Canadian IT firm SupportMyMac broke old habits with Accelo’s integrated ticketing, project management, invoicing and retainers.
SupportMyMac was born when Founder and CEO Sam Arseneau was tasked with building a Mac network for his uncle’s pharmacy back in 2006.
Today, the business helps Apple-based companies and government entities across Canada be successful. SupportMyMac offers backup and recovery, managed security, networking, wireless solutions and more. The firm boasts a talented team of IT experts, including Chris Lafleur Bell, Operations Manager, who taps into his art background to derive creative solutions for clients.
Sam, Chris and the rest of the team reached a turning point with technology in 2019. They were suffering from the side effects of using too many disconnected tools — a common affliction in business. They couldn’t log service calls on the go, their invoicing for recurring work was inconsistent and they were catching mistakes months later.
The risk to SupportMyMac’s reputation kept Sam up at night. He felt he was running the business on a shaky foundation, like he and his leadership team were driving in the dark. It was a terrible feeling to wonder if they were leaving money on the table, but Sam couldn’t access the data he needed to discover the answer.
He explains, “We found ourselves saying, ‘We really need to grow up again — have a bit of a digital transformation. We’ve done it this way for so long. That got us here, but it won’t get us there.’”
The team’s first attempt at moving away from organized chaos was to build their own tool: a homegrown database. But it wasn’t a long-term fix because it didn’t integrate with other tools and resulted in a lot of double entry. In the end, they realized it would’ve cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop it to the point where it could do what they wanted. Surely, there was a platform already built that would be a much smarter investment, but they weren’t quite sure how to find it.
Sam started the search by looking for a CRM with time-tracking capabilities. But he knew they’d also need project management, ticketing, invoicing and reporting. Finally, he learned there was a name for this kind of platform: a PSA.
Searching for PSAs turned up a lot of platforms that were close but not perfect. There were some “light” programs made for IT repair shops, but SupportMyMac is more than that — the team needed project management functionality. The same thing was true for so many other platforms: They covered one or two things but not everything the team needed.
“They were either too simplistic or way too expensive,” Sam says.
Accelo was different. When he came upon the platform, he was intrigued by its visibility and automation.
“It was complex enough in a sense that it offered a lot of flexibility, a lot of customizations and triggers — some intelligence — that the other tools just didn't have at all,” he says. “And I didn’t need to message my colleagues to ask a question. I could just look at open projects and see the timeline, the value and the percentage of task completion.”
There was also massive appeal in being able to transition from post-paid to pre-paid contracts, which was not an option in a lot of other platforms.
SupportMyMac onboarded in 2019, and Sam decided to work with Accelo’s Professional Services team for implementation. Despite having a tech-savvy internal team, he thought it would be best to have some outside support for data cleanup and migration. Sam says it was worth it — he and his colleagues didn’t realize how much of a positive impact Accelo would have on the business.
Most notably, the SupportMyMac team started using Accelo to build stronger relationships with clients by:
- Increasing the frequency of order communication: They set up pre-built activity templates to submit orders and notify clients as the orders proceed through to delivery and setup. Sam describes this as “removing all the dead air” — the spaces in which their clients would not have previously received status updates.
- Improving the quality of monthly reports: The team developed a tool that ties into the API of Accelo, linking to all of a client’s services and sending detailed monthly reports. For example, they may see which website threats SupportMyMac has blocked, how many tickets they’ve opened, the average response time across those tickets, etc. “We leverage Accelo as the authoritative source of client data,” Sam points out.
Personalizing interactions with new and existing clients: After new clients have accepted a quote, Sam sends them a handwritten “Welcome to SupportMyMac” card. Internally, this is easily accomplished by automatically assigning a task to Sam upon quote acceptance. If they were referred by someone, the referral shows up in a custom field in the assignment for the thank-you note and creates a task for Sam to thank the person who referred them. “All of that could not happen without the automations and the triggers that Accelo provides,” he says.
In almost four years with Accelo, SupportMyMac has noticeably increased recurring work and decreased the time the team spends on administrative tasks.
Leadership has benefited greatly from the data Accelo generates automatically.
“Typically, people would only find out how they’re doing financially at the end of year,” Sam explains. “Accelo allows us to keep an updated scorecard with KPIs like the number of new opportunities, account management meetings and other important metrics.”
This data has driven big decisions during these few globally volatile years.
It’s really helped us around evaluating which contracts are profitable and which ones need a bit more account management. When we do annual rate increases to keep up with inflation, we pull a report of activity and time against contracts, so we are much better informed.
Sam Arseneau, Founder and CEO
The SupportMyMac team has also done something unique: They’ve adapted Accelo to reflect Gino Wickman’s Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS): a popular business framework featuring six key components.
Sam is excited to discover what else Accelo can help his team accomplish. He keeps a personal to-do list called “Accelo Improvements,” where he logs little tweaks he sees the team could make to improve workflows in the future.
SupportMyMac is just one of a number of IT businesses that have accomplished impressive outcomes with Accelo. Your firm could be one of them.