Magazine Article | July 17, 2014

Jump-Start Your As-a-Service Transition


By Mike Monocello, editor-in-chief, Business Solutions magazine
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As you might know, we’ve dedicated many pages to educating readers on the value of a managed services model. While the benefits can be great, there also can be some significant hurdles to clear before you sail off into the sunset. Many established MSPs have stories about adopting certain aspects of the model, while ignoring other aspects. This can delay or stifle your success on this model and potentially poison people into thinking that the model isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

A couple months ago, we featured a case study on MSP Numa Networks. In speaking with Warren Hino, president of the company, he shared an off-topic story about partial adoption that didn’t fit the case study, but was too valuable to not share. Specifically, Hino spoke about the installation and use of his RMM (remote monitoring and management) platform. These software packages are often the first step into the life of an MSP. They are integral tools that allow you to provide your customers a proactive service, while being very efficient with your time.

Hino says that he and his employees knew an RMM tool would be beneficial, but didn’t apply proper resources to managing the deployment. Despite knowing it was important, the RMM tool fell to the back burner, and for three years the company had an incomplete implementation.

Thankfully, Hino recognized that they had to make a conscious effort and prioritize the implementation. According to the MSP, he asked himself five simple questions.Subscribe to Business Solutions magazine

1. Does having an RMM tool fit in with our company’s vision? “Absolutely,” he answered. “Our vision is to provide clients with stable and productive networks by applying the latest tools and best practices. The RMM tool is a critical piece of our company’s mission and vision statements.”

2. Does having an RMM tool benefit our clients? “Yes,” he says. “A properly monitored and maintained network will be more stable, allowing clients to focus on running their businesses with as few interruptions as possible. It also gives them the data they need to make informed decisions about their network upgrades.”

3. Does having an RMM tool benefit our employees? “Having the ability to get real-time notification on current network issues is very important,” he says. “Without an RMM tool, all of our tickets are reactionary, our work day is unpredictable, and we’re dealing with frequent system crashes and stressful employees.”

4. Does having an RMM tool help us scale? “In the beginning, I would log into my clients’ servers and check logs every once in a while,” Hino recalls. “I loved being that consultant that went the extra mile by keeping a close eye on my client’s network. Now that we have 11 employees and manage 1,600 devices, that process no longer works. Having an RMM tool and a team behind you to manage the alerts is even better than my personal touch.”

5. Are we serious about selling managed services? “Of course this answer is yes for many reasons!” he exclaims.

Once Hino looked at the questions and his answers, it became clear that to not fully embrace the RMM tool, he was doing a disservice to his customers and employees. While his questions might appear simple, I challenge you to use them as you consider your move into managed services. Does the model benefit your clients? Does it benefit your employees? Does it help your company grow? If you answer honestly, I’m not sure how you can keep putting off the transition to the as-a-Service model.