Six Requirements for a Managed Laptop Service
The laptop computer is a source of untapped revenue in the MSP space. Smartphones and tablet growth will continue to outstrip laptop growth, but the laptop remains the most critical computing device for most knowledge workers. Here’s how you can protect laptops while more effectively monetizing your mobile services.
In our view, tablets and smartphones are essential for highly mobile professionals and provide a second or third screen for email and content consumption. But for any employee who creates content, the laptop is still their key computing device. Unfortunately, many MSPs don’t extract their fair share of managed service income from providing a bullet proof laptop managed service offering. Managing laptops is hard. Users are mobile and often remote. Machines are rarely locked down. And laptop users are often the most independent users in the environment.
Six Areas of Opportunity
Therefore, many problems are left untouched by the MSP. These problems spell opportunity for the growth oriented MSP. A bullet proof managed service offering for laptops should include the following:
- Asset tagging and inventory
- Robust endpoint security protection, including anti-virus, anti-spyware, and firewall protections
- Full disk encryption
- Tracking and location software
- Managed insurance schedules
- Cloud backup for files and/or cloud file sync
A Closer Look
If business owners do not think holistically about the manifold risks from loss, theft, or employee misuse, laptops can be the Achilles’ heel for any organization. Here’s how your six services can help:
- Asset tagging and updated insurance schedules ensure that all assets are accounted for and can be properly claimed if there is a loss event.
- Robust endpoint security defends against the wide range of malware, hacking, phishing, and other threats faced by highly mobile users.
- Full disk encryption protects the privacy of data on a lost or stolen machine.
- Tracking software raises the likelihood that a lost or stolen machine will be recovered.
- Cloud backup ensures that critical work product, if not routinely synced back to a corporate server, survives any loss event.
- And lastly, cloud file sync usually replicates data to one or more PCs, Mac, or servers and provides the highly mobile user access to their data no matter where they are.
It is important to note that sync solutions are no substitute for data backup solutions; they overlap in functionality in some configurations, but they are different and ultimately fulfill different needs. All of these laptop problems involve independent management touch points. Together, they are a large problem if left unmanaged, but they are also a huge business opportunity for MSPs who can bring them together in a cohesive managed services bundle.
Ted Hulsy is VP of marketing at eFolder, which offers branded cloud backup, BDRs, cloud file sync, replication, and email security solutions designed for MSPs.