The EdTech innovators at Cortevo Technologies saved time and labor costs by efficiently managing recurring work and client requests with Accelo’s Retainers and Tickets.
Cortevo Technologies is a technology consulting firm that helps schools and mission-driven organizations manage educational data, user access, state reporting, compliance and more. Working hand-in-hand with school administrators and MSPs, the Cortevo team strategizes and implements comprehensive technology solutions to support educators and students, becoming integrated partners rather than traditional vendors.
Casey Muse, Founder and Principal Consultant, started Cortevo in 2019 after holding a series of executive roles in technology, one of which was CTO of a national, non-profit charter school network. Stephanie Muse, Consultant, was a classroom teacher and had experience in curriculum development and data analysis. By meshing their skills and leveraging their respective networks, they’ve grown the business year over year by referrals alone.
Having previously built EdTech infrastructure, Casey knew he needed to automate and maximize efficiency from the jump when he founded Cortevo. But it took a bit of trial and error to land on a winning approach.
Like a typical MSP, Cortevo initially had Zendesk as a ticketing solution. They also used Harvest for time tracking and QuickBooks for invoicing and tried several project management tools, including monday.com and Asana.
Their tech stack felt fragmented, which didn’t help Casey with deciding how many full-time people to hire.
“I couldn’t forecast our growth and where we were going based off the retainer contracts that were coming in,” he explains. “I couldn’t make decisions about pricing, capacity and when I needed to hire new people because I was using all these disparate tools. I had some metrics, but I was still using gut feel.”
Because Cortevo clients often sign multi-year contracts that bill each month, Casey was spending a ton of time manually creating invoices and trying to keep track of where clients were in their respective retainer cycles. It didn’t help that Zendesk didn’t allow him to attach tickets to retainers.
He considered other platforms, including BigTime and ConnectWise, but they were each missing key components Cortevo needed to successfully manage end-to-end client work.
When he discovered Accelo, Casey was thrilled about how it “pulled everything together into a single pane of glass.”
He decided to invest in Accelo’s implementation services because they started the process at the end of a school year and had to get everything up and running before the next one began. It turned out to be a wise decision.
“It got us going fast,” he says. “It was worth paying for someone to help figure out what our specific needs were. They definitely took time to understand our business. It was all on time, and the team was super responsive.”
By the start of the next school year, they were using Accelo to:
- Organize an active help desk queue with the heavy use of Tickets
- Manage recurring work with the seamless flow from Tickets and Projects to Retainers
- Generate quotes and bill accurately for work completed during a retainer period
Most importantly, they could manage both planned and ad-hoc work intuitively. For example, the Cortevo team sets up different project plans and pre-assigned tasks for predictable end-of-year work, such as student registration and state reporting, that roll over to the upcoming school year.
Ad-hoc requests come in through a support email and auto-convert into tickets, which then get assigned to a service contract retainer. When they sell time outside a project’s normal scope, these tickets help Casey and his team automatically track the hours used against the given retainer.
It’s clear that Cortevo has achieved Casey’s vision of an efficient operation. He now sends out invoices in 10 minutes and has confidence in their accuracy. Thanks to the QuickBooks integration, he spends far less time on accounting in general.
“For being as small as we are, I think we even surprise our clients with how organized we are. We function much more maturely than many businesses of our size.”
This increased efficiency and the ability to forecast revenue using Accelo has directly informed Casey’s decisions.
“I don’t have to pay someone full-time to manage the business elements of just keeping us running, and that’s primarily because of Accelo’s automations.”
In addition to cost savings, the Cortevo team has discovered the impact of visibility. They can now see exactly how much time they spend on client communication. As the business grows and renews existing partnerships, Casey says these insights are critical barometers. He’s committing to “live and die out of Projects” this year, explaining that using Accelo to its fullest potential will help him hold himself and his team accountable and generate even more reliable data.
The collective effects of Accelo have made it even easier for Cortevo to focus on being an integral player in each school’s ecosystem.
There’s nothing else that compares at the price point. It is significantly paying for itself in terms of the value that we get from having everything under one roof.
Casey Muse, Founder and Principal Consultant
Explore all of the ways Accelo offers value to consulting firms like Cortevo.