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Cognition360 Saves Cinos from ‘ConnectWise Reporting Hell.’

Published September 15, 2023
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Evan Pappas

Accessing ConnectWise data for reporting can be a time consuming process for MSPs. Staff can spend days collecting the right data for analysis and decision making. 

But for technology provider Cinos, implementing Cognition360 for reporting in July 2022 has been a game changer.

Cognition360 has enabled them to access ConnectWise data quickly and easily at a level they had previously been unable to reach. Customized Procurement and Commission Reports have helped Cinos to save time, money, and resources. Increasing efficiency and productivity across the business.

Founded in 2007, Cinos specializes in delivering managed services to a global marketplace. With more than 130 employees, Cinos has headquarters and offices in the UK, Europe, North America, and Asia.

A solution to reporting in ConnectWise

Managing Director Johanna Guest said Cinos began using ConnectWise in 2019, but needed a solution to create reports. 

“Everything in it is brilliant, until it comes to reporting – it is too complex around the Financials,” she said. “Because it has procedures that aren’t data sets, we couldn’t get to the data we needed. We’re a projects-based company, we need to know where we are with our projects.”

Guest said an average project is over £100,000, so they use phased billing. They just couldn’t easily get to the financials for these projects in ConnectWise.

“I was saying to our accounts manager, ‘Surely we are not the only company who needs this info that you can’t get us!’”

In ConnectWise, you can either bill when a project is completed, or leave it in the invoicing queue. But it doesn’t tell you what you can bill, she said.  

“So, I could have a ticket with a hundred grands-worth of products on it, but I could only get a workflow notification if all the products had been picked and shipped.”

Guest went hunting for a solution and found Cognition360.

Enabling easy access to financials

Guest needed to be able to easily access the financials at any moment to know exactly what products have been delivered for each project. As well as how much could be billed on that day based on the payment profile.

Cognition360 customized the Procurement Report for Cinos, adding a ‘payment terms’ field. This enables them to pick products to be invoiced based on the payment profile of the project.

“I can run a report, hand it to somebody who is not an accounts person – at all – and he can export that Power BI, he knows how to do a pivot table, how to filter on the payment terms and because of the report you’ve built us, he then knows what projects to go into and bill,” she said.

“Just to put it into perspective, today, in the space of an hour, we’ve been able to go straight into the projects and bill £260,000. That is literally off the Cognition360 Procurement Report.”

Guest said that would have taken ‘ages’ to get that done alone. 

There was no way in ConnectWise to assign a payment profile to a project, short of waiting for a project to close. Finding the required information meant drilling down manually into 200-plus projects in ConnectWise.

Without Cognition360, it was a time-consuming process that was also vulnerable to human error. Guest said the manual process negatively impacted the bottom line.

“Cognition360 manages to get into all the places ConnectWise can’t – and that’s the beauty of it. You’re able to pull that data out,” she said.

They also have a quicker turnaround on invoices because she can get invoices out sooner, typically the same day.

Simplified commission reporting

No matter what currency the sales team is selling in, they see their commission in GBP – and this is visible to them in their in-field app as well. And when the accounts team invoices, everything is converted to GBP.

“Also, we were having to literally send the sales team individual statements. So, you’d have your big report; you would then go through, check all the currency ones – which you couldn’t go into a product level; then we would have to filter it by the salesperson name, copy that onto a separate spreadsheet, then go and send it to them.”

Now that the whole process has been simplified with Cognition360, Guest has hours of her time back.

“I’m telling everyone about Cognition360 – you guys are phenomenal. I just want to save people from the ConnectWise reporting hell. I’m on a mission!”

Reclaiming time, money, and sanity

Pre-Cognition360, Guest estimates she was working at least 80 hours a week. Before work and on weekends, she got reports done and invoices out while still doing her full-time job.

Implementing Cognition360 has saved Cinos time, money, and resources. Now, Guest has reclaimed her weekends and mornings.

“You’ve nearly given me my life back, which is amazing,” she said.

Guest and the Cinos team will now explore the many other reports available in Cognition360.

Next up is the Work in Progress Report that will further simplify their workload and save even more time. The report surfaces the information she needs to easily create a Work in Progress Journal.

“That has taken me the best part of two years to get out of ConnectWise – and I couldn’t do it. I ended up, every month, doing five different reports, then I’d have to put it into Excel, and play around with it before I could do my Journal,” she said.

“We haven’t even touched on the other reports yet – I’ve got a feeling it’s going to definitely not only save time but save the company money as well.”