Remote Support Software for MSPs

By SolarWinds on October 1, 2020


As MSPs work to support customers in 2020, they face a unique set of challenges—which is why they need dependable and robust remote support software designed specifically for their requirements.

As the workforce becomes increasingly remote, it is crucial that managed service providers (MSPs) adapt their business practices to accommodate this change and properly support their customers. However, the market for remote IT support tools is also growing exponentially, which can make choosing the right tools for your company more difficult.

Finding remote support software that meets your business’s individual requirements can help you overcome the challenges associated with providing remote support to your customers—but it can also require a substantial amount of research. To help narrow down your search, this guide outlines the key challenges MSPs are likely to face when delivering remote support services to customers and recommends the best remote support software for tackling these obstacles.

MSP remote support challenges

Providing customers with accurate, fast, and reliable support should be a top priority for every business—but it is especially important for MSPs. With the rise of customer service chatbots and other advanced remote support solutions being made available to consumers, the average customer’s expectations continue to rise.

To stay competitive, MSPs need to be able to meet their customers’ growing expectations, which requires them to leverage the latest remote support tools and technologies. MSPs must deliver a wider range of support methods in order to keep pace with the increasingly competitive market, which can be a real challenge. Offering effective remote support services gives MSPs the ability to address customer problems from anywhere. Successful remote support services can solve the vast majority of customer issues in less than an hour—sometimes even in just a few minutes. When done right, remote support can save money, boost productivity, reduce response time, and deliver a whole host of other benefits.

As MSPs endeavor to deliver effective remote support services, however, they are likely to encounter a number of challenges. One common challenge is the struggle to make the ticketing experience as simple and easy as possible for customers. To achieve this, you should establish clear processes and safeguards designed to reduce friction. The ticketing experience should work like a well-oiled machine, with every process and component built to deliver speed and ease for your customers. This usually involves prioritizing tickets according to urgency and employing a documentation strategy to improve customer interactions over time. Many remote IT support tools also allow MSPs to create a knowledge base, which can significantly reduce the number of tickets received by providing customers with the information they need to resolve their own issues. Not only does this empower clients, it also frees up technician time and resources.

Another challenge faced by MSPs delivering remote support services is the ability to manage and support continuous backups. Creating backups is a crucial process for all businesses because backups protect companies and customers from data loss. Of course, this means that managing continuous backups is especially important for MSPs, because they are likely to manage data for multiple customers. The loss of data can have a disastrous impact on your customers’ bottom line and your business reputation—and it may even lead to legal liability. To minimize the risk of data loss, it is highly recommended that you use a remote support solution that supports backup and recovery for MSPs.

Finding the right tools and ensuring they are able to deliver all the features necessary for MSPs to overcome the challenges of delivering remote support isn’t easy. MSPs may find themselves using several tools at once, each one designed to support a different aspect of remote support. Managing multiple solutions is a challenge in itself, requiring technicians to jump between tools and increasing the labor associated with keeping software updated. It also complicates your approach to remote support and leaves more room for tickets to slip through the cracks. Remote services that depend on multiple tools are likely to be less organized and effective. To overcome this challenge, many MSPs opt for all-in-one solutions designed to deliver everything they need to provide successful and reliable remote support to customers. 

The best MSP remote support software options

Fortunately, there is a range of tools available in 2020 that have been designed specifically for MSPs that can assist in overcoming the aforementioned remote support obstacles. Here are our top three recommendations for MSPs. 

  1. SolarWinds Take Control

SolarWinds® Take Control is an intuitive tool for attended and unattended remote access that no IT service provider should be without. This powerful solution was created to help MSPs support more customers via intuitive and fast remote support. Take Control gives you access to deep diagnostics and allows you to connect to devices in just a few seconds.

All of the features included in Take Control are accessible via a single dashboard, keeping your remote support processes organized and centralized for your team. The tool is designed to fit in easily with your technicians’ workflows, adapting to your requirements as needed. While Take Control requires little setup and lets you hit the ground running, its flexibility means that it can be easily customized to suit your business’s individual needs. The tool makes it possible to design custom reports and configure workflows that are built with your customers in mind. It even supports custom branding, meaning you can deliver a fully branded and cohesive experience that keeps your business top of mind during all service delivery touchpoints.

Finally, to deliver effective remote support it is also essential that you have clear visibility into customer devices and associated information. Take Control gives you high-resolution clarity into modern monitors and devices, ensuring that visual quality is preserved, and that customer information is readily accessible to your support technicians. You gain further visibility with chat transcript searches and full session recordings, which can provide insight into customer relationships and inform your training and improvement strategy.

Overall, Take Control is a versatile and impressive remote support tool that can help MSPs make the remote support experience as simple as possible for their customers. This is a foundational tool that every help desk should have in its inventory. To learn more, a 90-day free trial is available here.

  1. SolarWinds RMM & N-central

SolarWinds MSP offers two all-in-one remote monitoring and management solutions options for MSPs—SolarWinds RMM and SolarWinds N-central®. Both solutions offer a range of capabilities, including but not limited to network access, consolidated remote network control, device management, and centralized ticketing. These tools help deliver highly reliable and capable remote support because they can be accessed from anywhere.

The remote access features included in RMM and N-central give your technicians one-click access to any endpoint under management in a matter of seconds, enabling you to offer quick and easy support. Technicians can chat with each other or transfer sessions between team members to help ensure your customers benefit from collaborative problem-solving, no matter the challenge. With session recording and chat transcripts accessible on both tools, your MSP can troubleshoot, control quality, and continue to improve over time.

While both RMM and N-central are powerful solutions offering advanced security, it is likely that one will be better suited to your business’s unique requirements than the other. For example, if you’re an MSP that needs a remote monitoring solution to allow you to offer services as soon as possible, SolarWinds RMM may be the right choice.

You can get started with RMM almost immediately, with access to a comprehensive suite of remote monitoring and management tools that help you keep your customers’ IT systems secure. SolarWinds RMM includes out-of-the-box monitoring templates, rapid and safe remote access, managed antivirus, patch management, and more. The range of capabilities offered by RMM gives you everything you need to get started, as well as the power to scale up at your own pace. As such, RMM is a great option, especially for small and medium-sized MSPs. A 30-day free trial of RMM is available for MSPs to learn more.

If you’re a large or multisite enterprise that has outgrown your current remote monitoring and management solution, SolarWinds N-central might be the more appropriate option for you. N-central is a highly customizable and scalable suite of tools that offers layered automation capabilities and powerful remote support features. It also offers built-in antivirus, backup and recovery, fast remote control, web protection, PSA integrations, numerous add-on security services, and an on-premises option if required. You can access a 30-day free trial here.

Identifying the Best Remote Support Software for You

Business practices are constantly evolving, with remote work options becoming more popular by the day. This makes it increasingly important to be able to support your customers from a distance. To face the challenges associated with providing remote support, you need to leverage scalable, sophisticated, and reliable tools so you can offer secure, efficient, and consistent support. Without an efficient remote support solution, your business’s brand reputation and customer satisfaction are put at risk. Luckily, the tools in this list can help you overcome the most prevalent remote support challenges and deliver a competitive remote support experience to your customers.

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