I used actually both products, these past portal for managing my personal passwords, as well as it’s also offers a program called site where you can actually resell it to your clients. And it’s got a really cool administrative feature that you can hand to your clients so that they can actually make their own changes through an assigned administrator. That’s the route we have taken. And I’ll let Eric talk about his experience with myglue.

Allen Edwards
And that’s the disadvantage of it. Lou not sponsoring us.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, I mean,

Erick Anderson
I’m in a similar boat.

Unknown Speaker
No, I think

Erick Anderson
I really liked the intent the the idea of it right so when I It comes down to practice, practice. Practice. Yeah. This is use, we’re finding that it’s, it has some permission issues that we would like shore it up first, before we push it out to our customers. We have also done some testing, we have a few customers using it for their own passwords and for their own documentation. But a lot of it and the way it’s sold, and I think what they’re what we’re really looking for is how do we get? How do we give access to our documentation to our customers. And I don’t think my glue is the avenue for that. My glue, I think would work well, keeping everything separated. But I have some defaults, the permissions get a little murky. So like what Tracy said, when you create a password, it’s shared between both organizations. That’s sometimes good, sometimes bad.

Tracy Hardin
Well, it’s shared between everybody in that company. So like if one of the keys, great password it shared, but he was the other kicker that really turned me off. If in that organization, you fire somebody or delete them, all their passwords get thrown open to everybody automatically.

Unknown Speaker
Oh, okay.

Tracy Hardin
Oh, that was just, you know, I’m like, that was just that really killed it there. Because I was, you know, talking my I had client I was talking to about this was a bank client. And that’s a huge No, no, in compliance, you do not share usernames and passwords with each other. So it killed it, it kills it. And we do a lot compliance work. It just killed it right there.

Erick Anderson
So if it’s, if that’s the case, is each password have their own permissions to each user. So you could create a group say of, you know, financial department, and only the financial department sees those and you could add remove users from that is it because we’re doing user permissions instead of groups?

Tracy Hardin
I don’t know. I couldn’t control it. I mean, as soon as somebody created a new password, if they didn’t immediately, if they didn’t do it to the web console, and immediately set the permissions. Everybody within their company, no matter who they were could see it, no matter what I didn’t find a way around it. And if that person was terminated, it just through the gates open and all of their passwords, everybody could see it.

Allen Edwards
So I have to wrap this up to keep us on time. If you did think of more questions that we didn’t get a chance to get to or candidates there’s we have an IT documentation users group form that you could use online, feel free to ask guys, he, Tracy and Eric in there all the time, as well as many of you guys. Feel free to check it out and join it. What I will send to you for registering for this event. One, I’m going to send you a survey, I want to know how we did, we can take it because we just want to get better. This is our second one. It’s my first second time using zoom as a conferencing. First I’m having co host. So we want to keep getting better and better and provide content that you want to see. It was from the surveys in the last meeting. That gave us the idea to do it glue specific panel with other users. We had two of the people who volunteered to be honest, didn’t catch them soon enough. So please felt look for the surveys nice couple of days. I will also send recordings out with the link to those who registered. Thank you so much for joining. If you did see, anything I noticed offered somebody a process. My email address is on the slide and will be on the recording as well. A little bit about what I do. I do process consulting and leadership coaching for it firms. I’ve been doing it for 24 years, learned a lot would love to work with you. If you want some help on these it glue and execution implementation or connectwise, manage autotask or anything in it for Let’s talk for an hour. See if you click worst case, you get all the free advice and something to work with. Thank you all for attending and participating. It was great. You made it easy to fill an hour with great content. And I hope to see you next month in our new webinar.

Tracy Hardin
Have a great one. Thanks, Alan.

Allen Edwards
I guess I should say thank you to our panelists.

Unknown Speaker
Thank you guys very

Unknown Speaker
much

 

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