For those of you who are thinking about hiring a managed services provider to oversee or assist you with your IT services, it is important that you do your research first. You need to know exactly what these providers offer, including the types of tools used to support your operational needs.
Thankfully, there is a wealth of information online that covers these topics in detail. From explaining how managed providers work to discussing the types of tools required to manage an MSP efficiently, you will know exactly what questions to ask before you solicit the help of a managed services provider. So, keep reading to find out what tools your MSP should have in their arsenal.
1. General Tools for Managed Service Providers
The most experienced and qualified managed service providers are always equipped with the tools needed to provide the best IT services and user experience possible for their clients. These are MSPs that already know what tools are required to support everyday business operations. From supplying their clients with the latest server software to fix network problems remotely to providing integrated solutions to increase the efficiency of managing computer networks, the primary goal and objective are to provide a seamless user IT support experience for everyone in the organization. For instance, here are a few recovery backup tools that may be used to prevent expensive data losses.
- StorageCraft Shadow Protect SPX
- Veeam Availability Console
- Veeam SPCDatto
- N-Able Backup
- Microsoft SQL Server
These backup and recovery tools have been designed to prevent serious data loss and financial hardship for a company. These recovery tools are critical in emergency situations like natural disasters that can occur at any time and anywhere. For instance, when a managed services provider uses N-Able Backup as their primary recovery solution, they can take advantage of the following:
Fast backup: The N-Able Backup recovery solution helps to reduce the backup and recovery time. With the use of TrueDelta technology, only file changes are updated instead of full files. Therefore, the entire backup process can be performed more frequently.
Fast recovery: IT technicians can provide faster recovery. Based on hybrid cloud architecture, all files can be restored in 1 of 2 ways, local copies or the cloud. Technicians can select whichever solution is deemed faster.
Bare-metal recovery: Technicians have the capability to restore every file in a format that is considered to be a bare-metal state. In fact, the only thing that they will be required to do in this recovery process is to a CD-ROM or a bootable USB drive.
Data Archiving: Business owners and their staff can choose how long the backup copies need to be retained, indefinitely or for a specified period of time. This is especially important for organizations that must comply with regulatory legislation like HIPAA.
2. Professional Services Automation (PSA) Tools
An MSP must also have software tools that automate the processes that they oversee. As such, the best-managed service providers will have access to robust solutions that gives their IT technicians the capability to look at a full view of their customer’s operations remotely. For instance, when an MSP has access to Professional Service Automation tools,(i.e. an Intelligent Management Platform) they can easily manage and organize the following:
- Customer data
- Billable hours
- Time-off requests
- Other essential pertinent business data
In fact, in all actuality, the managed service providers that use these automated tools can offer a better IT customer support experience in a number of different ways. And based on a recent Total impact Study that was conducted on MSPs by Forrester, these automated tools are instrumental in reducing the number of dissatisfied customers by as much as 48%. It is also important to note that the response time for these services improved by 28%.
3. Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) Tools
MSPs are responsible for ensuring downtime and outages are minimized and completely avoided at all costs. Because downtime in many of today’s business operations can be very costly, the tools required to monitor and manage computer and network systems are a critical part of the overall services that they offer to their clients.
For this reason, the MSP must have a remote monitoring and management (RMM) tool that provides real-time info. This real-time information must also be available to any stakeholder who has a key role in reacting to incidents that occur. For instance, here are some of the most essential features that must be included in the applications that they use.
- Access to systems and devices in real-time.
- Early incident detection so that the information be sent out to the stakeholders impacted by the problems.
- Helps with providing immediate resolutions to incidents reported or identified in the process of monitoring the company’s computers and network systems. For instance, if the network has been hacked by a cyber attack, the security breach and exposure can be fixed immediately.
In short, an RMM (Remote Monitoring and Management) tool is not a luxury that only a few managed services providers offer to their clients. Instead, an RMM tool is a staple that these providers must use to ensure the company’s computers and computer networks are up and running seamlessly with no unnecessary downtime.
Managed service providers are tasked with providing a wide range of critical IT services to their clients. Therefore, to keep whole operations from being disrupted by undetected computer and network problems, MSPs need the best tools in the industry to help with meeting these needs and requirements. Many of which require trained IT technicians to monitor the company’s computers and network systems on-site and remotely, too.
Whatever the case or situation, the tools that a managed service provider can help to implement the best solutions possible. Three of the most beneficial include general tools that back up and restore company data quickly, professional services automation tools that track time-off requests and billable hours, and RMM (Remote Monitoring and Management Tools) to detect and correct network problems in real-time. All of these tools are essential to providing a smooth seamless IT services solution for any organization.