Level Platforms adds help desk, NOC tools

Peter Sandiford

Level Platforms CEO Peter Sandiford

Ottawa-based Level Platforms has added new help desk and network operating centre (NOC) capabilities to its core remote monitoring and management (RMM) offering Managed Workplace.

The two technologies are often linked – Level itself has worked in the past with third-party outsourcers for help desk and NOC, and crosstown rival N-able is working increasingly closely with help desk and NOC provider NetEntrich – but Level felt the need for the services to be more closely linked to its core RMM offering than can be done with a third-party arrangement, said Peter Sandiford, CEO of Level Platforms.

“They do a great job, but the integration of the NOC and the help desk service with the [RMM] technology is so important, so integral, that it really needs to be a single operation,” Sandiford said.

The integration is increasingly necessary, he said, as MSPs are being relied upon to manage a variety of factors outside the devices that have been their traditional domain, and the move towards the cloud is muddying exactly who’s in control of what. For example – is an app non-responsive on a mobile device because the device is malfunctioning, because the app isn’t working properly, or because the cloud service upon which the application relies is offline? That’s a question that MSPs increasingly find themselves having to ask, Sandiford said.

“The ultimate goal is making sure the customer is operational,” he said.

Under the combined service from Level, a single ticket is created and funneled into what Sandiford described as a “central triage” – that which is the MSP’s own responsibility is routed to them while help desk or NOC takes care of the rest.

The big differentiator for the service is the level of automation Level is able to achieve, Sandiford said, as the central management of tickets helps to reduce the silos between help desk staff, NOC team, and the MSP’s own technicians.

“This isn’t a staffing problem, it’s shifting into an automation issue,” he said. “It lets them tap into the help desk and the NOC to provide whatever level of service they need to provide, with Managed Workplace as the hub of all of it.”

Sandiford said there are three main bases Level is going after with the new tools:

  • MSPs who are using what he describes as “first-generation NOC and help desk tools,” for whom he figures the company has “a better mousetrap”;
  • Its own Managed Workplace customer base, a group where many have existing outsourced help desk and/or NOC arrangements and “should be even easier” for Level to reach; and finally
  • Net-new customers to Level. “We can really help them adopt a combination of technology and service to jumpstart their managed services business,” Sandiford said. “That will be a competitive diffentiator for us.”

Getting help desk and/or NOC services up and running with an MSP represents about a 30-day startup process, Sandiford said, including an analysis of the MSP and their customers’ needs as well as configuration.

Like Managed Workplace itself, the combined ticketing system will synchronize with managed service provider’s professional services automation platform of choice – including the three biggest platform in the game: Autotask, ConnectWise and TigerPaw Software.

“We don’t really care what PSA you’re using, we make sure all of the case information is fully updated in the case management system of your choice,” Sandiford said.

Its annual roadshow is up next for Level Platforms, including its sole Canadian stop in Toronto early next week. At the show, the company is expected to introduce built-in mobile device management (MDM) capabilities within Managed Workplace.