infoTECH Feature

March 13, 2020

When Choosing MSP Software, Think Strategically

How to Choose the Right MSP Software for Your Business

For businesses, integrating new software into the fabric of your company can make or break efficiency, productivity, and profitability. So before you go selecting the cheapest or trendiest option, make sure you take the time to understand all of the pertinent factors. This is especially important when it comes to managed service provider (MSP) software.

What is MSP Software?

In the most basic sense, MSP software is an IT service platform that seamlessly manages, organizes, and assimilates services for businesses. It basically works as an automated virtual assistant that can be tailored to perform specific tasks and actions based on customizable functions and pre-defined parameters. And because it runs in the background, it maximizes efficiency and allows individual team members to focus on the most important aspects of their jobs.

MSP software has become a standard fixture in the business services marketplace over the past decade. It’s used in a variety of fields and industries, including supply chain management, transportation, information services, media, utilities, and travel (to name a few). The rise of MSP software can be directly linked to the shift in digital infrastructure and an increased reliance on the cloud.

Businesses that are tired of wasting money on inefficient digital assets that constantly need to be updated and assesses are flocking to MSP software as a nimble, all-in-one solution that’s cost-effective, reliable, and scalable.

Finding the Right MSP Software

While we talk about MSP software as a large category, the truth is that no two solutions are identical. Each provider offers a slightly different platform with unique features and customized interfaces. As you consider integrating an MSP solution into your business, focus on finding the right fit. Here are some things to consider:

1. Your Specific Problem(s)

The problem most businesses encounter when selecting new software is they become overly focused on the software and forget to account for their own individual needs.

Choosing an MSP platform should begin with an internal analysis of your specific problem(s). Figure out your needs and then look for a solution that addresses these pain points. This approach will be much more fruitful.

2. Features

As you evaluate and compare different MSP options, you’ll find that they all offer some standard features. This usually includes some combination of the following:

  • Automation. One of the primary objectives with MSP software is to automate the time-consuming, mundane, and repetitive tasks that suck up time and prevent your team from being efficient and proactive. A good solution will eliminate redundancy, minimize busywork, and streamline things like backups and patches.
  • Help desk. For many companies, one of the main reasons for investing in MSP software is for the help desk capabilities. If this is important to you, be sure to evaluate functionality across multiple channels.
  • Remote monitoring. The ability of MSP software to remotely monitor clients and provide real-time status updates is invaluable. Research the efficiency of these features to see which service providers actually live up to their claims.
  • Mobile functionality. The mobile capabilities of your MSP platform will help in determining precisely how effective it is. A proper mobile web interface, or even a native mobile app, can help give admins access to the real-time data they need  to do their jobs efficiently.
  • Advanced reporting. With all of the data than an MSP produces, it’s imperative that you’re able to organize and digest it. A sophisticated, built-in reporting tool will go a long way towards helping you act upon these insights.

In addition to these core features, most platforms have their own tweaks and/or additional services they offer. Explore these and determine if they’re useful to you.

3. Pricing

You’re going to discover that MSP software runs the gamut, in terms of pricing. You can find very inexpensive options and ones that will cost you an arm and a leg. Typically, the best options land somewhere in the middle.

In addition to the specific price, consider the pricing structure. Consider going with a platform like Syncro, which doesn’t require you to sign any sort of contract. This makes it easy to back out or adjust, should you ever have the need to make changes.

4. User-Friendliness

How easy is the platform to use? Is it intuitive for your users, or does it feel clunky and cumbersome? User-friendliness is a big deal – particularly in the early days when you’re trying to get your team on board.

Feel free to read reviews and testimonials, but you won’t really know if an MSP platform is user-friendly until you try it yourself. Scheduling a demo is a good way to learn more.

5. Scalability

This was more of an issue in the past than it is today. Previously, MSP solutions were much more rigid and didn’t have the ability to easily iterate. They required time-consuming patching and updating. With today’s modern MSP software, the cloud has made it possible to easily and effortlessly scale up as your business grows. Just make sure you’re prioritizing this aspect of the platform and working with a vendor who makes this a breeze.

Implementing for Optimal Success

Once you finally select the right MSP platform, it’s time to implement it. This is where you’ll either make or break your success. Here are a few general rules of thumb for a smooth and effective implementation:

  • Involve your team in selection. Suddenly springing a new MSP management software on your team at the last minute is not the best way forward. You’ll get far better results – and experience a much smoother implementation – if you involve your team in the selection process. If nothing else, ask them for their insights and hear them out.
  • Be realistic with rollout. Setting too lofty of expectations will ground your implementation from the start. Be reasonable and expect there to be delays and friction along the way. Address concerns as they arise and be prepared to handle any issues.
  • Provide space to learn. Give your team time to learn the MSP platform from the inside out. Let them poke around, experiment with the features, and figure out how it works best for them.
  • Establish goals and milestones. A vague implementation process without any discernable direction will have limited success. It’s best to establish a couple of big-picture goals that are preceded by specific, measurable, and achievable milestones.

Modern MSP software has the ability to completely and fundamentally change how your business approaches IT services. Whether you go with a large provider, or try a smaller solution, it’s important that you find the right fit and implement it in the appropriate manner.


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