OpenDNS Umbrella Features Amplify Efficiency for MSPs

“All the tools MSPs use have to meet one of two criteria. It has to be something that either improves revenue or saves time,” Sagiss CTO Jim Lancaster said in an interview. He went on to say that prior to OpenDNS it was common for his time to spend several hours a week cleaning up a ransomware attack, which is time spent not being proactive.

OpenDNS is releasing several updates to the Umbrella for MSPs dashboard that will make it easier to manage multiple customer networks. According to Senior Product Manager Dima Kumets the updates are focused on saving MSPs time, increasing their ability to be proactive and offer new opportunities at revenue. They include IP-level enforcement, centralized reporting and updates to search and reporting functions.

Centralized Reporting

Because MSPs manage many accounts, a dashboard can be a tedious tool, having to looking into each account to find details on performance and security events. Kumets said the new updates to reporting will allow a single pane view of activity for all of an MSP’s customer accounts. This means being able to view any traffic spikes or botnet activity on one screen, rather than clicking through each account. It also gives MSPs a single pane ‘health check’ to make sure all customers are properly configured and protected.

“It’s really about helping the MSP be more efficient with reporting and communication,” Kumets said.

A lot of times, being a good MSP means being relatively quiet. While no news is good news, MSP customers may at times wonder if they need an MSP service at all. But, according to Lancaster, this is a good thing.

“When we’re doing our job well, the client doesn’t know we’re doing anything,” he said. “The closer we get to being transparent, the better our client experience is.”

Centralized Cloud Services Report

Back in June, OpenDNS released a reporting feature that allows sysadmins to search through network activity for cloud services. This could be apps like Dropbox, or sites like Facebook or Netflix. While the immediate conclusion could be to use the report for tracking employee behavior, MSPs can use the report to be proactive about warning their customers about breaches based on actual usage, meaning customers won’t get an e-mail blast about a security breach for a site they don’t even use.

A view of the Cloud Services Report in the MSP console.

MSPs specifically might also find it useful to see if customers are already using services that they sell. For example, Kumets said, “If I am introducing an MSP-managed file sync service, I can use the report to find customers using consumer services like Dropbox and rather than explaining the need for file sync, pitch them on the security and business value of having one that is properly MSP managed.” And because the Cloud Services Report is now centralized, it makes it very easy to get a single-pane view of SaaS use in one place, rather than click through each customer account the MSP manages.


To test drive these new features, log into your dashboard here and go to the Reports tab. If you are not yet an Umbrella customer and would like to try them out, set up a simple free trial here.

Owen Lystrup is market manager at OpenDNS, part of Cisco Systems Inc. Read all OpenDNS guest blogs here.