LIMA designs, implements and supports IT infrastructure solutions for ambitious brands and public sector organizations across the UK. Recognized as providing outstanding client services as well as employing highly skilled subject matter experts, LIMA provides affordable and innovative IT solutions, backed by vendor awards and accreditations over two decades.
Their flagship ProActive support service allows LIMA to monitor and manage their customers’ IT infrastructure; optimizing its performance and reducing any downtime. Working as an extension of their customers’ IT departments, this frees up the customers’ in-house IT teams to focus on delivering more strategic IT projects. LIMA focuses on mid-size customers in the healthcare, housing, legal, manufacturing and finance sectors.
To support its growth strategy and the increased focus on providing managed cloud services, LIMA has had to review its operations and develop a more sophisticated understanding of cost of sale, cost of service delivery and the tracking of projects. Also critical was the ability to measure the value of its services to customers and to present that value in ways customers could easily understand.
The problem was with the data. LIMA needed accurate, timely visibility into its service KPIs right across the business.
LIMA’s Operations Manager, Mark Munford, picks up the story: “We implemented ConnectWise Manage four years ago to bring all the areas of the business together which has allowed us to operate more efficiently, but getting easy access to and visibility of relevant service and operational data proved difficult. We were really struggling. We spent a lot of time exporting data and then having to work with large spreadsheets. We wanted answers to basic questions such as understanding the cost of our services across the business, our cost of sale. But historical and comparison type data was not available. We had to try and create reports from scratch and it just wasn’t working.”
During 2020 Mark Munford heard about Cognition360 and signed up for a free demo with Cognition360’s President Ken Davis and data guru Eamon Magan. The demo used LIMA’s own data.
“During that initial demo we were impressed by Ken’s background and knowledge from owning his own MSP and his in-depth experience in knowing how to leverage the data to ‘pull the right levers’ as he puts it. Likewise, Eamon really understands ConnectWise data,” Munford says.
Within days of receiving Board approval for the business case to implement Cognition360, LIMA was seeing tangible and measurable results.
“We can see the data we want almost instantly. Instead of hours of work to get data of dubious accuracy, now we’re getting accurate data in just a couple of clicks. We can share the data around the business in Power BI form. Cognition360 has an extensive library of reports ready to go, out of the box,” Munford says.
Key reporting areas already being leveraged include agreement profitability, individual customer profitability, project profitability, and a raft of other Cognition360 reports analyzing productivity and profitability across all the Operations and Service Delivery teams.
Transforming customer quarterly reviews
LIMA’s Service Delivery Manager, Tim Jones, is using Cognition360’s Quarterly Business Report analytics as the foundation for what he terms ‘The Modern Service Review.’
The heart of this, Jones says, is using accurate data to home in on areas of major business improvement; using the quarterly review process as an opportunity to have a dynamic conversation with a customer.
“Rather than just presenting static reports, now we’re able look at trends and root issues – and drill down into the data in a deep dive to see where anomalies are,” he says.
“This allows the conversation to flow and allows LIMA as a service partner to really listen to our customers. The reporting obviously underpins the whole conversation. Together with the customer we’re using the quarterly business review process to make constructive decisions on how to increase overall customer value from their IT investment,” Jones says.
Prior to Cognition360, Jones says he was frustrated by the amount of time required to build quarterly reports: “Often I would spend days manually downloading data in raw spreadsheets to build the gauges and dashboards, and then the reports, into a reporting pack. Often these were custom and could not be used for other customers. The first issue was accuracy, the second was frustration with how cumbersome and time consuming it was. But the real issue was that I couldn’t work interactively with the customer. Now I can – literally at the press of a button.
“The key problem I had before Cognition360 was that I was unable to have customer reviews with data they could trust. Now I can. That capability makes customers feel confident in the data and confident in us. It really is a game changer for our long-term customer relationships.”
LIMA’s Cognition360 report card
“Cognition360 has been fantastic,” says Mark Munford in summary. “The openness and insight that Ken Davis gives around the levers that an MSP can pull are very much appreciated and well used from our point of view. Cognition understands what we do as a business – that’s brilliant. The knowledge that Eamon Magan and others have of the data is a huge asset. Having a partner who can show us the real data, accurate data is highly valuable.
“We would thoroughly recommend Cognition360. The product and the people. They’re responsive and adaptable. There’s not just a whole lot of reports dropped on you, but real day-to-day support to help drive our business forward,” Mark Munford says.