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How MSPs Can Use Automation to Secure, Standardize and Scale

Co-author: Vincent Tran, COO, Liongard

Co-author: Michelle Sawa, director of product research, Liongard

“Why do I need all this data?” MSPs started asking us. As the only MSP automation platform that spans the IT stack, we know Liongard brings back a ton of rich system information. Yet these questions made us dig deeper to understand the true value of giving people access to all this data.

Back in 2017, we knew we were onto something when we challenged MSPs to ditch manual documentation for automation. This message gained global traction, with MSPs around the world signing on with Liongard to manage IT for thousands of businesses worldwide.

How are these MSPs using Liongard’s data today? As we pulled up our surveys, interviews, online reviews, and in-app data, we found the true value of information goes far beyond documentation. It’s about empowering businesses to standardize, secure and scale their managed IT services.

1. STANDARDIZED DATA IS KEY TO OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY

”It’s great to have something like Liongard that’s live and standardizes the information input, so our techs don’t have to dig,” says Ryan Miller, Continuous Improvement Engineer (CIE) Manager at SUCCESS Computer Consulting.

Using automation, Liongard standardizes how system information is gathered across your customers. This standardization matters for both your team and your end-customers. Internally, clear standardization processes minimize guesswork, guarantee quality and boost employee productivity and morale.

For your end-customers, it’s wise to think about your MSP like a franchise. You want your managed services to be streamlined and consistent like a Starbucks. Whether you have twenty end-customers or 20,000, standardization enables your team to deliver the same excellent service from the moment they walk in the door.

”New clients being onboarded now have Liongard as the primary method for data gathering wherever possible,” says Malcolm Diack, CTO of Netstar UK Ltd.

Using automation for standardization means your team has both consistency and speed on your side, which is critical for starting new relationships off on the right foot. To understand how long it takes to onboard customers in Liongard, we polled some of our partners:

A screenshot of a Slack survey with MSP customers responding how much time Liongard saves them on onboarding clients.

Survey responses from Liongard users capturing how much time they saved during client onboarding after implementing our platform.

Improved onboarding speed means MSPs can hit the ground running and spend more time understanding customer needs and less time gathering system information. Rather than needing to rely on an onsite team, Liongard enables MSPs to get deep visibility in a matter of minutes with our inspectors that run via cloud and on-premise agents.

But how does this automation help MSPs manage and maintain consistency over time?

2. AUTOMATED DATA HELPS MSPS SECURE SYSTEMS

”Change visibility. System history. Being able to rewind time to review our systems on a specific day in the past…Liongard is a safety net.”

Our partners relay these phrases back to us, describing the value of our historical system data and timelines. We were the first platform to bring MSPs changes over time.

Never before could an MSP review system configuration and status details in the past to answer that burning question, “What changed?”

Liongard’s historical data on everything from Microsoft 365, Internet Domains to SQL Servers is bridging a gap between systems. No longer are MSPs at the mercy of individual system portals for history, reporting or alerts. With Liongard’s automated documentation, MSPs gain change visibility across the IT stack.

On a system level, this means having visibility into the current configuration state of assets and whether the proper controls are in place to mitigate a threat. It means having clear visibility into users, accounts and permissions to protect access to data. Once the state of a system is recorded, it’s having the ability to identify and alert when changes occur.

Earlier this year, we released the ability for MSPs to do just that: alert on anything. Pinpoint any piece of data, from any system and set up an alert to notify your team if it changes. With our email and PSA ticketing integrations to ConnectWise and Autotask, your team can get the alert when and where you need it. This is unparalleled security, having eyes monitoring systems with automation.

”One of the biggest problems MSPs face is how many products we use across the board…what’s going on with my firewall? Is the backup working? What’s up with the Microsoft 365 licenses? Liongard is a single pane of glass revealing the twenty different things we’re responsible for managing. Alerting keeps things fresh, fixing the issue of lost emails and stale tickets,” says Avinash Sukhandan, IT manager at Statx IT Solutions.

Between the historical data and the ability to alert on anything, Liongard is empowering MSPs to both support compliance frameworks for end-customers and protect themselves. Today, security is no longer a nice to have, and the MSPs who can safely manage and secure their customers have the best shot at scaling their businesses.

3.TRUE INSIGHT FROM DATA ENABLES MSPS TO SCALE

”Being able to report across multiple clients is critical for us to standardize our services.”

”With Liongard Metrics, we no longer need to have our RMM expert write custom scripts or use APIs to pull things like software patches or license counts.”

Liongard is changing the way MSPs think about managing systems. Rather than logging into review customer systems one-by-one, our metrics give MSPs the ability to pinpoint what they care about and report on it across their entire customer base. Things like looking at expirations across all internet domains and TLS/SSL certificates, reviewing firmware versions across all firewalls, or verifying Microsoft 365 license usage for billing can be done in a few clicks.

This is saving MSPs a tremendous amount of time, money and sanity.

“One of the great things about Liongard is predictability and consistency. When you’re operating at scale, you need to know what your tools are going to do and that they’re going to do it the same every time. We help our clients more efficiently, get more done, help more people, and get better feedback,” says Dan Scott, quality & project manager with Complete IT.

The less time your team spends on manual tasks, the more time they have for creative problem-solving and delivering value to customers. This is where we see the true benefit of Liongard’s automation: unleashing MSP teams to operate at 10x so that they can scale their businesses.

Since our earliest days, we’ve been attracting growth-minded MSPs; the business owners and teams who want to more efficiently manage IT at scale.

While there are many ways to grow–increasing revenue from your existing customer base, bringing on new customers, or taking part in an acquisition or merger–all of these require standardization in processes, systems and streamlined access to data. This is what allows MSPs to scale.

Our Vision Looking Forward

As we look to the future, our team is committed to continuing our journey to unleash MSPs to operate at 10x. We thank all our partners who believe in our team, our vision and the power of automation.

While the world struggles with the economic impacts of the pandemic, this moment of adversity can be one of your greatest opportunities as an MSP. If your competitors are living in a scarcity mindset, simply trying to survive—you have an immense opportunity to create value when no one else is. Ready to serve the businesses in your community with confidence?

Success starts here. Sign up for a demo to see how you can standardize, secure and scale your IT managed services with Liongard.


Co-author Vincent Tran is co-founder and COO of Liongard. Co-author Michelle Sawa is director of product research, Liongard. Read more guest blogs from Liongard here.

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