The Future of MSP Automation, and How to Use Rewst as JetFewl

Q&A with Jared Brantley of Snaptech IT
The Future of MSP Automation, and How to Use Rewst as JetFewl
February 4, 2023

As Snaptech IT’s Director of Network Operations, Jared Brantley has ten years under his belt focused on automation. What’s next for Jared and for Snaptech IT? What has he learned that he’s willing to share? We talked about all of it, plus process improvement, and some stats on the impact Rewst has had so far.

So Jared! Tell us about what you do and what’s around the bend at Snaptech IT?

We do have some changes we’re implementing right now: we’re building a DevOps team that I will be leading, so I’ll have a title change coming up. I’ve worked in Managed Services for the last 13 years with roughly 10 years focused on automation using traditional tools: PowerShell and RMM and the like. I’ve shifted more to managing all internal tool integrations and support, and started using data analytics to find trends in service requests and operations to identify areas that could benefit from automation; including development of scripts and workflows, and interesting/unusual ways to use tool integrations to lean less on human hands.

Tell us what was the driving factor to partner with Rewst? What were the specific challenges or business goals that you felt Rewst could solve?

We were very early adopters of the Rewst platform. Going into it, I wasn’t sure what to expect and how we’d leverage the tool; but after the first couple of months of using Rewst (and being too stubborn to ask the ROC for help), I was able to put out my first workflow to fully automate Dark Web monitoring tickets. This was an incredible learning experience and truly reignited my own passion for automation. I’m not too proud to admit that I was reluctant at first to add yet another tool to the stack, but I have great leadership that really pushed me to embrace it and think outside the box. When it comes to business goals, we were looking for time savings around things like new user creation, but we’ve automated so much more than that. In fact, new user creation isn’t even in production yet!

A renewed passion for the job. That’s a great unexpected benefit! What’s been your favorite workflow to implement?

I’m not sure I can only pick one. The Dark Web process holds a special place as being my first workflow. As far as fully production workflows go, we’ve…

  1. automated some processes around screenshot verification errors. We’ve built a two-way ticketing integration for a monitoring solution that has no integrations with our PSA.
  2. We’ve automated some additional features around disk space monitoring to perform initial troubleshooting and escalation of the ticket to the correct resources and removed one set of hands touching the ticket.
  3. I just finished putting a solution in place to test network devices on the internal network and alert when offline.
  4. We even have automation in place to change time records from billable to non-billable in certain circumstances to keep our back-office staff from having to manually adjust time entries.

There’s at least a half dozen other items in development right now… but I’ve probably rambled enough!

Never! Ha - we love hearing about it all! What’s been the result so far? How have your processes improved?

The metrics speak for themselves. We consistently perform more than 1,000 hours of automation every week. Sure, not all of that is Rewst-related, but the amount performed by Rewst is increasing every week. Here’s a few stats:

  • The very first workflow went into production on September 28th, 2022, (about 4 months ago now). Since then Rewst has closed 2,124 tickets.
  • That accounts for 531 tickets per month.
  • Based on a rough average of 22 workdays per month, that’s the equivalent of 24 tickets per day handled fully with automation.
  • Rewst has worked 376 hours of screenshot verification failures and 385 hours of Dark Web alerts.
  • I don’t have time tracking data available for some of the other processes but that data alone accounts for 19 weeks of work at 40 hours per week. The best part is that Rewst has never asked for time off or called in sick!

I love it! Keep us posted on those stats please! There’s lots of talk around what the ROC is at Rewst. What are they to you?

The ROC is what you make it. For me, I’m very hands on and like to do it myself. I primarily use the ROC as subject matter experts to help support me when I’m doing something wrong or can’t get something to work. Those guys are great, and they ALWAYS get me going in the right direction! I’ve used them a lot as teachers so I can get a better understanding of the product and how to creatively use it for different tasks. I also know that if I needed a workflow built on a tight timeline, I can reach out to them, and they will get something together fast. They are great escalation points for my team as well. I’ve heard from other MSPs in the community talk about how guys have worked seemingly around the clock to get a workflow built within a day or a weekend to help with a critical business need. Thankfully, I haven’t needed that level of service yet, but it’s very comforting to know that the service is available when I need it.

Yeah, the ROC really are the rockstars around here. So now that you’ve partnered with Rewst, what advice would you share with your other MSP peers?

Embrace it. Go all in. If you have dedicated automation resources, get them using this tool. This is next-level automation. Think outside the box. We used to be limited by what our RMM could do, now those limits are gone. The only limits we have now lie with individual tools and the API access they provide. Use the ROC to the full potential. Leverage the community. Reach out to me if you want. I’m always happy to share opinions or talk tips and tricks. With the right workflows, you might be able to reduce tools in your stack like we have. Using Rewst, we are actively cutting out another monitoring tool we used in addition to our RMM. This alone will save us thousands of dollars per year.

Wow, Jared, you’re making our day here. It’s so good to hear all of this from you. What do you feel is next for MSPs and automation?

I strongly feel the role of RMM tools will be reduced in the future with products like Intune. Having another tool like Rewst that sits on top of all other products and can help integrate them together will be paramount to continued efficiency and automation.

Jared, thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience and professional insight! We’ll see you in Slack and Discord!

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