How to Manage MSP Businesses More Efficiently

By Staff Contributor on December 23, 2020

By leveraging specialist tools built to save time, money, and effort, MSPs can manage their business more effectively.

There has been an increased demand for high-quality IT services and MSPs this year. Due to the pandemic, the majority of companies have been forced to adopt remote working conditions, which has led many to seek out support for their IT services that they haven’t necessarily needed in the past.

Many MSPs must now meet the requirements and expectations of a sudden influx of customers facing the unfamiliar challenge of working remotely. To respond appropriately, MSPs must set themselves up to provide support for remote organizations in a more streamlined and efficient way.

This guide will help prepare you to manage your business more effectively and efficiently. To offer you concrete advice, this guide will also consider how you can use specialist tools—with capabilities like password management, document management, email protection, remote access, remote monitoring, and backup software—to deliver excellent service while minimizing effort, cost, and resources.

Improving MSP business efficiency

 Using a suite of specialist and dedicated IT tools designed specifically for MSPs can make managing your business significantly easier. Not only do they make management less time-consuming, they can also offer the following additional benefits:

  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Improved customer loyalty
  • The potential for boosted revenue
  • The ability to provide added value to customers
  • Improved security
  • Business differentiation in a saturated market
  • Freed up time (via automation and other efficiencies) to spend on marketing and customer support

One of the best ways to maximize these benefits is to use the same provider for all your tools. If the provider offers bundled tools, this can potentially reduce your costs and minimize ongoing maintenance efforts with powerful integrations. Moreover, using one provider as opposed to relying on several disparate tools means you can consolidate your dashboards—and you only have to learn how to work with one UX. This saves you additional time by making it easier to train new employees, as they each only have one user interface to master.

If you’re looking for one IT services provider to bundle all your tools with, we recommend SolarWinds MSP. Many of the tools provided by SolarWinds MSP feature built-in integrations or can be integrated with each other to centralize management. These tools are designed to work alongside each other, delivering a streamlined and efficient suite of capabilities to best serve your customers. The solutions from SolarWinds MSP are user-friendly, provide enterprise-grade security, and offer industry-leading capabilities.

The tools you need 

To give you an understanding of how one provider can meet all of your needs, we’ll use SolarWinds MSP as an example. You can purchase each of the below tools on their own or integrate them with each other to create a powerful suite.

☑ SolarWinds Backup

A dedicated backup software solution like SolarWinds® Backup is an extremely useful tool, especially now with so many people working from home and introducing new workplace risks. Backup software helps companies ensure their customers’ data is safe and secure, even in the event of a disaster. In a remote working environment, employees are often less likely to follow the stringent protocols associated with office work. As such, it’s crucial that MSP businesses use effective and easy-to-use backup software to help prevent customer data loss.

SolarWinds Backup can back up entire servers, workstations, Microsoft 365 data, and documents. It offers bare metal recovery, cloud virtual disaster recovery, recovery testing, and long-term archiving. With a single, easy-to-use dashboard that includes private cloud storage (with fast data transfers) and multiple recovery methods, SolarWinds Backup makes protecting customer data that much simpler. To learn more, access a 30-day free trial here.

☑ SolarWinds Mail Assure

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been a dramatic increase in coronavirus-related spam and phishing attacks. Cybercriminals look for vulnerabilities that will allow them to exploit remote workers. They may, for example, pose as a CEO or other senior management individual to persuade an employee to share access to sensitive credentials.

As email is such a prime target for cybercriminals, it’s important to use effective and sophisticated email protection software. SolarWinds Mail Assure uses collective threat intelligence, 24/7 email continuity solutions, and long-term email archiving to deliver an industry-leading email protection tool. Mail Assure utilizes proprietary email filtering technology with 99.999% accuracy. Its real-time pattern threat recognition and machine learning technology helps protect your customers against even emerging email-borne threats and ensures your tool grows smarter over time. A 30-day free trial is available. 

☑ SolarWinds RMM

As we emphasize the benefits of rolling as many capabilities into one robust dashboard, a powerful remote monitoring and management tool is a great place to start. SolarWinds RMM is an all-in-one remote monitoring tool designed to help you secure, maintain, and improve your customers’ IT systems. It features patch management, managed antivirus, web protection, data-breach risk intelligence, and backup capabilities—all from a consolidated dashboard. A 30-day free trial is available for MSPs who want to explore before they commit.

☑ SolarWinds Passportal

Passportal is a documentation management and password management tool built for MSPs, offering capabilities like encryption, credential injection, reporting, auditing, password change automation, and privileged client documentation management. Using a dedicated password management tool like Passportal can significantly reduce the risks your customers face by ensuring they use strong, unique passwords for all of their accounts.

If you choose to use one of the possible Passportal add-ons, you can also increase the services you’re able to offer your customers. For example, by taking advantage of Passportal Blink, you can offer your customers self-service password resets. This allows them to rapidly resolve their own password lockouts and thus improves customer satisfaction in your MSP’s service. To learn more, you can request a demo here.

☑ SolarWinds N-central

N-central® is another all-in-one remote monitoring option that was designed to best suit established MSPs looking to take advantage of automation and scale their business. Multi-site, large MSP enterprises are especially well suited to N-central—and they have the option of choosing between an N-central’s on-premises or hosted solution options.

Its powerful automation tools help you onboard, configure, or patch hundreds of devices in bulk, freeing up your technicians to focus on value-adding customer services. The tool offers advanced security solutions such as integrated SolarWinds Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) to protect your customers, and it provides robust remote support capabilities that help you troubleshoot and resolve issues quickly.

N-central is able to improve technician efficiency, customer retention, and service margins, helping you manage your business much more efficiently. A 30-day free trial is available.

☑ SolarWinds MSP Manager

In recent months, with people working from a variety of locations across the country, it has become critical for customers to have access to intuitive help desks. The ability to access support quickly and easily is a major differentiating factor among MSPs, and help desks are often the first impression many customers get of an MSP’s service. MSP Manager makes it easy for MSPs to run their business and deliver prompt and proactive service.

MSP Manager also assists with allocating resources and billing customers efficiently. In essence, this unified solution saves MSPs time with business management, so they can focus their attention on marketing and client acquisition. The tool features intuitive and lightweight free trial is available.

☑ SolarWinds Take Control

Take Control is built to help IT service providers support more customers via fast, robust remote support to nearly any platform. This solution makes it easy to deliver rapid support from anywhere, with the ability to connect to devices in just a matter of seconds.

Having access to powerful remote support software is more important than ever, with so many employees working from home and likely requiring more IT assistance than they did in the past. Customers working remotely may be working on different devices than they’re used to, which often leads to more support requests.

Take Control helps your technicians tackle customer issues with deep visibility for rapid resolution. This tool supports two-factor authentication and multilevel permissions, as well as optional automatic PIN and clipboard deletion after sessions for maximum security. To learn more, access a 14-day free trial here.

Getting started

Hopefully, this guide has demonstrated how using dedicated tools to support your MSP business can boost efficiency, reduce cost, and improve customer satisfaction, in addition to providing a range of other benefits.

SolarWinds MSP comes highly recommended as a software provider, with an array of tools that can account for all your needs—even in the current, unfamiliar climate. Since the start of the pandemic, working conditions have changed dramatically, with businesses and employees facing new challenges. These tools can better ensure your MSP business adjusts to and overcomes today’s challenges in a cost-effective, streamlined manner.

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