Choosing the Right Technologies for Your MSP

Choosing the Right Technologies for Your MSP

MSPs live and die by technology.  An increasing percentage of MSP revenues is derived from the services that MSPs sell to clients. And these services are based upon the software solutions MSPs choose, implement and exploit.

This blog covers how:

  • Technology can drive efficient service delivery
  • You no longer need to choose best-of-breed solutions and closed, integration solution sets
  • Requirements for next-generation PSA  and revenue-generating MSP 2.0 software
  • Kaseya IT Complete for MSP supports growth in an MSP 2.0 world

Service Delivery

The ultimate success of your managed services business depends on how efficient you can make your service delivery model. The most efficient MSPs support thousands of client devices per engineer. They do this by continuously and systematically eliminating the sources of unpredictability which would otherwise consume countless hours of analysis and remedial work.

Not only is this the most profitable approach, it also maximizes both client satisfaction and professional staff satisfaction. It results in the ability to easily onboard and support new clients as well as to extend new services to existing clients, all without necessarily increasing the number of technical staff required. When new staff are required, they can quickly be brought up to speed using the common IT management solutions and standard processes that have been developed, allowing rapid scalability to meet every likely circumstance.

When choosing the IT management solutions your team will need to optimize efficiency, it’s best to think about a layered approach. There are general purpose solutions that you’ll need to use all the time and specialized products that may only be needed occasionally. The goal should be to minimize the number of specialized products or tools and maximize the scope of the general purpose solutions.

General purpose products are used by most of your technical team members, will quickly become familiar, and should be easily scalable as your business grows. Specialized tools may only be required for certain services or in certain circumstances. Examples of general purpose management solutions include your helpdesk or trouble ticket system, your PSA and your IT monitoring and management capabilities.

The fewer different products required and the closer the coupling between them, the more efficient and effective your organization will become.

Organizations that rely on a wide array of different products often have a hard time achieving the highest levels of efficiency because incompatibilities lead to longer event Mean Time to Repairs (MTTRs) and make automation of routine tasks more challenging.

No Compromise Required

In an MSP 2.0 world, you can’t afford to get locked into a closed technology community. The MSP landscape is changing too quickly: competitive pressures are growing stronger; new technologies are emerging every day; and customer requirements are getting more demanding and more complex

The good news is that you’re no longer between a rock and a hard place when choosing between best of breed or a closed integrated solution suite. You can both select the solutions with the capabilities that best fits your needs AND deploy these capabilities in an integrated way with your other solutions by selecting vendors who cultivate a robust and open technology ecosystem that:

  • Delivers heterogeneous solutions that are open and easily integrated with each other
  • Supports your ability to easily extend your technology capabilities when you need to
  • Invests in innovative solutions that meet rapidly changing MSP 2.0 customer requirements
  • Creates , shares and extends powerful, field-tested automation, especially policy-based automation
  • Provides you full choice in how, when and in which order you select and deploy new solutions
  • Leverages modern, intuitive interfaces and system design that enhances user productivity, and workflow customization

Open and Integrated: It’s No Longer Either/Or

The reign of closed solution suites is over, shifting to the rise of open, heterogeneous software ecosystems. As Jim Lundy, analyst for Aragon Research writes, “The shift we are talking about is the realization by many of the largest Tech Titans that closed systems and ones that don’t interoperate are dead. The new model that is evolving is one of cooperation (partnering), cloud and app level integration.” was an early adopter of this model, explaining, “We recognized that our success hinged on building a vibrant ecosystem.” Even behemoths in the ERP space – where tightly integrated solution suites reached its apotheosis – are evolving into what Gartner terms “postmodern ERP,” which is a “loose confederation of on-premises software suites augmented with SaaS applications.”

These new ecosystems – supporting heterogeneous solutions – are enabled by a broad technology shift which makes integration between systems, and even between cloud and on-premises solutions, far less cumbersome than it used to be. Simon Griffiths from Flowgear points out, “Integration has become easier, more cost effective, quicker to implement, and more flexible. Because of this, the advantages that integrated suites used to have no longer apply.”

Kaseya IT Complete for MSPs

IT Complete for MSPs, the industry’s first Unified MSP Growth Platform, provides MSPs with both solutions that help them RUN their business, as well as the most comprehensive offering of revenue-generating solutions to enable them to GROW their business.

Each solution set of Kaseya IT Complete has been designed to be open and integrate with non-Kaseya products should the MSP so desire. Be it a non-Kaseya PSA, or other products, Kaseya IT Complete will remain an open solution and Kaseya overall will remain open to the vendors’ products, PSA and otherwise.

Each component of Kaseya IT Complete is the best in class and category as a stand-alone solution. However, when used together, Kaseya IT Complete offers significant incremental value to the MSP.

Next Generation PSA

PSA solutions are critical tools for MSPs, but the reality is that no PSA product directly generates revenue for the MSP. These critical products provide a very important function of running the MSP

business, but do not generate revenue. Therefore, a next-generation PSA product should be sold at a very low price point so that the MSP frees up money to invest in other key aspects of their business, such as hiring additional techs, or more sales people, to address the growing and evolving needs of their SMB customers and the market overall.

Moreover, next-generation PSA solutions should include all functions at one low price to the MSP, since efficiencies can only be realized when all the functionality of a PSA is working together. All core PSA functionality must be included as standard for: Billing, CRM, Project Management, Inventory, HR, Contract Management, Service Desk/Ticketing, and Reporting.

An easy-to-use interface makes it simple to learn and use for everyone in the MSP – from billing, to sales, to technicians, to office managers. This ensures that there is complete compliance for all users at an MSP, to ensure that the MSP gets the most value out of its PSA, and no one works around or out of the system due to difficulty of use.

Revenue-Generating MSP 2.0 Software

The most important aspect of a modern Unified MSP Growth Platform is the completeness of its portfolio of software for which the MSP can generate revenue in the form of managed services. This is often known as revenue-generating software.

The platform should include software that is ready for MSPs to build managed services around, both today and in the future. The revenue-generating aspect of the solutions is the most critical, as it leads directly to the MSP’s profitability and sustainable differentiation.

Revenue-generating software should be inclusive of next-generation Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) software, as well as a portfolio of complementary MSP 2.0 Emerging Solutions that MSPs can offer as services that SMBs are asking for today. The platform must be continuously innovating and be one step ahead of what the SMBs are asking from their MSPs, so that the MSPs on the platform are seen as thought leaders and can deliver what clients need, when they need it.

For more information on IT Complete, download our IT Complete Playbook – Your Roadmap to Success in the MSP 2.0 World.

For more information on Open and Integrated Solutions, download our whitepaper Best of Breed vs. Closed, Integrated Solutions? There’s a Third Way: Open, Integrated, and Agile.

Posted by Doug Barney
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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