Live data drives customer value at Cal Net
Cal Net Technology Group’s new Cognition360 data warehouse solution has improved customer satisfaction scores, reduced customer churn and boosted individual and team productivity.
Cal Net Technology Group is on a fast track to becoming the leading full-service provider of IT services to SMB organizations in the greater Los Angeles and Orange County areas – and beyond. Now with 115 employees, the company delivers a broad and deep range of IT services, including an array of managed services.
Cal Net excels in tackling the complexities of partially and fully-outsourced IT, voice system implementation, cloud enablement and migration, document management, and data back-up and protection.
Cal Net’s Director of Organization Effectiveness, Ryan Migita, says Cal Net’s recipe for success has three key ingredients: breadth and depth of services; high quality of service; and honesty and transparency in building long term relationships with its customers.
“We don’t compete on price,” he says. “We compete on value.”
Cal Net’s investment in a new data warehouse solution with highly sophisticated reporting and analytics tools – Cognition360 – is yielding a unique ability to use live data to track, manage and measure all of the complex variables that contribute to a customer’s perception of value.
Highly visible around the walls of Cal Net’s offices, large plasma screens display Key Performance Indicator data. All staff, from management, through sales and marketing, engineering, and service desk can see at a glance the key metrics that measure how well the company is delivering on its customer value promise.
Live data means real-time benefits
“Having current rather than historical data is an absolute game changer for us,” Migita says. “Instead of weekly reports we now have live reports. This means that instead of operating our business through the rear vision mirror of historical data, we can now see exactly what’s happening in near real time and can take action immediately whenever key metrics are not on or above target. Live data in near real time means benefits that are literally transformational to business operations and the quality of customer service.”
Prior to becoming one of the first MSPs worldwide to implement Cognition360, Cal Net had struggled to achieve timely reporting. The company’s ConnectWise PSA system was the key data source, but attempting to get live data from the system was cumbersome. Cognition360 provides a data warehouse and the ability to use Power BI to quickly build reports to track key performance indicators in near real time – without slowing down the production ConnectWise server for everyone else in the business.
Migita says up-to-date data has had a major positive impact on the Cal Net culture. He says live data means immediate accountability of individuals and teams right across the business. But instead of this being threatening or intrusive, the reverse has proved true.
“The partnership and synergy between live data and stronger, more efficient people management has measurably improved individual and team productivity and effectiveness,” Migita says.
“In turn that’s flowed through into our quality of service to customers. Individual and team productivity is up. Customer satisfaction is up. Customer churn is down.
“Leaders can be more effective and individual staff members can see and measure their own performance. Team leaders and co-workers can see when a team member needs help.
“We can show clients how well we are performing and as a direct result of that, customer satisfaction and retention are much improved. When we sit down with a customer to review, for example, a managed services agreement, we don’t say: ‘We want to charge you more because we’re not making enough money’. Rather, we show the customer how we are delivering outstanding value in terms of faster remediation of problems, fewer outages, increased network performance – and we suggest new areas of business improvement. The outcome may well be an increase in the price of the service agreement, but only where there is a demonstrable increase in value to the customer.”
Growth through acquisition made easier
Migita says all these benefits are reflected in the Service Leadership Operational Maturity framework Cal Net uses to measure its organizational development.
“Cognition360 has definitely increased our maturity as an organization. With live data driving our decision making we are more efficient, more agile and more effective as an organization.”
This extends to Cal Net’s ability to integrate new acquisitions. “Having a unified reporting platform means we can identify and adopt new technologies and processes as well as quickly identifying and fixing areas of weakness,” Migita says. “We get synergies from growth much more quickly and effectively. This is very important. We are very serious about our goal of becoming the dominant MSP on the West Coast and we’re well on track to achieve that goal.
“Cognition360 is extremely valuable to our business,” Migita says. “It’s not just the quality of the software in terms of delivering the live reporting we want, it’s also their in-depth knowledge and expertise of the IT MSP business. Having that industry knowledge is a huge differentiator. They understand our business. They know what we want and need and make a strong contribution to our mission of delivering outstanding customer value.”