Tag Archive - MSP

Cloud Gobbly-Gook: Making Sense of IaaS, PaaS and SaaS

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The cloud is supposed to be simple. After all, it’s just a massive computing utility that can do nearly anything, isn’t it?

The deeper you look, though, the more intricate it all becomes.

There are three major cloud service platforms which adds to this confusion. You can think of these services as comprising a stack. Let’s work our way up, starting with the lowest level.

IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service sounds pretty straightforward. Customers don’t have to have servers, storage and related network infrastructure on-premises. Instead, this is all hosted by a cloud provider and you essentially pay a rental fee. In the beginning, these were raw services based on bare-metal servers and unconfigured storage. It was up to the customer to set the infrastructure up with operating systems, apps and the like. Continue Reading…

How to Manage Change for Success: 7 Principles for MSPs

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There is constant pressure on Managed Service Providers (MSPs) to continually respond and evolve their offerings to ensure they remain competitive. Caught in an ever changing IT landscape with new service providers and the inexorable migration to SaaS, an MSP’s offerings need to continually evolve and new service offerings added, to remain relevant to their customers’ needs.

In such a volatile and rapidly evolving market, it can be difficult for organisations to plan and communicate changes effectively to their staff.  For any change, be it organization-wide or smaller business groups, it is critical to success to ensure staff understand what the business is intending to ultimately achieve, and that they buy in and support the change. Planning an organisation-wide, large-scale change can be quite daunting with its potential impact on the organization, especially on how to juggle multiple priorities not only daily but long-term strategically; so the larger the change, the more critical it is that the change is successful. Continue Reading…

Top Reasons MSPs Should Offer vCIO Services

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While enterprises have had CIOs for some three decades, it is only recently that Virtual CIOs (vCIOs) have emerged. Invented by MSPs, vCIO offer SMBs top-level IT strategy.

As an MSP, you provide much of this insight and guidance already to your clients.. Who knows your clients’ IT operations better than you and your staff? You can kick this informal advising up a few notches by offering higher level, truly strategic CIO advice and guidance. Of course, you can’t be on site every day – so as a vCIO you’ll do this virtually. Continue Reading…

How To Turbocharge Profits with Policy-based Automation

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The case for automation to enable efficient, effective and proactive IT management seems unassailable.

By applying IT automation to core IT functions, you can save a significant amount of time and money. Did you know that 40% of the time spent fixing a problem is analyzing and isolating the root cause? At the same time, 75% of most IT budgets simply go towards maintaining the status quo and keeping existing systems running.

What is automation, you may ask.  It is really anything that allows an MSP technicians to be more productive by, for example, being able to repair a problem in a fraction of the time it took before. In addition, since many issues are fixed quickly, Mean Time to Recovery (MTTR) improves and many problems are cut off at the pass and resolved before they impact end users.

Enterprise Management Associates’ (EMA) primary research has determined that MSPs and IT groups that implement automation reap many benefits, Continue Reading…

Inside a Next-generation RMM

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Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) solutions are the foundation upon which successful MSP businesses are built.

But all too often MSPs struggle with their RMMs, and devote a full-time admin just to run the darn thing. Complexity is just one thing holding back optimum exploitation of RMM solutions. Other drawbacks of some RMM tools are an inability to scale, less than robust automation, and weak reporting.

The quality of your RMM is critical as it is the main way MSPs produce revenue. That’s why the idea of a next-generation RMM is so important. So what is a next gen RMM? It is one that eliminates the downsides of today’s generation of solutions. Not only that, a next-generation RMM vendor should never stop innovating — always looking for new features that make MSPs’ clients lives easier and their IT more productive.

Did you know that last year, some 59% of managed offerings from MSPs were driven by an RMM, and that revenue grew Continue Reading…

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

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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 Continue Reading…

How MSPs Can Make Office 365 Management Easy

office-365There are so many reasons to love Microsoft Office 365. Employees can work remotely and, regardless of device or location, can access all their applications and files. Businesses especially appreciate the scalability and lower infrastructure costs that Office 365 brings to the table.

The problem is that managing more than a few users is time consuming – which is costly and the furthest thing from strategic IT work. Meanwhile, PowerShell scripting is often necessary for true granular control, which means  an additional  cost of learning or hiring someone who does this kind of scripting – something IT can ill afford.

This substandard and complex management approach puts IT at risk because auditing and reporting is either less robust, or entirely non-existent.

A great answer is for IT to put Office 365 into the hands of a Managed Service Provider (MSP). But MSPs find it difficult to manage customers that have moved to Office 365 because
Continue Reading…

Latest Research on What MSPs’ Customers Want

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Kaseya recently published its second annual IT Operations Benchmark Survey, which included results from 1,200 small- and mid-sized companies (SMBs) representing over 50 industries and 20 countries.

I thought I would share several insights from the survey that are extremely valuable to the MSPs who are targeting these companies.
Continue Reading…

Building a Serviceable Service Desk

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If there is a bread and butter aspect to a successful MSP, it has to be the service desk. Here is where the rubber meets the road, client IT problems addressed, and is the focal point for how clients interact with your company.

A mediocre or substandard service desk is a death knell. In contrast, a superb service desk creates customer loyalty, SLA compliance and great word of mouth. At the same time, such a desk is efficient, creating more revenue and profit opportunity.

Building an optimum service desk takes thought, planning and careful execution. Here are six areas to focus on, starting with staffing:
Continue Reading…

What’s A Next Generation PSA And Why On Earth Do You Need One?

 

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Professional Services Automation (PSA) software has been around for decades and, in too many cases, is getting long in the tooth.

Most of these tools were originally built for general-purpose business use.  Later, PSA tools were created especially for IT implementations. Because these focused on technical projects and tasks, it  was a big step forward but, for MSPs, it was not nearly enough. Solutions built for internal IT departments are not of optimal use for service providers. These IT tools are overly generic and are designed to be used by dozens of vertical markets. Serving this many masters dilutes these PSAs’ ability to serve MSPs’ unique needs.

There are many items that define an MSP-specific PSA, including the ability to work tightly with other key MSP software solutions and to directly manage MSP projects without a lot of tinkering or configuration.
Continue Reading…

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