For the astute among you, you may have noticed that I’ve recently removed all premium reports for sale from gavsto.com. There are a number of reasons I have made this decision, and I think it’s only fair that I give people a ‘heads up’ on why I chose to do so. I really do believe that the Report Center in Automate is one of the most powerful report builders in any RMM today, but it has suffered for years now from not just a severe lack of development and support, but also from crippling bugs that make designing reports in it a massive inconvenience and a much bigger headache for me.
When ConnectWise bought BrightGauge a couple of years ago, I fully expected that the cards were marked for the longevity of the Report Center, and that it was likely, in the not too distant future, that it would be replaced with something BrightGauge related. Although I am a bit of a jack of all trades, I really do think one of my strengths is MSP reporting. I really wanted to help. Once BrightGauge had settled in to ConnectWise, I actually reached out to them with a proposition. I wanted to help design reports (for free) and put MSP reports out to ConnectWise partners as part of the BrightGauge solution, and in return I would get access to BrightGauge to be able to design the reports. I met with numerous of the BrightGauge team. They never got back to me.
At this point I lost a lot of the original will I had to develop new reports. So I just continued maintaining the existing ones while I carried on dealing with other areas day to day in my MSP that needed attention.
That brings me to 2021. For those of you that don’t know, Automate are in the middle of developing (another) RMM. I’ll refer to it as Automate CE. Automate CE is entirely web based, there is no thick client. As I understand it, this new web interface is going to mark the introduction of a new product called “BrightGauge Essentials” which will be a free, read only report solution. On their support site it is being listed as “a free, slimmed-down version of BrightGauge designed to provide small TSPs dashboards and reporting for key business applications”. You can see the feature comparison on their own website. You can’t even schedule reports to go out or deliver internally or to clients. I view this as essentially useless, and I’ve fed this back to ConnectWise already. In my experience, no-one wants canned reports. MSPs have different requirements (even if they are minor differences). You can’t template one report that fits for all businesses that MSPs support. Reports for clients are generally not “Cookie Cutter”.
If you’re a ConnectWise Automate MSP and you make the decision to migrate across to their new platform, just know by doing so you will be getting a neutered, cut down, reporting solution and I am certainly not going to pay hundreds of pounds a month to have functionality I already have in the current version of Automate.
I’m sorry if this post has been negative and depressing. This is a battle I’ve been fighting for years now and I’m just demoralised with the entire situation. Just know, I’ve advocated for all of you and I’ve tried my best to steer ConnectWise in the right direction when it comes to reporting.
Now armed with this information, I can in no good conscience continue to sell people premium reports when I can’t see a future for Automate’s Report Center. It wouldn’t be morally right. If you’ve purchased reports from me, I will still do my best to help where I can. If you have individual concerns please reach out to me.
Instead, what I am going to focus on now is teaching people how they can completely decentralise their reporting and make it relatively RMM independent. Those posts will hopefully be coming over the next couple of months.
As a final note, thank you to all the businesses and individuals who have supported me by purchasing premium reports over the years. I really do appreciate it.