ITDUG Webinar «August 2021»
IT Documentation Users Group (ITDUG) is an online forum for IT professionals involved in systems and application management, process documentation, and compliance. IT Documentation Group strives to support today’s busy IT professional by providing them with a venue for sharing practical and usable information about documentation.
This month we are joined by Ray Orsini of https://oitvoip.co for Process Showdown.
Process Showdown: Position Your Business for Growth ft. Ray Orsini of OITVoIP & Allen Edwards of Eureka Process Ray Orsini is the undisputed Process Champion over at OITVOIP but does it hold up? He’s here telling us exactly how he earned his title, how that’s earned him a four-day workweek, and how to grow your business with documentation. What’s at stake? The title of Process Champion. The battle arena is set. Who came out on top? Watch and find out. Leave your votes in the comments!
Allen Edwards 00:38
Hello, everyone, welcome to this month’s webinar for it documentation users group. today’s gonna be a lot of fun. Veronica, our chief marketing officer started having a lots of ideas about how cool it could be. We’re trying some new technology, streaming live to YouTube, Facebook and LinkedIn. So please bear with us as we play with toys for the first time. We have a lot in store for you. So first of all, this is a presentation for it documentations users group, you do not have to be a member to see this webinar. But I did want to tell you a little bit about it. And our audience for who we’re teaching to it dog is a Facebook group. It is members only fb.com slash groups, slash it d u g, as it spelled on the screen. A little bit about our history. We were originally founded in May of 2018 by Tracy harden, who owns an MSP next century technologies, she originally created it doc at the time to help her connect with peers using it glue because she was last, figuring out how all this stuff works. She found a great community there, things are getting a little overwhelming. And he invited myself to help her co admin the group in August of 2018. And we decided to break out away from it glue into all platforms, so that we could get more more brains more people in the mix, discussing more ideas, regardless of what tool we implemented in it. And as you see, it’s been growing great ever since please keep inviting because the more brains we have in the group, the more we can post questions, answer questions and help each other out. Just a little bit about my myself and why I run it, Doug, we do work for msps. And it services firms, we consult them on their strategy processes, which involves a lot of documentation, as well as offer hiring and screening services and run a community with of processes and other documentation ideas. So we felt it was a great match that we could actually offer something to the community. Now today we have white voice or YT voice column white boy controlling because we makes us laugh. And we invited right on array also has owned an MSP, I believe still does. And he is the CEO of a White Team White providing a voice over IP services, and white label I believe, and you can correct me re on these details. But he and I are part of an MSP vendors chat. Us vendors get together we talk about you guys, and what’s going on and at a past webinar. And I’ve also heard as MSP vendors somebody called Ray, the king of process. And I was like, wait a minute, I’ve got the yellow jacket. So one thing led to another and here we are, we’re gonna have a little showdown today to really find out who the king of process is. And so that’s what the premise of today is, is to see as between Ray and I. Who’s got what it takes when it comes to process and documentation. Welcome, Ray.
Ray Orsini 03:54
Thanks for having me all, and I appreciate it.
Allen Edwards 03:56
Awesome. I think we’re gonna invite Adam up on stage to kind of emcee this event. And keep me from cheating.
Adam Edwards 04:07
Yeah, Ray, if you wanted to give a brief intro or say anything about what a white boy does, or white pipe as we say?
Ray Orsini 04:14
Yeah, absolutely. So I’m the CEO and founder of hoity toity voice eucast provider for msps IT service providers. So whether it’s channel partner white label program, and a migration path from one to the other, or even if you just want to know how to run your own stuff, regardless of what we’re doing, happy to help out. I’ve been doing started the MSP in 2011. But I’ve been doing it engineering for a little over 25 years. So he’s been a major part of the MSP community as well as a moderator on our MSP, frequent contributor on MSP geek and mru. We shuttered MSP services in around 2017. We still have a very, very, very few select clients that our MSP clients today But haven’t taken new one since 2017. And yeah, I’m all about process and procedure, and hoping I can hold my own because I know Alan was nervous, but this is your home turf. So
Allen Edwards 05:11
I want to cooperate that ray is out there in the MSP community all the time. Give, give, give, give, give, and that’s why I’m so excited to go up against you and have a little friendly competition and see if our knowledge can help others. Absolutely, I’m excited to
Adam Edwards 05:31
already. Welcome to the process of showdown aka the Thunderdome from chat. Everybody’s getting excited. Today, Elon and Ray are competing for the title of process champion, or the king of process. how it’ll work is I’ll give a question. And we’ll have each contestant answer we’ll switch off in between questions. So Elon will answer first, then Ray, then Ray, then Alan, we’ll switch back and forth. And each contestant will be given 60 seconds to give their response. And then we’ll move on to the next contestant. And then during that we’re going to have the audience voting in the chat. But at the very end, we’re going to have them do a swift poll and see who the overall chat is. champion is. So make sure it should be active in chat there. And then Braddock will display where that poll is going to actually be during the shutdown. Let’s see if I can read everything. Yep. So the premise of this was process questions related to kind of relate back to our IT group? So we’ve been talking about how to start processes. So there’s going to be kind of a focus on that. And then how to evaluate them as well. So we’re going to go down into that here. Let’s see. Yeah, so I think we’re ready to start it, Veronica might put up a timer. But I’m gonna ask the first question. I’m gonna start with Ray. Ray’s, how did you choose your documentation platform, and what factors were considered when you chose it?
So our documentation platform has evolved over the years, we had internal stuff like SharePoint sites, and wikis, eventually went to Confluence. Now we use a product called the levico. Our documentation platform, because we serve our white label partners, too, I wanted to make sure something that was scalable, easily searchable, indexable, had process for tags, multiple security levels, and a very good search. Because at the end of the day, if you can’t find it, it doesn’t matter. I wanted to make sure we could account for stuff like what users were making modifications to what documents so we could go back and see version history. So we can see the documents evolution over time. And that went to part of the process we do yearly, where we actually go and review all our documents to make sure they’re current. Because all documentation is useless documentation, in my opinion. So you know, those are the things you really want to look for. If you have integrations with your platforms, especially for the MSP community, whether it’s your RMM, or your PSA, you want to make sure those integrations there, so you have the good data you need. I think I ended up zero
Allen Edwards 08:29
while moving straight to it. Wait for the timer to start. All right, how do you choose a documentation platform? I have my answers. How did I choose? Back in the day when I first chose a documentation platform, it was a it was honestly the only platform is special built at that time that I even knew about. And so we chose it because I tend to value quick decision making over spending hours and hours and days and days, factoring all the opinions, for better or worse. And even more recent systems, I tend to stick with a system that I know for more rapid implementation factors to be considered re nailed it. searchability to me is the biggest and best reason to how quickly can you find data? How easy is it to the structure. But as I teach any documentation, documentation system that you use will do just document how you use it, what the structure is, and that will help everybody find something. So no matter where you are, you can be successful documentation. So just choose one and use it.
Adam Edwards 09:38
Alright, you guys might be too good at this. I had a follow up question that was just like, are you both still using your original platform? But I think you both answered that that we’ve moved on and improved and got onto other platforms also said something in the chat that was saying what was the name of the platform that you’re using, if you guys want to plug in, we’re using I’m
Allen Edwards 10:01
gonna go first, right? Yeah, sure
I use a levico e l e v.io. Help juice is another one I really like. It’s awesome because it gives you the ability to have public facing as well as internal stuff. And you can have security in between. I hold my not only my staff to reading the documentation, but also our clients to be able to access and review the documentation. So it serves both needs.
Allen Edwards 10:27
Right, good. I started out pretty early on in it glue. I’m one of its early adopters, probably coming straight from just storing Word documents in a SMB folder structure before that. And to this day working with msps, I’m seeing a lot of it glue, hoodoo SharePoint, OneDrive, Confluence. I’m probably in one of those five systems every day. If that helps? already.
Adam Edwards 10:58
Alright, we’ll move on to the next question. And Alan will be answering first on this one. So this question is, what are the best practices for creating a documentation structure that make it searchable? So you kind of Ray touched on this, what it makes things easier to find?
Allen Edwards 11:17
Okay, um, to make a document structure that the number one thing is, everybody in your organization has to agree upon it. That means writing documentation about your documentation structure, we call it the process process, your Eureka process. That’s number one. And when we’ve built our templates for that, we’ve tried to take into considerations, things that have stymied us in the past. So it doesn’t happen in the future. So as you’re doing it, keep in mind what the capabilities of your documentation platform or are there fields that exists in your documentation that are searchable, other fields that are not searchable? And when somebody is looking for that documentation, what will they be involved in when it happens? So you kind of have to predict where they’re going to be. One great example also is taking your ticketing system, if you’re talking about technical documentation, and providing a link when you know, ticket type equals this or issue equals this link to this document in your documentation platform is a great way to make it very easy to find things. Already, that I went
Adam Edwards 12:26
raise up next. Same question. Yeah.
So I mean, with me, it starts, you know, everything’s about process procedure structure, right. So we actually have a doc on how to create a talk, which is a little meta, but it includes stuff like how the headers should be what how you should add tags, all that stuff, how you should structure the document and what how you decide what category goes to what security permissions, that level of uniformity means that when you’re searching for stuff, you’re always going to find it in the same fashion, which gets you faster adoption, because you’re not trying to figure out how to interpret the doc, it’s the same thing over and over. And then we have a two step review process, because you can have the subject matter expert create the doc. But if the junior can’t read, it can’t understand or can’t get to it, it’s going to be useless. So we always have a second step review process to make sure they can follow those same steps, make sure they can use it, then the last step is checking you never you know you never get it right the first time. So when we work our tickets, we actually have what doc used. And if you can’t find a doc, we ask what search terms to use so that our doc person can go in and see if the search terms applied or need to be added or if the document is to be amended.
Adam Edwards 13:43
Alright. Oops, I lost my cue. Hold please.
Allen Edwards 13:51
I can vision system are you using?
Adam Edwards 13:53
Don’t worry about it.
Allen Edwards 13:57
Right, you’re given great answers, man.
You are too and I was close. I don’t know how this which way to go.
Allen Edwards 14:05
I have so many follow up questions. But I’m afraid the questions are next. For the record. I keep kept asking my team to let me know what the questions were ahead of time and they kept ignoring my messages.
Adam Edwards 14:16
I don’t know. I didn’t get those. Already. We’ll move on to the next question. And ray will answer first. Luck. So the next question is what methods encouraged team buy in for a new process? What do you use?
So with us, it’s all about coaching, excuse me coaching, setting expectations and discipline thereafter. There was always consequences good or bad. We set the expectation hiring that you’re going to use these documents. It’s going to be an expectation we don’t when and then to make sure the adoption of the documents. We make sure that when a question is asked our teams are co to not give the answer but to ask which Doc, are you referencing? Where did you try to find that answer that will highlight to us if a document exists, and maybe they couldn’t find it. Or if the person maybe needs to be coaxed into actually looking for documentation, or maybe a document needs to be created, we have a process for that too. But making it creating your whole culture around requiring the use of documentation. And I always say we have a saying that I have a ton of reasons. But one of them is documentation, not judgment. I don’t want to sit there and say, we did it this time, because it may be different next time, I want to done the same every time when everybody buys into that. And it’s just a core of your company culture, you’re going to find it, it becomes second nature to say we don’t have a document, let’s create a doc, what does the doc say? actually have? What the fox says, but what does the doc what the doc says? And you start you know, just over and over repetition just drills it into like any other habit works out really well.
Adam Edwards 16:00
Whenever on time, they’re questionable, but that’s okay.
Allen Edwards 16:06
What is five points?
Adam Edwards 16:09
All right, Ellen, what methods encourage team buy in for a new process?
Allen Edwards 16:14
Um, well, first off, I’m just jealous that Ray has Ray isn’t because we came up with a sh exclamation point t Allen says. So maybe Ray has the cooler name for that one. But team buy in to me, you have to get them involved in the decision making process, especially if you’re just beginning to roll out or trying to enforce processes and documentation. When you’re creating this structure, this meta knowledge of both right I talked about before, get them involved in creating the process, get their feedback, whenever possible, take their feedback and use it because now they’re bought and they’re like, hey, coworker, I helped make this you should follow it too. That really helps the culture of documentation and process. I think that’s the biggest point. And then the next thing is, to me, when you manage employees, there’s only two things to manage, do they meet your core values? And do they follow processes? And so anytime you have a discrepancy and issue, a client challenge, you’re only asking if they follow the process or not? And if they did, and the outcome wasn’t what you wanted, you simply managed and fix the process together. Nailed my timer.
Do you have the timer on the screen? So I don’t know if I count that. But no, but that you bring up an excellent point. You know, I just want to add to doesn’t have to counter my answer. But in our company with our management, I do not allow my management to counsel any employee, unless there’s a document that the employee had a problem following if the document doesn’t exist. That’s a management problem. If the document existed, the employee didn’t follow it. That’s an employee problem. But that is the baseline for us across the organization.
Allen Edwards 17:52
Absolutely. It’s actually quite difficult to get people are so used to putting out fires and reacting to take a moment and always bring it back to the paper, bring it back to the documentation. And what what a place to work. We have clear expectations and writing and how it’s supposed to go. Agreed 100%. Yeah.
Adam Edwards 18:13
All right. Next question. I believe Ellen wants her first on this next one. Question number four, making Veronica work here. She’s flipping back and forth. When does a document need to be updated? and by whom?
Allen Edwards 18:31
Oh, my answer is consistent and unpopular. A document needs to be updated continuously at any given time. And I personally believe by anyone who’s reading it and following it. The assumption is you’ve hired the people that you trust to work at your company, and they have a certain set of skills. So if somebody is reading through a document as they should, up on the screen, working on something internal process, technical process, and something’s not quite lining up, I am going to trust them to edit that document, or to get help editing the document to make it happen. Ray also mentioned earlier about having revision controls. Most good documentation systems these days do have revision history. And so when I see something with a great revision, I was like, You know what, change it, let us know, we can always roll it back if we need to. That’s going to be a great way to get them to live and breathe in the document knowing that they can just edit it and tweak it as they go each time. So they have that continuous improvement process on the nose again for my time. Good job. All right, same question, right.
So we do it in two different stages. So one like the affer mentioned, we have a yearly review, we have somebody assigned specifically to the training documentation department. Her job is to go through those documents yearly and make sure they’re up to date. She’s also the one that’s doing the second stage review for it to make sure they adhere standards and they’re clear and concise. But also, because they’re being used every single day, as they’re being used. If something’s off, we don’t have documentation created by one person, everyone in the organization is in charge with creating documentation and modifying it. So it happens daily. You know, these documentations are living subjects. So it’ll happen daily, I’ll see in teams are working something and somebody will say, we need to tweak this a little bit to make it more clear. And they’ll use that same ticket time, and they’ll fix the doc right there. And then, so documents are constantly reviewed. And then they have a formal review yearly, which works really well in tandem.
Adam Edwards 20:40
All right, you had a little bit of extra time in the bank. So we made up for last time. Oh. All right, good answers there. Our last and final question, Ray will answer this one, then Alan, and then we’ll open up polling after that. So the last question is, how do you determine the who will administer the your documentations? organization? So it it who if someone was going to oversee it, be in charge of it, be the manager be the one that’s you know, making sure you’re following your standards? Who would that be? And how do you determine who there
so we have, we actually have a dedicated person, we have a training and documentation department. That’s her role. She is she was assigned that while she chose to do what she wanted to do it, we actually two employees that one of the role, she’s the one that went out on it. But it’s, she’s actually worked in every department she’s worked in. She’s done training, she’s done project management. And because of those skill sets, she’s suited to oversee all documentation across every department in the org. Now, that doesn’t mean she’s the one most capable of creating the documentation. Part of our process when we do training is that is that the subject matter expert will train the junior on how to do it, the junior will take the the notes on everything, and then the junior will be the one to create the documentation. And that helps because that makes the junior the subject matter expert going forward as well. It’s an awesome teaching tool. So really, at the end of the day, Mercy’s job is just ensuring it adheres to our standards, and it’s clear that she doesn’t have to worry about creating the docs normally.
Adam Edwards 22:26
Alright, sounds kind of made up that you had two employees that wanted to do documentation. That seems kind of crazy to me. But Okay.
Allen Edwards 22:39
All right. To start and go, um, yeah, we have a title called documentations are because we like to use the letter Zed or Z, depending on where you’re from. Somewhere in the accountability chart. documentation is our does not have to be a full time role. It can be quite part time, depending on your size. Everybody has to employees capable to devote to that Good job, right? Um, also keep in mind, what does administration mean? Are you just keeping documents organized, but who’s also responsible for controlling security? and writes a lot of documentation platforms also control passwords that the administrator might have access to? So those are considerations? And so this is not a clear answer. I love the idea, right? Has it somebody needs to keep the structure in place, look for Ruby documents, documents that haven’t been updated or accessed in years, or to even put somebody in charge of running your documentation committee meetings, which you should absolutely have. And that might be a great nominee, if your documentations are. And while I’m at it, committee meetings, you might start out an hour a week, but as you get your house in order, hopefully you can get it down to about 35 minutes every two weeks.
Adam Edwards 23:56
All right. That was our final question so far, you guys can enter in a chat who you think is winning so far, but we will actually display a poll. Again, want to thank Veronica for throwing all this up and working on the back end. She’s doing great. So you can go to swift polling comm and enter the code 14795 or you can send a vote via text just like you would on you know, American Idol or something. It’s like 205-883-8760 type text, one for Ray and two for Alan. So the votes that you put into swift polling will be for who is the champion here today?
Allen Edwards 24:42
Whoo. Now what happens to the loser find that the first place loser,
Adam Edwards 24:48
the first Yeah, the first loser. I don’t know. We haven’t decided yet happy.
loser has to go back and review the winners documentation for a week or so.
Allen Edwards 24:58
You know what, I didn’t That. Sadly, I think I was very good, very good. Um, so I’m sure we can take questions from the audience as well. So feel free to have those coming in. Ray and one of your experience that you have now, you know, you’ve done a great job, and you’ve grown to have a nice size of staff that I’m hoping to achieve. myself in this business. What about for the little guy? Like, how did you get started back when you were three, four employees like us? I guess. Sorry. Sorry, to St. Alfonso, who we hired in the last week, we’re at six employees. Awesome. Congrats. Yeah, it’s going crazy here. So how do you get started a small size? When do you start? And how do you get going?
So I mean, I, this is my seventh round of businesses. I’ve been doing this a long time. So I had the benefit of learning from a lot of others, surrounded by a lot of other entrepreneurs. And they taught me very early on process and procedures, what is what allows you to scale? I talked about this to other msps, almost daily, of today, I have the benefit of 30 people, I can go after this, I may go after this, grab the beer and play some call of duty for an hour before I go to my next thing. I have more free time because I have the benefit of staff when you’re smaller, you can’t do that you have you’re wearing 15 different hats on a good day. So that makes it even more important to make sure you have your documentation in place. So what happens is, it happens to everybody happened to me too, I there and I need to expand because I’m swamped with things I want to hire somebody. And then you say, Well, I’m gonna hire somebody that what am I going to give them to do because I don’t know how to train them, I don’t have the time to train them because I have to do all these other things. So thankfully, I learned early on document everything. I love traction, I love there’s other you know, tools that do go along with this, I think you guys are attraction shop. But document all the roles that your company eventually needs, and document what their role their responsibilities are. And since I had done that, plus documenting my smoothie duties every day, what duty Yeah, nonprofit. But when I hired somebody, I was able to say, Here’s documentation, this is what you’re doing. And if you don’t know how to do it, when I train you, you’re going to create documentation and you just rinse repeat every role we created. And it just becomes this behemoth that makes it so much easier to bring on staff. And if you want to learn how to get breathing time create documentation is ridiculous as it sounds. Drew I love drew man.
Allen Edwards 27:39
And, and Ray, while I completely agree with you, and that is absolutely the best advice. I also like to give a little piece of contrary advice. If you are a one man shop, there is a limited ROI on the documentation you create. And I just it’s it’s a tough line to follow. But think about what’s actually going to be followed again before it changes in those cases. Because if you’re trying to get to employee number two, what does employee number two need. And if if, if it’s not going to be anytime in the next year, maybe you don’t need to document it at least as tightly. Now, as soon as you say I’m going to hire somebody, you darn well better get their task list together. That’s hr 06 in our community. And you better darn well better start writing those processes so they can easily hand them off. Last point I promised we’ll bring Ray back on is if you hire somebody and you just haven’t had the time document, not Shame on you, because we don’t have shame here. We do the best we can with the information we have. So I have them write the documentation as your training. Do not skip that step at that point, because it’s too late. As your last last and best chance to get it done if it hasn’t been done already. I know we’re all imperfect.
Adam Edwards 28:55
I love that question for Ray on why you’re not using hoodoo anymore.
So I am using Voodoo. I also started I actually was I think one of the first 50 users of it glue back in the day. And I used it glue and I absolutely hold nothing against them. fantastic product. However, I’ve been an enormous proponent of hoodoo. I’ve been accused of being an investor i’m not i have tons of videos on my on my website on YouTube on installing hoodoo and using hoodoo and done technical deficits. I’m a huge fan of hoodoo for internal documentation of assets. That’s how we use it. If I was an MSP I might be more likely to use it for outward facing documentation because hoodoo does have that facility and they’re getting better and better. I mean they’re going to release soon the the new text editor and stuff like that which is fantastic. So it’s no longer based on Gutenberg or whatever. But my problem with it glue is it glue doesn’t have a good structure process. There is no this tier than this. than this here and there’s no hierarchy in his share this one Doc, that so for that reason, even in it glue when we had it, we use it glue for our sync with the RMA and RMM and the PSA. And then we use Confluence for our actual process documentation. So today that just carries over, we use a levico. For the process documentation. We use hoodoo for the asset documentation, not something I’m saying every MSP should do. That’s just what works for us.
Allen Edwards 30:26
And I wouldn’t put a pass rate to make any system successful. By developing that structure and culture. I would love to address a the last comment there. Alan finished more of his questions on time. I literally have about 755 minute zoom calls per day. I have gotten very good at being on time. Because if I go over I can’t pee. I can’t drink coffee. I can’t have lunch. Yeah, that’s a that’s a skill. That’s ingredients in it.
Adam Edwards 31:01
Yeah, I was gonna say that’s pretty common press.
So if I may say like, you know, if I may whine a bit for two of the questions, I didn’t see the timer. So like,
you know what, that’s just a testament for how, how much how good you are at process Allen, that you’re able to keep it to the second. That’s actually really impressive. All right.
Adam Edwards 31:25
If anybody hasn’t voted, please go to that swift poll and enter that we have one final bonus question. for the both of you. I think we’ll we’ll start with Alan here. This is what is the most recent process that you’ve created from scratch?
Allen Edwards 31:43
Great question. Um, it’s probably in the finance department, because we just brought on alfonzo last week. And I was like, Oh, I need to show you this. Oh, wait, this was in my head, I apologize. For but actually, I wrote the process for profit first for us. I mean, no, we didn’t follow his book perfectly. But we took our own system out of it. I did have ticket templates for Ireland medically. And I wrote that process, handed it to alfonzo, so that he could do it. And I’ve actually been very impressed a father who’s listening in the greenroom. He’s already created like three or four more documents in the finance department brand new role. First time we’ve had a person in that department besides me. So I’m happy that it’s already growing already creating recipes. I bet that was 60 seconds to re re you’re muted.
I actually created a button on my stream deck to do a countdown so that I didn’t have that excuse anymore. So So I winced a little bit. When he asked the question of what the last document was, I was I was joking with Alan and others in our vendor slack. My last document was actually the press release for having won this event.
You know, and then the last real processor, but before that we’re playing Tom Lawrence and anything on tail scale, which is wire guard. You know, commercial implementation of it, I created a document on how to use tail scale, installing it on a boon to this is what our documentation looks like. So yeah, that’s that was the one I did I think day before yesterday, I had created it. Great.
Allen Edwards 33:28
I cried a little. I saw that some fake news on the MSP vendors chat. I’m talking to the moderator about that.
I can’t have a process showdown without a document declaring the win. I mean, just in case you know, it’s like the Grammys, you have your speech prepared in advance just in case.
Allen Edwards 33:48
We’re supposed to prepare. As Veronica had coached me earlier today, when I was freaking out with back to back meetings, including this one. She was like, Alan, you do this for a living, you’ll be fine. like Oh, okay. She’s like, comb my hair, which I feel that.
Adam Edwards 34:09
Let’s see. We’re waiting on the switch poll. Veronica, do we have a winner declared yet? Just waiting for feedback on that.
Let’s see. I’m
Allen Edwards 34:24
reading some comments now. Ray, how many monitors do you have?
At home I have 234 inch wide. They’re 21 by nine that are side by side with a 42 inch above that’s a standard for three. And then I have or not for three. It’s a 69 and then my office I have 249 inch, widescreen curved all my monitors are curved. And then plus the laptop monitor for reference and then I do have a teleprompter that I use sometimes. Holy cow.
Allen Edwards 34:55
Well, studio. Yeah. Kind of what I do here I actually knew that about you. I always ask Ray for all my studio advice. I’m not running to ultra wide 49 inches, but one has the 1000 are curve and one has the 1800 arc curve.
Does that drive you nuts? The different curves?
Allen Edwards 35:15
especially how much better the 1000? Are? Is I was surprised at the difference that it made. Of course, the workers were close. Yeah, I don’t have to lean over to see the corner of the screen.
Yeah, I have the 34 is in 1000, or 1800, or the 49 or 1000 hours. For that reason. Yeah, the 49 is a big difference. Like he will be doing this all day. So
Allen Edwards 35:39
yeah, and the 1000 are, by the way on the monitor stand you recommended I can’t get it to stay put because it’s too much weight further out from the focal point.
Wow. Okay. Good to know, do you have that documented anywhere?
Allen Edwards 35:52
I do actually illustrate that to you. That’s true. You absolutely did.
Adam Edwards 36:01
This morning, I was talking to three about monitors. And he was like, I don’t know, the 49 inch monitor just seems kind of excessive. I was just like, Wait till you use it. And then you’ll be like, Okay, this makes sense.
That’s the thing. Like with the exception of one of my MSP buddies, everybody, I talked to that. And I actually, you know, this wasn’t unique. I actually got this from Andrew Kaiser over Huntress. He was at open DNS at the time, but he told me about that mount that I told Allen about, but he had the dual 49. And I was like researching and he’s like, just do it, you’re gonna love it, just do it. And everybody that does it, they’re like, Oh, yeah, it’s a game changer. For sure.
Allen Edwards 36:36
I was trying hard to reduce my monitor count since working in an MSP firm. But to win it to is fine. And by the way, I had my 49 with two inputs. So it’s actually like 227, side by side most of the time unless I’m in Call of Duty mode. But, uh, what I found was, during these types of calls, I have to present something, I have to see my feed, and I need my notes or my presenter tools. So I ended up having to have that third monitor. So why not four.
That’s the thing. And if you’re using ultra wides, the best thing I can recommend is Microsoft powertoys. Windows powertoys. has been around for like over a decade. But the latest release, it’s on their GitHub has windows fences, which lets you cry out. I mean, a lot of the big monitors have already come with their own apps. But I love windows fences, because you can cut it up however you want. So for tech bar, I have a different I have a 5050, split 50 on the left, and then a split again, 5050, top and bottom on the right for our show notes and all the other stuff. But my regular workday, I have a 70% for my main screen for Chrome, and then 30% for you know, my socials and one note, and then other screens split up differently. It’s awesome. Being able to switch switch like that.
Allen Edwards 37:48
I mean, I do believe I saw notification that we have a winner, Adam, sadly. I get a hint from you, Adam said
Adam Edwards 38:00
we do have a winner and Veronica was going to display the thing, but we’re having technical difficulties with that. It was very close. I would say it’s gonna be broke. Watch. Brooke one Come on out. Brooke. Ray, one by 53%. So he he edged out that 6% there.
Allen Edwards 38:19
You know, he’s prepared. It’s only five or six pages. So give me a minute.
Allen Edwards 38:28
But but the time, right.
I mean, seriously, I love the feedback back and forth. And thank you for having me on Alan and team like seeing other people’s excited about documentation I as I am that’s the real win. And like seeing all these chats where obviously everybody in here is as excited about documentation as we are. That’s phenomenal. That’s the real win here.
Allen Edwards 38:52
Absolutely. And I’m I think what should happen here is the winner should teach teach the not winner. More about process, which is kind of already happened today. But I gotta go take some more notes from you and paying you some more in our Slack channel.
I’ll teach you about process if you teach me about timeliness. How’s that?
Allen Edwards 39:12
Easy. Click Grover done. Quick click done on timeliness. As soon as you actually end the meeting on time, even when people don’t want to listen to you. They get to hit next time. Yeah, that’s true. raylan go. He said time is up. He’s gone. When you’re the host, you just leave the meeting. almost as bad any more cool comments or questions? Drew’s been given some some good stuff in here.
Drew’s one of my favorite people like you know, besides he’s frequently joining on the the tech bar after we have an after party and Alan, you’ve been on the tech bar. That was a good time. There’s an after party that goes on Calvin stayed the longest our longest tech bar was six hours after party a Sorry, was not the first one. That was the first one our longest after party Kelvin left at 7am his time. And I think we stayed up till three or four in the morning or something like that Eastern. We just have like, we had Jason McGee join we have like a ton of people from geek join, like and we just hang out and have fun. It’s It’s awesome.
Allen Edwards 40:25
Wow. So I was Yeah, I was guest number two on the tech bar I believe Really? Wow. And I was actually trying not to drink that week just for weight loss reasons. Guys are not having it and I caved and I had my stepdaughter Bring me some tequila and then loose lips and start happening on our two.
That was a that was a fun show. Yeah, so it’s like putting a Dunkin Donuts extra weight watchers, it’s a bad idea. You know, it’s, but it was it was good fun. You know, you get to learn about people and and this that social context. I think we all missed from from conferences last year, right? Like that’s, that’s the big deal. So
Allen Edwards 41:05
very good. So as we move toward wrap up, and Adam, I don’t know if there’s more housekeeping to do or not. My goal here is I don’t like it to be a sales pitch. And we’ve done a good job of that. I’m just curious if people like your personality and who you are and how you think. How can they you know engage more with it voice or yourself?
Absolutely. So you know, I’m on everywhere. whitey underscore Ray on Reddit, and discord mru. On MSP geek, actually, same thing. I’m all over those youtube.com slash oatey voice or linkedin.com slash Almighty voice. Literally any social you’re in I’m there, just find me or hit us up o T dot CEO. always doing stuff for the community. Also, we do this whole selling web stuff for msps helping them be more profitable. But honestly, that’s that’s the sales team job. My job is just I love the community aspect of it. So if anybody ever has any questions about, you know, wants to pick my brain about my experiences, happy to have that conversation. I love the what the MSP community has done in the last 10 years, the way that’s grown so happy to be part of it.
Allen Edwards 42:15
Very good. Do we have any other business Adam, Veronica? I’m checking top secret chats as either join me as well.
Adam Edwards 42:24
We have some more time, probably like 10 minutes before we wrap up. So we could bring in the people answer any questions that anybody has in the chat. Maybe five, five to 10 minutes, I should say, cool,
who’s come in the day, I can give up all my monitors will be a happy day. That’s fantastic. I took
Allen Edwards 42:47
a picture on the way out of the last MSP I worked for I was the service manager. And I think I counted seven monitors. I cheated a little bit, I counted the giant display we had on our IP phone. And I also had the dashboard up. Also in plain sight of a single photo frame on top of the five of the monitors that I had. And back then we had, you know, seven teens and 20 ones. And I use the reams of paper to make them at the right heights.
because there weren’t any good mounts back then like you were using like the desk mount or you’re like getting creative with it. Yeah, I don’t know, if you’re like, like, my thing is I always have and this is this has been the trick to me for multiple monitors for a long time. I always have the exact same apps in the same places on all the monitors. So my outlook is always here and my you know, my screen re reference chrome here, my main chrome here, my socials over here, my my dashboards up top. I’m saying this, like, you can see where I’m pointing to right. Like, I may be pointing out the emergency exits or something. But but we’re gonna call it but like it just it goes back to that process and procedure stuff, right? Like, if you’re always doing the same thing, you’re always looking for the same places like I’m at that creature habit with, you know, my keys in my left pocket, my wallet behind me my cell phone on the right. I don’t have to worry about those little decisions. It just makes life that much faster.
Allen Edwards 44:10
That’s the type of process it’s just more of a unwritten process.
Yeah, I love it. Speaking of process, I see Simon asking do you are you Is it okay, if we share some of the upcoming events we have? Would you mind?
Allen Edwards 44:24
I’m fine. I think Rick and Simon have keys to the kingdom.
Yeah, we do. So one of the things I’m very proud that we do we actually do a ton of community events. So you know, we have tomorrow with robbery of data, actually, or youtube.com slash hoity toity. We’re doing a partner first. We do these a couple times a month. We’ll be at Channel pro SMB forum Boston, nine two. We have another partner first featuring Heather Kim. Our goal is to spark your channel. And then the always fun tech bar featuring Rob Ray on the ninth and the 15th Cisco elevate They have the beautiful and super intelligent Michelle McBain invited us to be the after party the happy hour show for the Cisco elevate event for them. So that’ll be fun. And then MSP geek with Kelvin will be on Twitch TV slash MSP tonight at 6:30pm. That’s not an MIT event. That’s just a community thing, but absolutely joined because it’s fun.
Allen Edwards 45:22
So very cool. Um, there’s so much happening. I do have a follow up question. It’s selfish, but I think it will help everybody. How are in person venues going these days? I personally can’t travel right now because I am a seeking permanent residency in Canada as a US citizen, I can’t travel.
Yeah, Canada’s is an interesting one, we have an employment in Toronto, and he couldn’t even travel like at all, like, we were trying to do company events, we were trying to do stuff, even when it was more reasonable. And it was just he wasn’t allowed to leave. And even now he is he doesn’t want to. So which I completely get. We’re going, we’re taking necessary precautions we have, besides whatever organization mandates are in place, we have company wide mandates as well, as far as you know, how we handle things. You know, but we were just at was a channel partners, I think, in San San Antonio, last week, I wasn’t there Simon shine. And Chad is one of our technicians where there are a Technical Services Manager. And it was really good audience it was, well, we’ve been going to several ASCII events. They’re well attended. So people are going I don’t know if that’ll keep steam. But I will say that, you know, people are attending these events for now. And they’re enjoying themselves and we’re seeing a lot of hybrid stuff. So I’m hoping the hybrid stays honestly
Allen Edwards 46:50
very good. Another early days, some of the virtual events were needed some maturity, but I mean, heck, we’ve been doing trade shows for decades. And these virtual events are relatively new things so it’s gonna take some time to mature
Oh, yeah. It’s always a work in progress. But you know, it gives you a I like the hybrid because the people that want to go in person absolutely can go but you know, you can’t always you can’t do the crazy thing like we are taking the entire company to it nation this year, you know, renting some houses and maybe a party bus. So that’s how typically normal for any size MSP so for the ones that have to stay back, you know, having recorded content or having stuff they can attend virtually to make time for that’s an important thing. So you know, I hope that stays up.
Allen Edwards 47:35
And we were actually trying to have our first in person meet up for our company since we’re all remote all around the world. But worldwide travel is slowly restricted. So our US team is going to represent us at the data icon and it nation for learning online as a vendor and our worldwide team will join virtually
I love that more participation right that’s the that’s the goal.
Allen Edwards 48:00
Yeah, I mean, I’ve I’ve always loved these events that networking versus I’m a people person but but then the education you get just a chance to sit down sharpen the saw learn new things attend webinars like this. We should do this at it nation one year.
Oh, that would be awesome. I I’m totally down for that. Where I was working. Unfortunately, Kalin moved on from connectwise. So you know, I’m working with his replacement, or the person serving in this replace, because nobody replaces callin but working with them to see what we can do at it nation. Because it’ll, it’ll be fun. But yeah, doing something live would be definitely an interesting and fun experience.
Allen Edwards 48:43
Especially if we can actually do like boxing shorts and a ring and some gloves for real punches.
I know Veronica was trying to I had pointed out in our pre meeting of a championship belt I was going to have custom made with documentation champion champion on it. And Veronica said she was she had ordered one like you know for you, but unfortunately, there was some some order error with Amazon and stuff happens. But yeah, we could definitely get one going and that would definitely be a blast.
Allen Edwards 49:11
me every time you were over your timer, we get to throw a punch.
Or we cannot we have audiences, you know, come in and you know, throw live curveball, I you know, I have them ask the questions. So, yeah, I like it to be a good time and or, you know, every time you get a wrong answer, whoever is the loser of that question has to take a shot. I’m just saying for very interesting documentation experience
Allen Edwards 49:37
I’ve ever read very well, good. We, we actually got the inspiration for today from I don’t want to say their name wrong. I want to say it was channel Pro. We were invited to participate in a masked consultant. Competition. Interesting, okay. It’s a three of us join. And we had, we had the wear a mask, which is a challenge to give a video presentation with a microphone with a mask on. And they asked three questions and they after they pulled each one, they eliminated the least votes each time. I did win that one. But that was because you weren’t there. Apparently, so you, you get to take the belt, but uh, it was a good idea. A lot of fun. I thank you for being here.
No, thank you for having me. This is a always a good time.
Allen Edwards 50:30
All right, if we don’t see any more questions come up in last couple seconds, we will go ahead and adjourn. Ray, thank you again, Veronica, thank you so much. I think she learned three new tools this week alone just to make this thing happen. And it went off pretty well. Thank you to alfonzo and three who just joined our team in the last week and they’re like, why are you so busy today’s like this is why this is why and work it out. And thank you guys for always being there and keeping things going. Even when we’re when we’re busy. Or or I’m busy. Even though sorry, short story. Client asked for my time. So they say hey, glad to help. I do have two people who can also help. I was sharing calendars. I am I was kind of busy. Maybe Adam or Brooke and then I realized that Brook had no time either. And Adam didn’t have much more time. So okay, we got alfonzo and three on the team. It was good timing.
Yeah, I definitely want to give kudos. Thanks, Adam. Thanks, everybody in your team, but yeah, I know Veronica was a little nervous about like, I think this is your first event on stream yard, right? Yes. So I think she did phenomenally well. So you know, kudos to her especially.
Allen Edwards 51:41
Oh, and thank you, Simon, from your team who also joined in the green room making things happen. answering our advice questions you got no, that’s a dumb idea. Don’t do it that way. My questions, and I think we even shared some documentation back and forth, which is always fun to see for me. I love it. Yeah. Alright guys. Well, thanks again. The recording will be live shortly and looking forward to seeing you next month at it Doug or in many of the events that Ray or I will be in in between. Have a great one.
Adam Edwards 52:11
Everyone, Bye, guys.
IT-what?? What is ITDUG?
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