MSPs: Look Beyond Endpoints for Effective Endpoint Management
When it comes to endpoint proliferation, organizational size has little impact. For even the smallest of SMBs, a new employee or contractor typically means another laptop, smartphone, and other gadgets or tools the job requires. At the same time, current staff are constantly upgrading and getting new solutions and gizmos. Regardless of who actually owns the devices, any endpoint-touching network resources must be managed as well as other endpoints like IoT sensors, self-service touchscreens, smart locks, lighting, or thermostats. The increase is exponential.
Although figuring out how to keep track of, monitor, and maintain the ever-expanding volume and diversity of endpoints is a major challenge in and of itself, what all of these endpoints have in common is their reliance on network connectivity to function. A smart device gets dumb fast when it can’t talk to the rest of the devices on the network of the SaaS services powering it.
Today, an organization can’t operate without a reliable internet connection – efficient and effective network performance is table stakes for any modern operation. When the internet is down, systems and devices are unable to communicate with each other. Hence, it’s more important than ever for MSPs to place an equal level of emphasis on monitoring and maintaining the networks to which these devices are connecting as well as the servers and appliances powering the applications these devices utilize.
Increased Cloud-Based Application Usage
As SMBs gravitate toward cloud-based solutions, locally hosted servers are becoming outliers. Email, ERP, HRIS, CRM — you name it — there’s a cloud option that’s easier and less expensive than running it on your own box in the server room or even at an offsite hosting facility.
In addition, cloud-based operations, have rendered geography of employees meaningless. Remote employees or freelancers are a fact of life in many organizations. To ensure offsite employees are as productive as those onsite, the network must be up to the task of not only connecting to applications on devices and servers located on the network, and but in some cases they must also be able to deal with additional traffic generated through collaboration tools.
But, again, the Achilles Heel is connectivity; if workers can’t connect to those SaaS sites, work grinds to a standstill. Keeping the pipes connected and running smoothly is the invisible hero of the cloud revolution, but it doesn’t happen without someone making it hum behind the scenes.
The MSP Advantage
As an MSP the value you bring to clients extends beyond basic technology, even when it comes to managing endpoints.
While some endpoints might not need to be up and running around the clock, other devices or applications may need to be active and connected at all hours. That’s an additional benefit that an MSP can highlight. Backups and large data transfers can be scheduled for off-hours and early morning, and late-night tasks can be guaranteed to have the same level of connectivity reliability as those completed during business hours.
Sniffing Out Trouble
While malware and antivirus applications tend to occur at the endpoint level, monitoring the overall network is a massive safeguard for clients that might have fallen victim to a phishing scam or be suffering from a denial of service attack. These treacherous agents planted by bad actors could be impacting network performance and slowing down business critical applications while lurking in the background.
With active monitoring of network traffic, suspicious activity will show up earlier and can be headed off before any real damage is done. This is often even more important for SMBs than larger firms, as data tends to be less distributed and more vulnerable, plus they don’t have the capital reserves and reputations to deal with the aftermath of a devastating attack.
While we know that having full redundancy is the ideal scenario to ensure constant connectivity, for most SMBs it’s not a realistic option. They either can’t afford it or won’t prioritize it. That’s why it’s so important to make sure the systems they do have are online as much as possible, so outages are a rarity.
Proactive system design and enhancements allow you to anticipate potential problems as well as scale up for increased traffic as the business grows and more devices generate additional usage. Identifying upgrade potential and need in advance is part of the outside expert perspective an MSP is uniquely positioned to provide.
Two Jobs, One Tool
As MSPs grow and scale up to support additional clients (and their additional networks and endpoints), staff efficiency and productivity demand a unified view of both endpoint and network status for monitoring and maintenance activities. Kaseya’s VSA solution was built with this in mind, giving MSPs the opportunity to keep tabs on every device on clients’ networks, as well as the networks themselves, all from a single pane of glass.
MSPs that want to keep up with the surging demand for RMM services in a competitive environment shouldn’t settle for tools that don’t provide full visibility into the entire client ecosystem. Learn more about what Kaseya is doing for MSPs here and discover how you can bring more value to your client base.
Miguel Lopez is senior VP and general manager of Kaseya. Read more Kaseya blogs here.