The Software The Runs Lawrence Technology Services IT/MSP Business

This question comes up a lot and the answer has changed depending on when it’s asked. This is our current primary software we use to run Lawrence Systems here in April of 2022. These tools mentioned are what we use for the core functions of my company which are:

  • Being an outside contracted IT provider for companies without an internal IT staff also known as MSP or as a Managed Services Provider
  • Being an outside contracted supplemental IT provider (Co-Managed Service MSP) for companies with internal IT Staff
  • Providing non-contract as needed IT Services (some people call this break fix)
  • Technical Consulting on the designing and deploying of projects

Email, Chat, Calendar Documents: Google Workspace https://workspace.google.com/
I have been a long time users of Google and their collaboration system works well for us. We also use this for all of our project tracking and project management, one thing not really part of the Google Workspace natively but works well for tracking is https://tables.area120.google.com/ which we also use. This provides a Kanban for my team to collaborate and track many parts of the business. As for our client base more than half of them are on Microsoft 365 so we do support both platforms.

Ticketing and Inbound Leads: FreshDesk Helpdesk Ticketing System | Freshdesk Ticketing Tool
You could probably find some older videos where I was discussing why I don’t like ticketing systems and how we managed things without them (using Google Groups) but I was wrong and having a ticketing system is better than not having one.

Quotes, Invoicing, Billing, and Payments: InvoiceNinja https://www.invoiceninja.com/
We have been using this for a few years and you can find a few reviews on my channel of the tool. We brought over about 16,000 of our old invoices into InvoiceNinja and since using it have created almost 10,000 more putting us at about 27,000 invoices total. I bring this up because that is why for right now we are still on InvoiceNinaj V4. We plan to move to V5 of the platform once the dev team has an update the way the platform handles the loading of that many invoices (works really fast when you have less than 10K of invoices). It does work but it’s still a bit slow and they will have a more optimized version out later this year. For the payment processing the back end is attached to Stripe and this also allows us to do the recurring billing via CC or ACH. I have not found the use case for a formal PSA tool because InvoiceNinja is filling in what we need. I will admit there may be a time in the future where I am proven wrong about this as I was about having a ticket system.

Remote Management and Monitoring tool RMM & Backups:NinjaOne https://www.ninjaone.com/
We use this to manage and co-manage our clients systems which mostly consist of Windows systems but the platform does monitor devices via SNMP as well. I have a review of NinjaOne here:

Endpoint protection: SentinelOne https://www.sentinelone.com/
We have been using SentinelOne for a while I have an in depth video about it’s capabilities and how we use it:

Endpoint protection MDR:HuntressLabs https://www.huntress.com/
Some may think this is an overlap with SentinelOne but Huntress both works well with SentinelOne and offers us both another layer of protection and more insight via their threat team to determine if something that SentinelOne picks up is a false positive. I have review of the Huntress Platform here:

Endpoint Web Content Filtering: https://zorustech.com/
Even prior to the pandemic our clients were not always working at a single location, they used multiple devices, and I never really liked the traditional perimeter-based UTM security firewalls and dealing with how they handle web filtering. We moved to Zorus when we moved away from using N-Able (Formerly Solarwinds) which provides us these features.

Remote Access Software https://control.connectwise.com/
We have been using Conectwise Control (ScreenConnect) for a long time. It’s a great tool for all the one off consulting we do as well as managing clients.

3 Likes

quite a mix zorus makes some bold claims. What’s been your real world experience. I take the Chris Roberts stance on product marketing claims that sound to good, show me. I do have a " use case" for all that complexity but for those that do take Tom’s advice.

@LTS_Tom Thanks for posting this. I’m recently new to the MSP business and find this extremely helpful!

I have been an IT director for the past 20+ years and have been contemplating going on my own for some time. Some opportunities opened up over the past year and I finally decided at the beginning of the year that the timing was right. These forums have been helpful in getting to learn tools necessary for running on the other end of things. Appreciate it!

Frank

1 Like

What made you leave the Solarwinds RMM?

We are doing a lot more co-managed IT services and their platform is better at allowing co-manged clients to have access to the portal with good permission control. Bonus is that we like the interface better as well.

2 Likes

We left Solarwinds for Ninja as well. Solarwinds pricing went way up and their billing practices are awful.
Plus, their interface is stale.

1 Like

Thanks for the info. I’m in the planning stages of starting a MSP and appreciate all your reviews and explanations of things.

Have you tried using Azure DevOps for project tracking?
I personally love the kanban / Agile board and DevOps allows a large amount of customization as well.

1 Like

No, and I try my best to avoid proprietary systems where it might be a challenge to get the my data back out of.

1 Like

Fortunately it’s easy to export the project data to a CSV with Azure DevOps, but certainly not the case with a lot of other softwares.