Four Top-of-Mind Trends for MSPs in 2013
As 2012 comes to a close, managed service providers (MSPs) face a number of new challenges as they explore new ways to expand and grow along with their customers in the year ahead. What are some of the trends you should keep in mind as we head towards 2013?
You need to be ready to deliver on what your customers demand more of in 2013. With that in mind, from my perspective, the following are four trends that should be top of mind for MSPs as 2013 draws near:
1. MDM Takes Center Stage
From iPhones and iPads, to Android devices and Windows 8 tablets, new security and management strategies are needed as the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement adds an entirely new dimension to IT. The time is now for MSPs to get ahead of the curve and start meeting with their customers now to map out a Mobile Device Managment (MDM) strategy for 2013. Today’s most sophisticated remote monitoring and management (RMM) platforms can provide an easy way to get a handle on the proliferation of mobile devices, particularly in the small to midsize business (SMB) space, where fewer IT resources translate into more dependence on MSPs to get the job done.
When you have the benefit of an automated MDM strategy as part of your RMM platform – one that takes into account the need for employee privacy as well as corporate data security – you can help your SMBs quickly solve the key points of pain facing their businesses. With RMM, it takes only minutes or even seconds to not only bring new devices under management, but to also create group settings to facilitate and speed up administrative tasks.
The fact is, most devices in the SMB marketplace continue to go unmanaged today, and BYOD is bringing even more of them into the workplace. It’s clear that the MDM market opportunity is large and growing – and an ideal fit for those MSPs ready to take it on. At N-able, we’re already on top of the opportunity with our N-central RMM and MSP service automation platform, and we’re actively working with our MSP partners worldwide to help them capitalize on growing market demand.
2. Look and Act Like a CIO
When you weigh the value of your RMM and MSP service automation platform, it’s important to look beyond the technical details and make sure you are also providing a big-picture perspective to your customers. SMBs, in particular, look to MSPs for top-level CIO insight on what matters most to their businesses.
Fortunately, today’s most advanced RMM platforms can provide a wealth of customizable reporting capabilities from the convenience of a centralized management console, encompassing everything from complete asset inventory for all devices, to patch and warranty status, installed software, license keys, open ports and much more. With better reporting, clients are confident that you have a pulse on the network and beyond, and from an internal standpoint, it becomes easier to document time savings, billing accuracy and more – which means your margins can potentially increase as well. And as IT continues to battle for more budget and more respect in 2013, strategic CIO-level reporting is what’s going to allow you and your customers to make a stronger case for building upon what you’ve already accomplished.
3. Get Connected
MSPs have multiple technology tools that they count on, day in and day out, and RMM and professional services automation (PSA) software both rate high in importance in the channel. Connecting these tools makes sense for MSPs who want to eliminate islands of information and gain a more comprehensive, integrated perspective on customer needs. That’s why PSA integration – and an extensive amount of it – is critical for today’s RMM platforms. Integration with ConnectWise, Autotask and Tigerpaw make for effective ticket reporting, and those RMM solutions that also add integrated reporting solutions into the mix — combining RMM and PSA data – will help MSPs take IT services to an entirely new level. For example, N-able’s Report Manager 4.0 gives MSPs a holistic view of each SMB’s network by capturing key metrics on all tickets, while also providing access to essential customer profile information for faster analysis – all as an integrated part of the N-central RMM platform.
4. Align with a Winner
By working to incrementally earn more and more business from customers each and every day, you will see your business grow. But it takes more than technology to succeed. Earn your customers’ trust, first and foremost. By aligning with a RMM leader who is proven to deliver results, you will be able to provide world-class, professional-level services. And as a result, you will see your customers’ confidence in your skills and capabilities rise.
Whether your customers are demanding more from you in the way of MDM, PSA integration, reporting or other capabilities in 2013, make sure you are ready to deliver. At N-able, with more than 77,000 unique SMBs now making use of N-central, we have proven ourselves time and time again. We base our business on our partners being able to stay on top of business and technology trends, while growing and thriving year after year as a result of our business-building programs, support and advice. Add to that a freemium licensing model that lets MSPs step into new SMB environments without concern for any financial risk – and an award-winning technology platform that is both affordable and easy to deploy – and you’ve got a winner.
Gavin Garbutt is CEO of N-able Technologies, which develops remote monitoring and management automation solutions for MSPs and IT departments. Monthly guest blogs such as this are part of MSPmentor’s annual platinum sponsorship.