TymeShift – Bridging the Gap Between TSheets and Zendesk

A New Product Launch Using TSheets Open API

Every great app starts with a problem to be solved. For MPA Computers, that problem was tracking their employee time to support tickets. MPA had two software solutions that were managing the core functions of their business: Zendesk and TSheets. Requests for service were logged into Zendesk Customer Service Software, and employee time spent on those requests were recorded into TSheets. MPA soon outgrew their ability to easily manage and utilize the two different systems together, however. The company wanted one place to manage both time and support tickets.

The TSheets API was so well documented, that I felt I could create my own solution, rather than wait for someone else.

Chris Ball, the Creative Director at MPA, employed the power of Google to try and find a solution. While searching for time tracking and Zendesk, he discovered the TSheets API documentation. “The TSheets API was so well documented, that I felt I could create my own solution, rather than wait for someone else,” said Ball. “With a basic knowledge of PHP and TSheets' open API, I was able to create a link between Zendesk and TSheets [such that] New Zendesk tickets automatically created new job codes in TSheets.”

TSheets was wonderful; they added new API functionality that enabled us to automate the sign in and API key entry.

Using just that initial link between Zendesk and TSheets, MPA immediately saw an increase in billable hours logged. Automatically creating job codes made it more likely that technicians would record time properly. David Birchmier, MPA's CEO, saw an opportunity. “We knew if we were missing billable hours, other companies were missing them, too. I believed that if we created the right interface in Zendesk, we could help many other companies recover time and track how hours were being spent.”

Birchmier connected with both TSheets and Zendesk to gauge interest in a bridge application between the two platforms. Both companies responded positively and TSheets willingly offered direct access to their developers for support.

MPA dedicated a programmer to improve the functionality of the link between TSheets and Zendesk, and soon data began moving in both directions. Using TSheets open API, MPA was able to report time logged against a ticket in real time, while viewing the ticket in Zendesk. Employees were then able to see time logged for the day, without having to switch softwares. The new app increased efficiency for MPA and also reduced the need for employee training.

MPA continued to work with TSheets and Zendesk, soon offering the solution in the Zendesk app store, under the name TymeShift. “One of our concerns,” said Birchmier, “was the need for customers to sign up for the two platforms and pass API keys back and forth to make TymeShift work. TSheets was wonderful; they added new API functionality that enabled us to automate the sign in and API key entry. With this automation, the sign in and connection process is almost invisible to the user, and the process now takes seconds instead of minutes. MPA could not have achieved this without the fantastic support from TSheets.”

Tymeshift Timeclock

Since its launch in the Zendesk app store in January 2013, TymeShift has been implemented by hundreds of users. According to Birchmier, “What began as a frustration, has transformed into a successful product launch. This simply wouldn't have been possible without the dedicated people at TSheets.”

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