(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 Auvik Networks.)
It’s an amazing time to be a managed services provider.
The market is changing massively and even though that can spell trouble for companies that have a hard time adjusting, big change always brings big opportunity along with it as well.
As an example, let’s look at the software you have available in 2015 to run your MSP business. It’s changed a lot in the last 20 years.
Like every other business, IT service providers have benefitted immensely from the proliferation of productivity apps, business management tools, and SaaS-based solutions that are out there. If there’s a task that needs doing in your business, you can bet there’s a piece of software that will help you do it faster, better, and more cheaply.
You have a ton of great software choices for handling the business-related tasks of your IT services shop, like accounting, quoting, messaging, ticketing, and help desk.
You also have some pretty wicked options for a lot of network management tasks, like app monitoring, desktop management, and security.
Tools like LabTech and Continuum, for example, provide excellent visibility and management control over servers and desktops. Using such systems, you can easily roll out anti-virus, software upgrades, patching, and more.
But what’s still missing? What hasn’t changed at all in the last 20 years?
Network operations. By that, I mean visibility and management control of network infrastructure like routers, switches, firewalls, and wireless controllers—the packet pushers that form the beating heart of most businesses on the planet today.
Chances are good your technicians are still building VPN tunnels, logging into CLIs — device by device by device — typing in ‘show’ commands, and parsing what comes back in order to “see” and understand a client’s network.
That’s a massive inefficiency, and it’s eating away at your profit margins. But it’s also an opportunity. If you could find a tool to help you automate network operations, imagine the quick wins you’d land.
There’d be big cost and time savings, of course. You’d also unlock the potential for greater revenue because when you can work faster, you can serve more clients in the same amount of time with the same amount of staff.
At Auvik, we looked at the gap in the MSP software stack and also saw an opportunity—an opportunity to help companies operate the networks in their care with speed, efficiency, and ease of use.
There used to be a gap in your software stack. But now there doesn’t have to be.
Alex Hoff is vice-president of product management at Auvik Networks. Auvik’s cloud-based network operations software helps MSPs build a profitable managed network service.