Creating the Next-Generation IT Managed Services Provider Using Captain’s Chair

The world of managed services isn’t what it used to be. In the past, clients simply turned over the technical reins to their managed service provider (MSP), and the MSP would handle whatever IT functions were part of the agreement. Today, this sort of relationship just doesn’t cut it. Clients want to take a more active role in their technology management, and they want an MSP who’s going to act as a partner– in other words, they want a next-gen IT MSP. How can you set yourself apart in a competitive MSP market and offer your clients the visibility and reporting that they want? With Captain’s Chair, you can put clients in control, offering them a new level of transparency and accountability– a digital transformation.

Captain’s Chair and the Next-Gen IT MSP

Captain’s Chair offers clients a “single pane of glass” view of their IT environment: software, hardware and infrastructure. With this level of transparency, clients can feel confident that their IT resources are being managed effectively. Even better, it provides the insights they need to figure out if they’re getting the most from their IT investment.

Being a next-gen IT MSP is all about being more efficient and proactive. It’s about acting as a trusted advisor to your clients, not just a source of technical support. Captain’s Chair helps facilitate that relationship by offering a number of valuable benefits:

  • A Global View of Their IT Environment: A consolidated view into all aspects of the IT ecosystem gives organizations unprecedented levels of transparency. This complete transparency also helps MSPs work with their clients to meet their business needs, whether it’s reducing expenses or scaling their business.
  • IT Accountability: Clients deserve to know if their IT provider is doing its job. The Captain’s Chair platform provides that accountability, ensuring that all service levels are met or exceeded.
  • Actionable Insights: Captain’s Chair provides clear insights into the performance of an organization’s IT environment. Clients can determine if their IT environment is achieving optimal performance and make sure they’re getting peak value from their IT spend.
  • Control: When organizations outsource their IT services, they often feel like they’re losing control of the entire IT environment. Captain’s Chair puts that control back in their hands so that they can take the reins and maximize their IT ROI.

The Captain’s Chair platform ties in well with the next-gen movement from hardware to software. Organizations are looking to move away from the usual capital expense model of purchasing new hardware every few years; they can budget more effectively by utilizing cloud services and software that come with consistent operating expenses. Captain’s Chair delivers information and insights on all things digital to clients– from server statuses to web analytics to project roadmaps. It’s all there, ready for organizations to harness and use to gain a competitive edge in their respective industries.

Putting Clients in the Captain’s Chair

For next-gen IT MSPs, the key to success in this rapidly-evolving business landscape can be summed up with two words: communication and transparency. When you open up communication channels with your clients and provide the visibility they need to feel comfortable with your service, you’ll boost client retention and stand out from the crowd of competitors. If you want to help your clients enable their own digital transformation, put them in the Captain’s Chair. They won’t want to leave.

Captain’s Chair – Partnering with the ConnectWise Ecosystem

If you’re already part of the ConnectWise ecosystem, you know how this suite of complementary solutions can streamline and automate your work as a managed service provider (MSP). In today’s competitive MSP market, however, it’s no longer enough to simply provide services to your client. Clients want to take a more active role in their relationship with a technology MSP, and they want increased levels of transparency from their service provider. How can you reinforce your role as a trusted partner to your clients and give them the visibility they want? The solution is simple: Harness the power of ConnectWise and put your clients in the Captain’s Chair.

What is Captain’s Chair?

Captain’s Chair is an industry-first proprietary software designed to solve one of the most common causes of client frustration – the “black box” of outsourced IT. MSP’s sell Captain’s Chair to generate additional recurring revenue, reduce client churn and have the ability to work with larger, more lucrative clients. The platform presents a summary of information for clients on all aspects of their IT environment: tickets, backups, servers, network elements, websites and applications. In addition, the application also provides at-a-glance information on assets such as workstations, servers and subscriptions. Clients can also view quotes, reports and roadmaps that will help drive digital transformation.

The ConnectWise Connection

For ConnectWise users, Captain’s Chair is a natural partner. The platform pulls its information from multiple ConnectWise products, including:
• ConnectWise Manage: This Professional Services Automation tool can transform an organization’s help desk, automating tasks and keeping the flow of communication going. Through Manage, Captain’s Chair pulls information so clients can view the status of tickets, assets and warranty information at a glance to set their mind at ease. Going forward, Captain’s Chair will include additional features from the Manage product, including one that allows clients to see the status of project tickets.
• ConnectWise Automate: With this remote monitoring management tool, agents are deployed on all servers and workstations. The tool reports the health status for each device; using this information, the dashboard can generate automatic alerts when a device has issues or requires proactive maintenance. Through Automate, Captain’s Chair pulls information related to on-premise servers and workstations to give clients the ability to see the health status along with any downtime or trouble history.

Additional integrations are planned for other tools within the ecosystem, including ConnectWise Sell, which streamlines the proposal process and automates billing and collections.

Driving Digital Transformation

It’s clear that ConnectWise can help MSPs streamline their processes and create efficiencies. With Captain’s Chair, you can embrace the role of a next-gen MSP, offering clients complete visibility, transparency and accountability. Take advantage of the synergy between these two powerful platforms, and help your clients drive their digital transformation.

Top Reasons Why Companies Leave Their MSP’s – The Captain’s Chair Solution

Every MSP knows how it important it is to maintain positive relationships with clients; after all, it’s a lot harder and more expensive to acquire a new client than it is to retain an existing one. Understanding the most common reasons why companies leave their MSPs is the first step toward achieving client loyalty– implementing a solution that addresses those issues will take you the rest of the way there. Let’s look at some of the top reasons why companies end up ditching their MSPs and talk about how Captain’s Chair can solve those problems.

Problem: Communication and response time
The Captain’s Chair Solution: Clients can get frustrated when there’s a seeming lack of communication regarding issues related to incidents. If an organization feels that response times for open tickets are lagging, it won’t be long until they find themselves a new MSP. Captain’s Chair can bridge the communication gap, giving clients the opportunity to see their full ticket history along with any notes associated with those tickets. The platform even allows them to add their own notes to tickets. This level of visibility and communication sets a client’s mind at ease and can reduce calls to the service desk.

Problem: Lack of transparency
The Captain’s Chair Solution: Clients often feel like they need to blindly trust their MSP to do the right thing; however, most organizations would prefer a more active partnership with their service provider. With Captain’s Chair, clients can “trust but verify”. Organizations don’t have to worry that their MSP is selling them products and services that aren’t necessary just to increase revenue; instead, they can feel confident that their MSP is acting as a trusted partner.

Problem: Unclear expectations
The Captain’s Chair Solution: Over time, client infrastructure inevitably becomes out of date or out of warranty. As an organization’s servers, workstations and networking elements age, their environments are likely to fail more often. Unfortunately, these situations often cause friction with IT MSPs as clients blame them for the issues. With the help of Captain’s Chair, MSPs can proactively communicate and set expectations for clients. They can provide their clients with clear roadmaps for hardware and software refreshes and set the stage for their digital transformation through regular business reviews.

It’s no surprise that clients are quick to leave their MSP if they feel they’re left out of the loop. Organizations are no longer content to simply outsource certain functions to a managed service provider– they want to take a more active role in the management of these functions. The Captain’s Chair platform provides the transparency, visibility and accountability clients need to feel confident in your service. Put your clients in the Captain’s Chair and watch your client retention rates grow.

The True Cost of Client Churn

Your clients are your MSP business’s most valuable assets, and lost clients can impact your business in a big way. If you’re not tracking these critical client-related metrics, there’s no better time to start:


  • Lifetime Value of a Client: This value can be calculated by averaging the number of months that you have a client and multiplying that number by their MRR (monthly recurring revenue).
  • Client Acquisition Cost: You can establish this value by examining the current cost of your sales and marketing teams and any campaigns designed to drive new business. Take these costs and divide the total by the number of clients that have been acquired in a given timeframe.
  • Client Churn Rates: This value can be defined as the loss of clients or reduction of services over a given period of time.


High churn rates reduce customer ‘lifetime value’; even worse, they drive up the cost of customer acquisition due to the need to replace lost customers. The result is less profit for your business and a negative impact on your bottom line.


As an MSP, what can you do to reduce churn rates?


  • Make your value visible
  • Improve client experience
  • Track client satisfaction


At Captain’s Chair, we’re working to make these areas of improvement as seamless as possible for our MSP partners. The Captain’s Chair platform provides clients with two of the most important factors in a successful ongoing relationship with your business: transparency and communication. When you keep the lines of communication open with your clients and provide the visibility and transparency they need to feel informed, you’ll stand out in the competitive MSP market. Put your clients in the Captain’s Chair to reduce your churn rates and help them achieve their digital transformation.

Captain’s Chair v2.4 Release Notes

As cybersecurity and threat protection becomes more pertinent to small and medium businesses, we realized there is a need for our managed services partners to share threat data with their clients. We are excited to release a new integration with Webroot AntiVirus to provide just that! In addition, we have some great features with Meraki’s Security Center and enhanced two-factor authentication.

This is a top-level summary of the most important updates:


  • 2FA is now an option for every user and works with Google Authenticator.
  • Asset mapping in the getting started process now supports additional asset types.
  • Webroot AntiVirus and Cisco Meraki Security Center have been added.
  • New log history information to show change activity and user login history.
  • Roles and permissions have been significantly enhanced.


Check out the video below for a summary on these new features and functionality!


Transforming Your Customer’s Experience

If you’re a managed service provider (MSP), you know the importance of communication and engagement to ensure a good customer experience. When touch points with your clients are few and far between, your quarterly business reviews (QBR) may be your main opportunity to make sure clients stay updated on the work you’re handling for them. The only problem is, a QBR takes time to prepare, and busy account managers don’t always get these reviews completed as often as they’d like. How can you maintain consistent engagement with your clients and deliver a quality customer experience?


Understanding the Problem


There are many vendors who offer services to account managers, claiming that they can help them generate a QBR more efficiently. While these companies can be helpful in formulating a more efficient QBR “plan of attack” for account managers, they don’t address the real problem– aggregating the necessary data. Captain’s Chair offers a simple but powerful solution to this issue, aggregating data in our platform so that account managers can easily consolidate all the information they need for a QBR.


Thinking beyond Quarterly Business Reviews


Even with the ease of having data consolidated in one place, why limit your client engagement to a rigid routine of quarterly business reviews? What if it was possible to expand your engagement with customers beyond quarterly business reviews and give your customers the ability to consume this data in real time? That’s where the Captain’s Chair platform can be a game changer for account managers. We live in a world where we’re accustomed to having information at our fingertips. With this platform, you can provide your customers with information on demand and bridge the engagement gap.


Revolutionize the Customer Experience


It’s time for MSPs to move beyond quarterly business reviews and transform the customer experience. The solution is simple: a platform that gives your clients more access to data and helps them better understand the true value that you’re delivering. When you put your customers in the Captain’s Chair and help them stay informed, they’re far more likely to stick around for the long term.

Captain’s Chair gives more transparency for MSP customers

Our own, Phillip Myers, sat down with the SmileBack team to discuss the purpose of the Captain’s Chair dashboard and how our newest integration with their software can help MSP partners to better display their value to clients. Check out the content here!