The Ten Solutions MSPs Cannot Live Without in 2021
Managed service providers have come a long way from the era of break-fix operations that were the norm twenty years ago. With business technology constantly evolving and growing in complexity, there is an increasing need for IT teams that can provide comprehensive services to support today’s operations.
Every client’s needs are unique. The diversity in business approaches and technology infrastructure make it harder for MSPs to determine which solutions to provide in their portfolios. What are the most lucrative and value options for the organizations they support?
Based on regular observations of the channel, there are several mission-critical offerings that virtually every service provider should have in their stack. The top ten options include:
1. Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM)
The platforms that MSPs use in their own business sit at the top of the list. Remote Monitoring and Management tools allow IT teams to view backup statuses, manage antivirus and system patches, and connect remotely to endpoints. These systems give technicians the capability to assess software inventories, monitor network performance, and remotely access desktops to fix various issues and install and configure applications. Performing those maintenance tasks without being on-site is particularly critical in shifting to WFH business environments.
2. Professional Services Automation (PSA)
MSPs need a backbone system to manage and track their operations, costs, revenue, client information, inventory, billable hours, time-off requests, and other critical (and billable) activities. PSAs allow providers to handle most, if not all, of those operational areas of interest. These MSP-business enablement platforms deliver key performance details and other insight that improves a provider’s operations’ efficiency, productivity, and profitability. No IT services firm should ignore this essential tool.
3. Archiving & Backup
Every business device must have a way to save, file, and restore data properly. A backup system should copy current information that users may access regularly and store and secure the static data that might not be needed for some time, if at all, addressing the company’s compliance needs. These systems allow businesses to easily recover files in the event of a disaster, hardware failure, corrupted data, or another major issue. From the smallest to the largest client, everyone has information they need to protect (even when unaware of the requirements).
4. Hosted VoIP/UCaaS
Business dynamics have rapidly changed thanks to the mass migration to remote work. MSPs can help their customers adapt to those transformations with hosted VoIP or unified communications. Softphones allow employees to make calls from virtually any device in any location as if they were at the corporate office. UCaaS can expand collaborations by using different communication avenues, such as video to host meetings, webinars, or tutorials and text messaging for those quick memos that don’t quite require an email. The hybrid workforce is here to stay, and these solutions increase productivity.
5. Network Operations Center (NOC)
Most businesses can benefit from 24/7 monitoring of their applications, databases, firewalls, and networks. NOCs are the first line of defense in terms of cyberattacks or other system disruptions. IT professionals can provide a wealth of support services, from backing up data from network devices, implementing patches, and handling security issues. NOC personnel may also install, update, and troubleshoot software and manage network reporting. Most SMBs cannot afford the time or the dedicated staff to operate these support programs without the help of a trusted MSP.
6. Business Continuity & DR
If there is anything that business owners should have learned over the past year, it is that there will always be unpredictable events – from natural disasters and pandemics to cyberattacks and network outages. MSPs can ensure the continuity of their clients in the wake of calamity by designing and implementing DR plans to address these potential occurrences. No company should pass on the opportunity to employ these strategies following the events that took place over the last 13 months.
7. Auditing & Compliance
Every organization has some industry standards or state/federal regulations they must follow to remain compliant. However, MSPs can struggle to understand all the potential implications of securing critical data, especially if those changes impede their clients’ operations. Managing multiple applications and continually enforcing and reviewing policies is the last thing small and medium-sized organizations need. In addition, many businesses do not have in-house resources or dedicated resources to handle those tasks. MSPs can support those activities and reduce their clients’ compliance headaches.
8. Cloud Management
Today, many companies rely on the web to conduct critical work activities. Dominating forces like Google, Amazon Web Services, and Microsoft are making it easier and more affordable to implement and use these solutions, as are a rising number of smaller companies with various new options. Despite that rapid adoption, internal IT teams can encounter many obstacles, opening the door for skilled managed services providers who can integrate and manage multiple cloud solutions.
9. Help Desk
Where do MSP’s clients go when they need assistance? A helpdesk option streamlines the problem-solving process. Providers may use various contact methods, such as web forms, live chat windows, email, and direct phone support. No matter the employee’s location, there should be multiple avenues to get the help they need.
Ensuring that all corporate systems and data are secure is mission-critical for every business today. With cybercriminals constantly on the offensive, it is more important than ever to implement safeguards such as encryption, email filtering, firewalls, antivirus, endpoint protection, and various cloud defenses. No matter how large or small the organization, its systems and people are targets. Attacks and breaches are the new norm. It is simply a matter of whom and when. With the threats never-ending and the consequences so high, MSPs can benefit tremendously by offering comprehensive cybersecurity support.
Ample Opportunity to Gain
Many SMBs struggled over the past year. More often than not, the owners realize that they cannot manage everything independently, especially with all of today’s uncertainties.
MSPs have an incredible opportunity to support their clients’ evolving needs. There are certainly more than ten ways to offer their customers solutions to improve their operations, ensure their compliance, and increase profitability.
IT services firms can offer all those services while boosting their own recurring revenue, margins, and customer satisfaction. That presents the ultimate win-win situation.
If you enjoyed this blog, you might also be interested in the blog: Three Reasons Why UCaaS is the Best Solution for the Hybrid Workplace