IT Veteran Ignition Builds a Slack App and Places Second in Accelo’s Community API Competition

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By Chelsea Williams
Senior Copywriter
Nov 30 2022 read
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In summer 2022, the Accelo Community hosted a competition for existing users. We wanted to discover how they use our rich API to expand the client work management platform’s capabilities. Below, you’ll hear about one talented entrant’s creative build and how it saved them time and cut costs.

2nd Place: Ignition

Ignition is an MSP headquartered in San Francisco, California. The business uses a modern, customized service model to deliver device management, user management, compliance consulting, email and cloud security, onboarding automation, laptop warehousing and more. Founded in 1998, it’s one of the oldest Apple consulting firms.

The Ignition team started using Accelo in 2016. Several years later, DevOps Engineer Ella Hansen saw an opportunity to streamline how they managed Accelo ticket assignments via Slack.

What They Built With Accelo’s API

Ella found that Ignition’s help desk team spent all day in both Slack and Accelo. Their workflows were ripe for an efficiency boost.

“If there’s something I don’t like doing, I find a way to automate it,” Ella explains. And they didn’t like having to flip back and forth between the two platforms to update and communicate about support tickets.

Enter Accelo’s public API.

Ella used it to build what they call “Accelobot:” an app that allows the team to fully manage its Accelo request queue from Slack. Here’s how it works:

  1. A new customer request comes through (via email) and lands in Accelo’s request inbox.
  2. Accelo sends a webhook to Accelobot.
  3. Accelobot retrieves details about the request and posts them in a new Slack message.
  4. Buttons allow the Ignition team to interact with the request directly from Slack.
  5. The actions taken in Slack send webhooks back to Accelobot, which then updates the request in Accelo.
  6. Once the request has been converted to a ticket, the Slack message will update to show the ticket details as well.

A new customer request shows up in Ignition’s Slack channel.

Each button triggers a unique automated process:

  • “Claim” sends an API callback to Accelobot to assign the request to the appropriate staff ID.
  • “Convert” opens up the new ticket creation page in Accelo with important fields, such as company and contact, pre-filled.
  • “Close” makes it possible to close out a request in one click from Slack.

After a message has been converted into a ticket, the Slack message changes to show details.

The app has a few other useful capabilities:

  • Link unfurling: When a user posts an Accelo link in a Slack message, the app gets a webhook from Slack, then finds and displays details as it would with a news article. This way, the recipient can see key information without opening the link.
  • Shortcut commands: Ignition team members can type commands into Slack to show how many ticket assignments each team member currently has — both internal and client-facing. They can use further shortcuts to filter the list by Slack user groups.
  • Automatic search: When a new request comes in, the app combs existing tickets looking for open tickets attached to the same contact or featuring similar keywords and displays them at the bottom of the message. This allows the Ignition team to easily see if there’s an existing ticket open for the same issue.

Because the business didn’t require varying permissions, Ella set this up as a service app so that no individual logins are required for the team to engage with tickets in Slack. 

Not only does this multifaceted app save Ignition time, but it makes internal communication clear and simple by displaying relevant tickets directly in a conversation.

Curious about the details? Check out the demo version of Ignition’s app in GitHub. 

     

Top Developer Tip for Experimenting With an API

You may be interested in diving into API-powered creations but unsure where to start. Ella recommends starting with Google Apps Script: It’s a user-friendly tool with shareable libraries and prebuilt frameworks that integrate with other Google products, and it’s free to use! The accessible interface may inspire you to figure out how to automate processes even if you don’t have a dev team.

Ella used Google Apps Script to build the entire Slack app because of the ease of using JavaScript for interaction with various APIs. Their framework calls up parameters, object classes and more for Accelo’s API.

 

     

 READ NEXT: Learn what Footbridge Media, the competition winner, built with Accelo’s API.

The Efficiency-Boosting Potential of Accelo’s API

Users in the IT industry rave about the quality of Accelo’s API documentation.

“Accelo’s API is complex but extremely organized. The structure across the API and all the products is very consistent and easy to work with. It’s also very flexible in terms of how you can interact with it, which allows it to fit into your existing development workflows." 

- Ella Hansen, DevOps Engineer

Ella has about a dozen more ongoing projects that integrate with Accelo’s API, including a reporting automation that displays ticket count charts in Google Sheets and a bot that shows the help desk’s “stress level” each morning via the day’s ticket count and average time to respond.

A customer request inspired their biggest work in progress: an app that allows Ignition’s clients to interact with their Accelo tickets from their own Slack workspaces.

The flexibility of Accelo’s API, especially regarding field formatting, makes Ella’s endeavors less frustrating than they might otherwise be. 

“The worst thing is having an API that doesn’t do everything you need it to do,” they say. “And with Accelo, I don’t run into any frustrations like I have with other APIs.” 

Experimentation with an API isn’t just for IT professionals. All types of service businesses use Accelo to create automations that extend the platform’s capabilities beyond its native integrations.

Find out more about the endless potential that Accelo could lend your business. Schedule a demo.

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About the Author

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Chelsea Williams is Senior Copywriter at Accelo, where she shares unique insights with service professionals and tells user stories via blogs, eBooks, industry reports and more. She has over 15 years of B2B and B2C writing experience — primarily in tech, sales, education and healthcare. Chelsea is an AWAI-certified Master Copywriter trained in brand storytelling and microcopy.

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