MSP software: 10 tools MSP companies should try in 2021

By SolarWinds on March 8, 2021



2021 is sure to bring a number of challenges for your MSP—here are some of the best tools on the market today that can help your company overcome these challenges.

Managed services providers (MSPs) and other businesses that deal with sensitive data on behalf of their customers and their own organization face a range of challenges. To stay competitive—and keep their customers—MSPs have to keep up with rapidly advancing technologies, the continuous evolution of cybersecurity risks, and changing business practices.

This guide will address some of the most notable challenges and will, as well as recommend a number of software solutions that can be of help.

2021 challenges

Delivering efficient and reliable customer support services should be considered a priority for all businesses—but it goes without saying that this is especially important. Customer expectations are becoming more demanding with every passing year, in part because customer service has become more competitive. As digital offerings become more robust, more companies also offer services like instant chat and remote support, enabling them to rectify client issues often in just a few minutes. 

To stay relevant in a competitive market, MSPs and other IT providers must be capable of meeting these increasingly high customer expectations. With the advancement of customer-facing technologies, there’s a challenge of offering a range of support services that are convenient, efficient, and cost effective.

MSPs are also challenged by the need to make the ticketing and help desk experience as simple and user-friendly as possible so customers always feel they can access assistance quickly and easily when they need to. To achieve this, you need to ensure that client support tickets can be managed quickly and with minimal friction. Ideally, a ticketing and PSA software should allow technicians to prioritize tickets according to their urgency, and provide robust IT documentation capabilities to drive the efficiency of client interactions. To reduce the amount of support requests submitted and allow customers to resolve some issues independently, many MSPs also provide clients with an accessible and comprehensive knowledge base.

Preventing data loss is also an ongoing challenge for IT services providers, as they are likely to be managing data for multiple customers simultaneously. Given that customer data loss can inevitably have a disastrous impact on their bottom line and your reputation, it is crucial to adopt proactive measures to prevent data loss. To minimize the likelihood of data being lost, you need a reliable backup and recovery solution.

In a similar vein, as cybercrime becomes more advanced, choosing effective tools for capabilities like client password management and email protection become increasingly important. While you can theoretically manage these types of activities manually, evolving cybercrime and busy technicians make this a near impossibility. Poorly managed passwords and email security can leave your customers vulnerable to cybercrime—which is why you should be leveraging tools that help them do more with less.

Finally, as more businesses leverage cloud-based solutions, cloud security has become an emerging priority. Cloud adoption has been widespread and rapid, which has made accounting for cloud security an urgent and challenging demand.

The best MSP software for overcoming these challenges

As we enter 2021, addressing each of these challenges is likely to become even more critical for MSPs hoping to thrive. We believe that the following software solutions—which include client password management, PSA software, RMM software, monitoring software, backup and restore software, and mail protection software—can help you overcome the types of challenges they’re sure to face in 2021.

For all-in-one software for growing MSPs: N-able RMM

For MSPs focused on hitting the ground running, it’s likely you will benefit from all-in-one software that can help you get off to the best start possible, and that can scale with your company as it grows. N-able® RMM provides a comprehensive suite of utilities consolidated into a single dashboard, so your team has access to everything it needs to provide exceptional service in one place. This remote monitoring and management (RMM) software includes network access control, remote access, patch management, device management (including mobile), and much more, combining multiple capabilities into one tool so you can start offering standardized customer support immediately. You can access a 30-day free trial here.

For all-in-one software for MSPs looking to lean into automation: N-able N-central

If your organization is an MSP or IT services provider with a substantial portfolio of customers, it’s crucial for the monitoring software you use to enable you to provide customized support services and scale with automation. As your network becomes more complex and grows to accommodate potentially thousands of machines, you will need a suitably powerful tool to accommodate increased demand.

N-able N-central® combines flexibility and power in a fully customizable solution. This tool provides a range of automation capabilities, enhancing efficiency and freeing up your support technicians. N-central also includes features designed to improve performance and increase network visibility, such as NetPath and Network Topology Mapping. With features like device management, backup management, remote access, and much more, N-central provides MSPs with everything they need to improve operations and scale their business. A 30-day free trial is available.

For antivirus software: Bitdefender

Bitdefender is a popular antivirus software solution often leveraged by MSPs to protect their customers from known threats. Bitdefender free edition for Windows, MacOS, and Android is lightweight, fast, and features all the essentials needed to protect you from viruses and malware. This tool downloads and installs in just a few seconds and can run at maximum speed without affecting your PC’s performance.

For Remote Access Software: N-able Take Control

Take Control helps MSPs deliver rapid and intuitive remote support to clients—with support for both attended and unattended remote access for the convenience that modern businesses need. This is a tool that every help desk team should have in their toolkit, allowing technicians to access deep diagnostics and connect to machines remotely in just a few seconds. This high-security tool features automated clipboard deletion, multifactor authentication, and AES 256 encryption for added security. A 14-day free trial is available.

For backup and recovery software: N-able Backup

This web-based backup and restore solution is user-friendly and highly versatile. N-able Backup lets you backup servers, workstations, documentation, and Microsoft 365 (formerly known as Office 365). This tool also includes bare metal recovery and virtual disaster recovery, and lets you schedule backups ahead of time. Backup helps ensure work is saved and prevents data loss when disaster strikes, helping your MSP keep its customers safe.  You can access a 30-day free trial here.

For password and IT documentation management software: Passportal

N-able Passportal provides a sophisticated documentation and client password management solution that offers credential injection, reporting, password change automation, and more to help you minimize password vulnerabilities. This tool makes adhering to client password management and storage best practices easy, with confidential data stored in the Passportal encrypted vault. The vault is only accessible to individuals with the appropriate role-based permissions and is protected by multifactor authentication. With today’s sophisticated threats, Passportal is what you need to safeguard your passwords from bad actors. You can request a demo of Passportal here.

For network documentation and auditing software: NARMADA

NARMADA is a network documentation and auditing tool that helps you streamline technology business reviews by consolidating technology alignment frameworks, network documentation management, and vCIO activities into a single platform. With this tool you can document your clients’ networks, perform technology audits based on built-in NARMADA templates, and deliver reports easily, giving customers access to their very own QBR dashboards. You can register for free for NARMADA here.

For email security software: N-able Mail Assure

N-able Mail Assure is a cloud-based email security and mail protection solution with an impressive range of features, including 24/7 email continuity, email archiving with unlimited retention, collective threat intelligence, and protection from malware. Mail Assure also features pattern threat recognition that utilizes machine learning in real time to continually improve its filtering accuracy, making it a highly advanced email security solution. To add a layer of security to your business communications, start with a 30-day free trial of Mail Assure here.

For help desk software: N-able MSP Manager

N-able MSP Manager is a reliable professional services automation (PSA) and help desk solution that helps you provide optimal client support services. With lightweight ticketing, knowledge and customer management utilities, support for batch billing export, and a branded client portal, MSP Manager is a versatile option for help desk teams to take their services to the next level. A free trial is of course available too.

For web application performance software: BMC TrueSight Pulse

BMC provides a monitoring-as-a-service solution for monitoring web applications, giving you deep insight into how your web apps are performing. TrueSight Pulse helps you understand how web app performance impacts users and provides real-time notifications on metrics that affect your end users, infrastructure, and applications. A free trial is available.

The MSP tools you need in 2021

With business practices constantly evolving, cloud adoption taking the IT world by storm, and technology advancing rapidly, MSPs are faced with a range of new demands and challenges in 2021. To overcome these obstacles, companies must have access to scalable, reliable, and powerful solutions that can assist them in delivering reliable and standardized services. Whichever challenges you expect to face in 2021, there are a number of impressive tools that can help you stay competitive and relevant.

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