MSPs & NOC Services: How to Get 24×7 Coverage without Hiring More Staff

NOC-services

The largest MSPs can offer 24×7 service and support. They have their own Network Operations Center (NOC) or already get such a service on an outsourced basis.

Not all are so lucky. Some smaller MSPs can only handle trouble tickets and other duties during work hours. That’s bad enough for a local client in the same time zone. They want their systems fixed no matter what time it is. It’s an impossible situation for geographically dispersed clients. Having limited service hours can severely limit your own expansion ability.

The answer for many is to augment your IT staff by ‘renting’  NOC service for hours your staff are unavailable. Third party providers offer MSPs NOC services, but so do many MSP solution vendors such as Kaseya. The advantage for the latter is the NOC service tightly integrates with the MSP solutions you already rely on such as RMM and PSA.

And with tight integration, clients won’t notice the difference between the NOC and your own staff. Properly done, the NOC makes you look like a much larger company with a far bigger 24×7 staff.

Kaseya customer IT-Guru is reaping the benefits of the Kaseya NOC service. “The thing I like most about Kaseya’s IT services is that it’s really an extension of our business,” said Joe Axne, president of IT-Guru. “They’re there 24-7-365. Watching over all the monitoring, all the noise that’s being created and suppressing the issues… resolving the issues on the fly without having to hire staff. They’re providing us the proactive care we need. They’re providing that proactive side where I don’t have to hire that proactive team here for IT Guru.

Kaseya NOC Services

Kaseya NOC Services has been built especially for Kaseya MSP customers. Here is a quick and dirty description. “If you’re an MSP struggling to staff appropriately while expanding your business, or looking to provide your customers with around-the-clock coverage, Kaseya NOC Services can help. Designed to let you scale quickly, Kaseya NOC Services delivers the monitoring and management services you need to extend your existing in-house staff and meet your customer demands.”

Because the service is built especially for Kaseya customers, MSPs can be up and running right away.

Here are the immediate benefits:

  • Scale immediately without expensive overhead
  • Meet and exceed service level expectations
  • Free up staff to focus on new ways to add value
  • Maintain complete control over end user interaction
  • Enhance your bottom-line profitability with 24×7 services
  • Access to Kaseya’s best practice monitor set and troubleshooting methodology

Virtual Monitoring – First Line of Defense

Kaseya NOC Services performs just like an extension of your own staff, except it never takes time off.  Just like your own technicians, the service monitors client systems to make sure they are working and performing properly.

When trouble is found, the service can deal with the alarms, filter out the false ones, and remediate the issues based on pre-defined workflows and best practices.

This is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, MSPs sign up for Kaseya NOC Services to suit their own business needs. They can enroll endpoints into one of three tiered service levels on a mix-and-match basis.

You can also customize monitoring thresholds, and configure notification and escalation policies. You maintain complete control over usage, data collection and, especially, end user interaction.

Build or Rent a NOC

As mentioned earlier, larger MSP shops often have their own NOCs. So should you build or go for a NOC service? It all depends.

Charles Weaver, CEO of The MSP Alliance, has definite views on MSPs building or tapping into a NOC Service. Weaver believes that using or not using a NOC service is an important business and economic decision. “It is important for MSPs to constantly evaluate which services are most valuable, and identify which services should be outsourced versus performed internally. In essence, MSPs need to go through the same evaluation their customers undergo when deciding whether to outsource,” Weaver said.

Weaver sees a NOC service as focused on basic RMM functions and Help Desk. “The idea that you should outsource completely your NOC and help desk should be done only under the right circumstances. For example, it is very common for smaller MSPs to need after hours or weekend/holiday support for their NOC but cannot do it themselves.”

And MSPs should never say never. “It is an entirely different situation, however, to say that you plan to never have a NOC or help desk. This is the very essence of being a MSP. To never plan on developing your own monitoring, management, and help desk capabilities, begs the question as to your real purpose and value to your customers. The NOC is the service delivery engine for your MSP practice,” he said.

More on Kaseya NOC Services

Kaseya NOC Services has three levels. First, you can use it for monitoring only. With this service level, Kaseya NOC Services handles the monitoring and the Kaseya NOC technical team reviews alarms and escalates the issues that need tending. The NOC team also offers troubleshooting advice so MSP technicians can prioritize their work, and insure that SLAs are continuously met.

Next, you could choose one of two additional options where the Kaseya NOC team uses data from the monitoring service to take more proactive action. Designed to let you scale quickly, Kaseya NOC Services delivers the monitoring and management services you need to extend your existing in-house staff and meet your customer demands. Even better, you have the flexibility to choose the exact level of service that’s right for your business.

Here are the three levels of Kaseya NOC Services.

Level 1: Monitor

Perfect for MSPs who need access to NOC engineers to help ensure the health, availability and performance of IT infrastructure on a 24×7 basis. Count on our services to review alarms, filter for false alarms, and escalate issues to your team. You can customize monitoring thresholds, configuring notification and escalation policies. You maintain complete control over usage, data collection and end user interaction.

Highlights of the Monitor service are the following:

  • 24×7 monitoring of Microsoft Windows servers/workstations/network devices
  • Access to Kaseya’s best-practice Monitoring Library
  • Flexible notification options, including phone, email and text (SMS)
  • Troubleshooting and alarm-resolution tips based on Kaseya best practice
  • Scheduled and ad hoc reports, providing operational and executive summaries

Level 2: Manage

In addition to all the services in the Monitor service level, Kaseya NOC engineers will perform remediation of alarms based on an agreed-upon set of tasks and run lists. In addition, you get access to a Technical Services Desk to assign tasks such as user account creation, adjusting permissions, resetting user passwords, adding printers and printer queues, etc.

Following are the highlights of the Manage service:

  • All benefits of Monitor-level Kaseya NOC Services
  • Remediation of alarms based on mutually agreed workflows and best practices
  • Technical Service Desk, through which you can assign routine tasks to the Kaseya NOC engineers

Level 3: Manage+

This level of service is designed for MSPs who want their IT team to focus on high-value customer engagements. Besides delivering all the services in the Manage level, this service allows you to offload other common tasks.

Manage+ service highlights include:

  • All benefits of Manage-level Kaseya NOC Services
  • Kaseya Patch Management
  • Kaseya Antivirus and Anti-malware Management
  • Kaseya Backup Management

If this seems like a good fit for your MSP, get a free price quote.



dougbarney

Doug Barney was the founding editor of Redmond Magazine, Redmond Channel Partner, Redmond Developer News and Virtualization Review. Doug also served as Executive Editor of Network World, Editor in Chief of AmigaWorld, and Editor in Chief of Network Computing.

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