With each passing year, managed services providers build toolboxes of every great complexity, creating ‘Frankenstein’ systems for their IT Help Desks. New systems and new modules for existing systems promise greater efficiency and agility, yet still, the toolbox grows. In recent years, though, one tool has quickly become non-negotiable – PSA (Professional Services Automation).
PSA software ramps up an MSP’s capabilities in ways that used to be impossible. It enables MSPs to automate procedures that used to be done manually and were, therefore, time-consuming. Recently, MSPs are seeing an even bigger advantage to PSA when it comes to bolstering IT help desks.
1. Oversight Of Help Desk Ticketing
PSAs can help MSPs to track of their help desk ticketing. This alone can transform a help desk, whether for a project manager, business owner, or service delivery manager. By automating ticketing, MSPs can potentially reduce the time they spend on an IT Help Desk’s operational tasks by a significant margin. That other time can then be reinvested in new areas of the business, such as deploying strategic growth strategies and creating strong business partnerships.
2. Greater Help Desk Insight
Traditional solutions for IT help desks are generally not automated, providing limited insights. However, MSPs that don’t use PSA rarely have enough time to reap the benefits of data-driven insights. PSA changes this. They provide robust analytics about the help desk, which then empowers the MSP with clarity about the business.
3. One Stop Shop
Traditionally, MSPs use different software platforms that offer various tools. They have to log in and out of them to move from one to another. This inefficiency is partly addressed with a good PSA solution. Instead of invoicing a client from one platform and then managing the help desk from another, MSPs can do all of this within the one system. Business functions and tools are combined and, more importantly, analytics from these tools are merged, creating a much more comprehensive picture of the business, its processes and systems.
4. Enhanced Customer Experience
IT help desks can infuriate clients. They can be complicated to use and provide little help. The right PSA platform transforms this experience and increases the effectiveness and efficiency of help desk ticketing. Clients receive better service. They spend less time logging tickets, they can include better quality information in those tickets, and can easily view the status of each one. For the MSP, this means a decrease in customer calls, allowing MSP employees to spend their time in more profitable and strategic ways.
Professional services automation is not a stagnant market. As MSPs and their clients change, PSA and how it’s used also needs to change. Here are just a few of the trends that MSPs and Help Desks should be looking out for over the next year:
1. No More Rip And Replace
Historically, MSPs have mixed and matched the software tools they use. Each year they find something new and trade it out for another tool in the hope they’ll refine their toolbox. This is slowly coming to an end. Because PSA platforms offer a wide range of tools and allow for deep integration, it becomes less convenient to switch systems. PSA platforms will be seen as the gold standard for modern MSPs, and piecemeal toolboxes will become a thing of the past.
2. A Maze of PSA Platforms
Many current, well-known SaaS providers are trying to expand their offerings. They see that PSA will play a big role in the future of many companies. However, most of these newly introduced software tools will not be MSP-centric. They will not offer the tools and community support that MSPs need in order for PSA to work for them. When choosing a PSA solution, MSPs must ensure they’re not just buying a brand, but rather, a tool that will allow them to see increased efficiencies in their daily operations.
3. Offshoring is Out
Over the next year, many MSPs are going to look at ending any outsourcing that they currently do with their IT help desk. They will still offer a 24/7 IT help desk to clients but it will likely be supplemented by the integration of a dynamic knowledge base. This will lower the burden on MSP professionals and allow them to pursue more high-value tasks and projects. As time goes on and their knowledge base grows, an MSPs reliance on this technology for support operations will only increase.
ServiceTree is a PSA platform for IT Help Desks that utilizes knowledge-driven performance automation to deliver huge efficiency gains. The platform uses a combination of two technologies. The first is Decision Trees. At its core, Decision Trees are structured workflows so that anyone at the MSP, regardless of their expertise, can use the platform and deliver consistent service.
Decision Trees also contain a robust Q&A structure and a knowledge base that is continuously improved. This means tickets are resolved faster, yet in a very customized, task-specific way.
The second technology is Open Next™. It assigns support jobs based on a patent-pending rostering and skill-matching technology. In the end, it allows the workflow to stay task-focused and it measurably reduces job delays.
Within this single PSA system, there is ticket execution, inventory management, logistics tracking, invoice generation, and reporting. An MSP’s technicians are given a guided process and matched with the jobs that suit their skill set. Managers benefit from a single platform that oversees and manages all processes. Business owners can harness automation like never before, whilst achieving absolute accuracy in billing.
PSA technology is the tool that takes MSPs to a new level of customer service and competitive advantage. It is essential for MSPs to embrace this new technology and integrate it effectively.
If you’d like to see how ServiceTree brings all these elements together in one package, reach out today.