Proven Effective Tools and Software for Your Growing MSP BusinessJanelle Orfinada
Technology has become simply an extension and part of our lives. Small organizations now have access to the kind of resources that were previously available only to bigger companies, offering a much more level playing field.
In the early days, when resources are tight, this makes perfect sense. You might be asking for a friend’s help to build a simple website or have your manager take on payroll and marketing alongside their job. But what happens when your business starts to take off?
Several business owners realize they can’t keep up with their initial IT management solution. We have two choices, in this case, one, invest heavily in an existing IT infrastructure or two, pursue external assistance.
And this is where Managed Services Providers (or MSPs) steps in.
What is a Managed Service Provider (MSP)?
Managed services is a system in which a company proactively outsources some IT planning operations and functions in order to improve efficiency and cut costs.
It is an option to the outsourcing method of break/fix, where the service provider provides on-demand services and only pays the client for the work done.
In short, an MSP business is a firm that controls the IT infrastructure of a client remotely and manages all IT operations.
Also, the usual MSPs customers are the Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs). Because some smaller companies have minimal IT resources in their own offices, which allows them to see an MSP system as a way to get an IT specialist.
Nevertheless, large companies may also be able to enter into agreements with MSPs. For instance, government agencies may contract MSP to supplement in-house IT personnel under budget pressures and hiring limitations.
Different types of MSPs will also use various tools, and we will present it here in this article. We can look at the various types of software and tools that Managed Service Providers use to support their clients.
Eventually, we will be providing and present some of the best software solutions for managed service providers we can dig up. We will study each of them briefly and show their most interesting features.
Types of Tools used by an MSP Business
Professional Service Automation (PSA) Tools
If you want a system that centrally manages all business processes and workflows in your MSP organization, you may need a PSA solution.
A tool for Professional Services Automation can be described as an operating system for your MSP business. For many MSPs, their PSA platform is the central repository for every kind of data–its operations, clients, resources and inventories, billable times, and much more. Moreover, it can help an MSP manage its customers, deliver services, contracts, and accounting, etc.
PSA tools generally refer to the tools managed to deliver services to customers, but not directly related to services provided by managed services providers. A perfect example is a billing tool that addresses the financial aspect of the contract for service management.
Another feature commonly found in PSA tools, such as knowledge management, is project management. These tools include service desk functions sometimes. Indeed, it is a rather blurred line between various types of devices used by managed service providers.
In addition, PSA technology also offers features for event planning, scheduling, and invoicing. Great PSA tools help MSPs automate many processes. Therefore, it gives the employees an enormous increase in productivity and helps the service provider to control project costs.
Service Desk Tools
We have listed service desk tools as one of the possible characteristics of professional services automation tools, but they are really important and also quite complex. Each service desk tool shares a few basic elements.
They include things such as creating and managing tickets, but their extended feature set goes much further.
Remote Monitoring and Management Tools
If you support a hybrid IT environment that combines cloud, virtual, and legacy parts, you may need an RMM solution. You want something that can be accessed globally across all the silos in your network.
In the long term, understanding what the problem is is much safer and more cost-efficient than trusting the separate silos to find out what that overall issue might be.
Security features, including antivirus, security defense, and intrusion detection and prevention can include other common features of RMM tools.
Many PC intrusions-malware, worms, viruses, hackers-enter code, or computer information via a small crack. It is not only recommended but also essential to apply regular patches to correct these defects.
Managed service providers are responsible for maintaining a number of customer applications. The value of patching has been emphasized as never before since the shockwave of ransomware attacks that shook the world in May 2017.
However, app vendors don’t come up with patches much faster than before. Customers were also much more specific about upgrading their apps the same day the update was released.
Now it is a time-consuming, effort-intensive, financially drainable task for MSPs to manually monitor the patching status of hundreds of applications. This is where you can take control by using patch management tools.
Apart from setting up regular patch checks, this software saves a lot of time and cost for MSPs, helping central patch installation and management through intuitive dashboards and ensuring that the applications they are responsible for are not compromised.
Throughout patch management solutions, automatic rule administration of servers and desktops is often used.
The Best Software for Your MSP Business
SolarWinds Remote Monitoring and Management
SolarWinds is in its relevant field a well-known name. For years it has developed great tools for network and system management. SolarWinds Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) is specifically intended to allow you to control customer resources on remote sites either through direct contact or automated operations.
Two strong features of this tool are patch monitoring and antivirus upgrade collaboration. In contrast, Risk Intelligence enhances the safety features of the platform greatly, including ransomware detection and defense of the database.
It also prevents the possibility of the use as an entry point to the network of infected websites.
SolarWinds Key Features:
- Remote Monitoring and Management
- Patch Monitoring
- Security and Protection
SolarWinds Remote Monitoring & Management System comes down to simple automation to create complex tasks using a drag-and-drop interface— no new scripting language needs to be learned. You can also write and upload your own code in several important script languages.
If the onboarding system is to be standardized for new customers, patched, or optimized, its RMM Framework helps you to tailor your workflow to maximum efficiency.
Pulseway Free offers to monitor for up to two Windows, Linux, or Mac machines. You can display the temperature, network, RAM, and much more in real-time. In addition, you get instant updates and automatic notifications when something goes wrong. In the Pulseway operator, you can configure the alarm to provide only relevant alerts.
Take complete control and perform terminal orders, run Windows updates, reboot, uninstall, hibernate, or disable your device, interrupt processes, and much more.
- Monitoring and Automation
- Control and Reporting
Automate your tasks and schedule IT tasks to run repeatedly on your machines. That means you no longer have to perform worldly maintenance tasks manually, they will be performed in the background automatically.
ConnectWise Automate is a network management system that offers many remote management features for your MSP business. The tools can monitor and alert systems, manage patches, remote control, and manage scripts as well as assets.
A scripting module that allows you to create your own automatic workflows enhances automation which is a key element of this product.
Features of ConnectWise Automate:
- Endpoint Management
- Asset Discovery
Screen Connect of Remote Access Module from ConnectWise Automate allows remote access by service desk attendants to fix problems. Screen Connect’s mix of scripting language and manual control includes the complete range of customer support apps.
The many functions of this tool make it suitable for remote operator’s services, such as training and support, but also for managed providers with a great number of customers.
Office365 and G Suite
Productivity software is a powerful tool for a wide range of applications. Microsoft and Google are the big players of office productivity suites and it is fair to say that they’ve both earned their place, although there are other choices on the market. Both capabilities include word processing, computers, and data management, which are most commonly used.
Microsoft Teams and Hangouts are a fantastic and easy interface for quick messaging and chat when collaboration with a team is involved. Teams are much more successful if you think about group projects regularly or need to work constantly together.
Best Features you can get using GSuite and Office 365:
- Email Client
- Collaboration Tools
- Word processing
Why would a company use both channels for efficiency when it does the same? For one thing, the on-prem Office has already been around and as a result, is more stable than GSuite.
Excel is an example of a software with which Google Sheets is currently unable to compare. yet, considering, many organizations have valued document editing, e-mail, meeting, and collaboration elements supplied by G Suite. While G Suite is not regarded as a quite as effective tool as Office, it provides the core functionality that is needed for many users at a lower cost.
So how do you decide which one suits your business needs? You can read The Comparison of GSuite and Office 365 for additional information you need.
Atera is a cloud-based MSP application program that provides IT professionals and MSPs with professional service automation, management, and remote monitoring tools.
It is particularly suitable for small businesses. Some of the most important features of the solution includes automation of IT tasks, automated monitoring, inventory of networks, patch management, and white labeling of systems. It also provides a CRM module with a database of contacts, customers, contracts, devices, SLAs, and ticket information.
- Customer Relationship Management
- Asset and Inventory Tracking
- Reporting and Analytics
- Real-time Monitoring
FinancialForce Dashboard photo credit: FinancialForce.com
FinancialForce PSA is a Salesforce cloud-based program. It is an effective alternative for organizations of all sizes pursuing the automation of professional services. The system provides visibility to its users through the provision of service, sales, and financial activities. Through its SaaS model, it offers tours, product demonstrations, and recordings.
Some of the businesses the retailer runs include IT, immobilization, media, and entertainment. The centralized resource center provides a number of resources, such as videos, product demonstrations, ebooks, datasheets, analyst reports, guides, webinars, whitepapers, and live events.
- Project Management
- Accounting and Finance
- Time Tracking and Billing
- Planning and Forecasting
This program incorporates Salesforce CRM in order to simplify a number of operations. This includes workflow authorization features to harmonize business processes with Chatter tools. This connection allows teams to bind files, exchange ideas, and add comments on various projects.
Kaseya BMS gives the ability to handle backend processes for small and medium-sized managed service providers so that they can concentrate on service delivery and sales. This cloud-based software assists clients in industries including insurance, banking, retail, training, and hospitality.
Users can create and post documents, dashboards, and workflows through the program. It also offers VSA functionality, providing multi-tenant cloud computing, ticket processing, analytics, and business intelligence.
- Customer Relationship Management
- Expense Management
- Inventory Management
- Project Management
Certain tools included in this approach include monitoring time and expenditures, handling items, maintaining a service desk, focusing on customer relationships, and controlling accounting, stocks, and billing. Kaseya BMS project management module provides IT professionals with access to project status reports supported by analytical prediction techniques.
There is also an inventory system that helps you to place and manage inventory at different locations. This module can also produce purchase orders, keep stock levels, and replenish stock. Kaseya BMS also includes a repository containing detailed files on the products offered.
Are you ready to use these Tools?
An MSP business has a range of unique software needs and requirements taking into account their customer focus and security of information. Integrating your company with the MSP infrastructure can reduce costs, rationalize efficiencies, and limit human errors by using the automation capabilities provided by each solution.
With these concepts being integrated, customers benefit from advantages such as synchronized IT assets, simplified workflows, and better data reporting across key network resources.
An MSP business can provide the transparency, scalability, and consistency needed to stay ahead of this highly competitive market with the incorporation of all the tools mentioned in this article. Furthermore, you can neutralize everything by taking the centralized direction, facilitating overhead management, increasing productivity, and possibly benefiting from a better return.
What MSP solution would you prefer? Let us know in your comments below. Tell us what you’re going to try out…We would love to hear that.