(Editor’s note: contributed blogs like this are part of ChannelBuzz.ca’s annual sponsorship program. Find out more here. This article was authored by Alex Hoff, vice president of product management at AuvikNetworks.)
Most business owners are familiar with the basics of running a successful business: Develop a valuable product or service. Market it effectively. Deliver amazing customer service. Reinvest profits to grow the business.
But there’s another secret to operating a profitable business today that most MBA programs don’t cover: Having an efficient, reliable IT network.
After all, most businesses—regardless of size or industry—rely on networks to get things done. Nearly every app, system, and person in a company is connected.
When your client’s network goes down, their business stops. Productivity plummets and revenue is jeopardized. And suddenly, your relationship with that client is at risk too.
So their network needs to just work — all the time.
What’s a complete managed network service?
There are 7 components to a complete managed network service, one that ensures your clients get all the support they need but also ensures you can deliver that support profitably.
- Client knowledge — so you know exactly what your client requires and expects
- Real-time awareness — so you know exactly what’s happening on your client networks at all times
- Controlled access — so you can manage user access and network device credentials in one secure location
- Network continuity — so you can get client networks back up and running quickly when disaster strikes
- Integrated workflows — so your processes are as efficient as possible
- Reporting — so you can demonstrate your value
- Network expertise — so you can deliver top-notch service
Providing all seven of these components will ensure you’re safeguarding your clients’ network operations and delivering on the trust they place in you.
Providing all seven of these components will also give you a leg up on your IT service provider peers. Most MSPs aren’t providing comprehensive network services.
That’s because delivering comprehensive network operations is hard.
Traditionally, “network management” hasn’t lived up to its name
It’s been focused primarily on servers and desktops—which are only part of the network.
And it’s been focused on reactive monitoring—which is only a small slice of the network operations activity that needs to happen.
As the devil in that old Caramilk commercial used to say, “Not enough.”
Occasionally pinging the network to see if it’s up? Not enough. Getting an alert when some vital device like a router goes down? Not enough. Not anymore.
This problem in network management can be a hard truth for MSPs to face. But it’s also an amazing opportunity.
By building out your network practice beyond monitoring servers and endpoints, you can:
- Enhance the network services you’re already offering to existing clients
- Bring more devices under management for increased revenue
- Bring on new clients who are struggling with their networks
- Streamline and optimize your network processes
- Differentiate yourself in a crowded MSP market