10 features to consider when choosing your MSP support tool

Managed Service Providers (MSPs) in IT have the unenviable task of hastening the digital transformation in companies, especially during these trying times. It becomes even more onerous, considering that the hardest-hit segment of Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) are their major customers.

According to the Global State of the MSP report, cloud migrations and security are expected to be the top drivers of MSPs growth for MSPs in 2020. Despite the lowered growth projections, MSPs are still expected to grow overall this year.

Given this situation, it becomes doubly important, as an MSP, to consider the right tool for the job at hand. While there is an abundance in the number of solutions available for MSPs, it is imperative to choose the right one.

In this blog, we explore the top features that you should look for when deciding on the right MSP software.

Seamless onboarding
Any tool that you choose must be able to work right out of the box without too much of a learning curve. The software solution should be easily able to monitor devices and also deploy agents without losing any time on preliminary setup. While this might seem like common sense, it is amazing how many tools out there require a cumbersome setup to get things flowing.

Pricing model
While a tool may be feature-rich, it also needs to make sense from an economic standpoint. A pay-as-you-go model, like a subscription-based model, is the one you should be going after. This ensures that you are committed to making the best use of the solution, paying only for what you use, while also allowing you the option to scale in the future based on your needs.

Patch Management
Working on software patches to minimize vulnerabilities occupies a significant portion of an agent’s day. An efficient patch management system in your MSP tool will help keep track of these requirements. A solution with a decent patch management system enables you to identify the right patch and provides data that can be useful in future incidents. If your solution helps you test patches before you deploy them, you’ve got yourself a winner!

Alert management
An alert feature is a useful tool in the hands of an IT agent. It helps to identify issues before they snowball into more significant problems. A decent alert management system will quickly detect if an anomaly is present in the connected devices and also notify the agents. This can range from something as simple as a software update to security migration or even service disruptions. These alerts help provide preventive resolution instead of prescriptive and save a lot of time and effort, not to mention the costs.

Automation
As MSPs grow their operations, automation capabilities will be the key to manage the new & existing workload. When freed up of routine tasks like device monitoring and keeping track of maintenance, agents can focus on the critical issues. Automation helps businesses scale at a much faster rate without compromising on the quality of the service they deliver.

Remote Access
Ensuring your clients’ devices are trouble-free is one of the top priorities, as an MSP provider. Having remote control access to those devices from your MSP solution will help immensely. It provides a seamless channel of communication to your clients’ devices and their device information. This allows agents to focus on fixing the issues right from the MSP tool interface. It has the dual benefit of improving efficiency and also increasing your reputation as a troubleshooter.

Internal collaboration
Enabling smooth communication between your team members is the first step to ensure an effective service to your clients. A collaboration interface helps agents avoid mundane tasks and keeps them informed about an issue that another agent has/is working. If set up organization-wide, this nifty feature will also help in trickling down the priorities of the management and provides alignment between agents and other teams in the organization.

Mobile apps
If your tool has a mobile app, your agents can work on-the-go. Such a feature helps add the element of flexibility for your team. They don’t necessarily have to be in front of their systems, especially for jobs that require constant monitoring. A simple notification feature would help alert the agents, in case of any vulnerabilities or maintenance issues.

Integrations
Imagine logging into your device and using just one tool, one piece of software, for all your work. How efficient would that be? While that world is still a ways away, integrations can be an effective alternative!. The ability to have your MSP solution integrated with other critical applications is a huge win. If your Remote Monitoring and Maintenance tool can integrate with your Professional Services Automation (PSA) tool, tasks like ticketing and managing incidents will become much easier to handle and solve.

Reporting
The importance of reporting and analytics cannot be stressed enough. Your solution must capture the right data in a presentable format. This sort of reporting can be mutually beneficial to both your team and your clients. While your agents can analyze the data to improve their way of functioning and dealing with tasks, periodic reports to clients put their minds at ease.

As an MSP, these are the top 10 features that you should look for when considering a support tool to enhance your operations.

Freshservice is an ITSM tool, built with ITIL-aligned features. It is more than capable of supporting your MSP operations. From managing multiple clients to setting up multiple domains in the self-service portal, Freshservice can help you scale your operations. We also provide an intuitive service catalog that you can customize to your clients’ needs and give them e-commerce like shopping experience. What’s more, we have 100s of apps in our marketplace, including all of the popular ones.