Overseeing IT infrastructure is becoming more and more complex. Technology is no longer just a computer at each person’s desk and a company network. It’s integrated into just about every business-as-usual process. Each department is constantly identifying new technologies that will improve their operations and make them more effective.
Additionally, businesses are more at risk than ever before. Cybersecurity is at the forefront of typical business challenges. In simple terms, it means that managed service providers are dealing with more intricate and delicate infrastructure and end-user systems than ever before. Because of this, MSPs must prioritize the right tools for their ecosystem.
The MSP Ecosystem
The MSP ecosystem is evolving. The IT toolbox that techs use has had to adapt to the needs of the companies they serve. The service desk must have MSP planning and control solutions that make it as efficient as possible. System management should be simplified wherever possible.
The fact is, however, many MSPs didn’t initially have an ecosystem that served these needs because most of them didn’t set out to be MSPs. Initially, they were more project-based IT providers – offering break-fix solutions or acting as VARs. Due to changes in the market and a more stable revenue model, they chose to transition.
For most MSPs, the most challenging aspect of this transition was creating an ecosystem that functioned well. Identifying the best MSP tools was and still is difficult. And beyond selecting the right tools, there was the need to develop proficiency with them and the features that they offered. Deciphering what is a must-use tool can sometimes lead to costly mistakes, in time and money.
To save you from these pitfalls, here’s a list of tools every MSP needs – whether individually, or within a single integrated solution:
1. Recovery And Backup
Technology isn’t perfect. Systems get hacked. Glitches and faults occur. Even if an MSP has robust security technology and regularly checks for random errors and other issues, problems can still happen. When they do, MSPs must be prepared. They need a backup tool that will aid them in disaster recovery. This tool should be able to back up large volumes of data, and restore it faultlessly when required.
Technology isn’t foolproof when it comes to combatting security threats. The companies that MSPs serve will still be at risk of hacks and other malicious cyber attacks. But even if it isn’t perfect, security technology can still do a very good job most of the time. Intrusion detection systems, VPNs, and firewalls allow MSPs to support the infrastructure and minimise security breaches.
3. Virus Protection
Data, applications, and the devices that house them are valuable. If something goes wrong, it can be costly on multiple levels, and it can tarnish a brand’s image, too. Clients depend on their MSPs to prevent this from happening. With viruses, trojans, spyware, and other malware circulating the internet, MSPs must embrace software that protects against these threats.
4. Patch Updates
IT systems must be updated with patches to ensure their integrity. Unfortunately, when patches are rolled out manually, they take time and cost money. MSPs can mitigate much of the cost by centralizing their patch deployment and management regime and automating the process where possible.
5. Remote Access
Remote access allows MSPs secure access to desktops and servers on a small scale, to troubleshoot a client’s technical issue directly on the device.
6. Remote Monitoring And Management
To compete and survive in the market, MSPs need to embrace RMM. Without it, technicians spend too much time on the phone and out on site. RMM allows them to stay in one place and manage and monitor all IT infrastructure on a continuous basis. With an RMM solution, tasks and oversight are not only centralized but also streamlined.
MSP tools can have control over everything from virtual machine management and database administration to application and server monitoring. In short, RMM is the tool that allows MSPs to provide the solutions that they promise to clients in the most reliable and efficient way possible.
7. PSA Software
Professional services automation software is used by professional services firms in many different industries. However, IT is the one professional service that can’t survive without it. The functionality of PSA software is unparalleled—there’s just no other software that offers the efficiency and structure that PSA does.
The most robust solutions allow MSPs to integrate automation into project and document management, as well as invoicing and scheduling – among many other tasks, processes, and systems. PSA software can also integrate with CRM and ERP systems, providing MSPs with more oversight than they’ve ever had before. PSA software is the most cost-effective way for MSPs to manifest their own success stories, and to save time and become more effective with their processes and services.
8. Integrating Tools
Individually, PSA and RMM are tools that MSPs must have. They deliver many features and options that make operations run smoothly. To level up further, you integrate the two.
RMM is effective on its own, and so is PSA software. But when they’re combined, MSPs get the RMM oversight of customer systems plus the PSA’s automation maintaining tidiness across all services, including the helpdesk, customer histories, invoicing, and so much more.
In the end, the goal is to achieve as much automation as possible while remaining reliable and accurate. PSA/RMM integration does just that. Without PSA, tasks are executed manually, and without RMM, the MSP misses out on significant efficiency and savings.
Human errors fall right off, too, manifesting as real cost savings.
Integration of the two systems provides the MSP with a single source of truth (SSoT) – usually accessible via a dashboard. Data is only entered once, and SDMs don’t have to switch back and forth between platforms to run their operation.
PSA/RMM integration brings enhanced efficiency and reliability – two things every MSP needs to compete and win new business.
If you’d like to see how ServiceTree brings all these MSP tools together in one package, reach out today – we’d love to show you.