MSP tools are evolving their capabilities
Some platforms can monitor printers and smartphones. Others can bring up a list of running processes and services on a remote computer and allow the MSP to terminate them while the user is on the computer. This is handy if a process is hung, more specifically:
- The point of MSP software is to allow your IT provider to be proactive, not reactive, and to anticipate problems and fix them before they escalate into costly downtime. Theres no guarantee that a component will suddenly fail, but if a computer goes offline, the MSP will know about it if the computer fails to report in.
- These days, when I go onsite, its a necessary visit. I could be doing project work or attending to a computer that is down, training, or a problem that cant be addressed remotely. The client knows that Im not wasting time performing routine maintenance thats handled by automation.
- MSPs typically charge widely varying fees by user or by device depending on the platform they use and whether they include their time for reviewing reports and responding to alerts. But for a small monthly fee per computer, the peace of mind is often worth the cost!
- MSPs also resell and support a variety of monthly services that typically have Cloud components. Examples include;
- Hosted Microsoft Exchange corporate-level email accounts. I include five accounts in my Total Managed Care plan for small business clients.
- Hosted Anti-Spam accounts. Hosting anti-spam means a business doesnt need local anti-spam software on their email server. Mail goes to the host where it is filtered , then cleared messages are sent on to the clients server.
- Managed online backup I resell eFolder online backup for clients and include up to 30 GB of space in my Total Managed Care plan. I guarantee to clients I check backup status daily and ensure their backups are working.
- Backup & Disaster Recovery appliances (BDRs) These devices handle local backup and include offsite transfers to Cloud servers For clients where downtime is costly, I resell BDRs and support them. Monitoring ensures offsite synchronization is taking place. The client pays a monthly fee for storage and support.
- Managed Antivirus The days are ending when businesses have to buy an antivirus program for a computer, or manage installations of antivirus agents from a server. The management is now done from the Cloud and the antivirus agent is integrated into the monitoring agent on each PC. Antivirus is just another automated task handled by the managed services platform.
- MSP offerings are broadening into training and compliance. For example, I now offer online training for doctors offices for HIPAA compliance so staff are knowledgeable in the rules and know how to avoid data breaches of Protected Health Information.
Other articles by David:
A Solid Backup Solution for Your Small Business
Windows Server 2012 for Small Business
Backing Small Business Up in the Cloud
6 Benefits of Moving Anti-Spam to Cloud
Why You Need the Cloud
IT Disaster Tales