Virus Scares Are MSP Opportunities
From time to time we hear about “zero-day” or other critical viruses that garner national interest, and require immediate action. The most recent example was the Conficker virus. Naturally, business owners started asking “am I protected?” As we looked at the steps necessary to resolve this issue for our own customers, we were again reminded why being a Managed Service provider is so critical.
For the Conficker virus, there were several ways it could spread and attack the system. It started by using the vulnerability addressed by Microsoft’s MS08-067 patch. Using our hosted Kaseya service, within 10 minutes, we were able view all of the systems that had this patch installed and identified any that didn’t. Since it was reported that the virus spread through USB memory sticks, we located a registry change that would prevent a USB stick from automatically running. Fifteen minutes later, we had created a script and distributed it to all applicable systems.
Finally, by using our PSA (Professional Services Automation) tool, ConnectWise, we were able to quickly send an e-mail out to our Network Depot customers, telling them they were safe, and one to our Virtual Administrator partners, describing the tools they could use to deliver the same results and message to their clients. The presence of a good IT automation platform and a solid PSA enabled us to address this problem in a cost effective manner, and we were able to assure our clients that we had things in order, so they could return to running their businesses.
This level of preemptive outreach to your clients, especially at times of concern such as virus outbreaks, will be what separates you from your competition and keeps your customers confirming the value of your managed service offerings.
There is no better press than the national news. Make sure you are in position to use it to your advantage.
Paul Barnett is marketing director for Virtual Administrator, which offers hosted solutions for managed service providers. Guest blog entries such as this one are contributed on a monthly basis as part of MSPmentor.net’s 2009 Platinum sponsorship.