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5 Ways to Improve Your MSP Service Level Agreement (SLA)

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5 Ways to Improve Your MSP Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

SLAs are the foundation of your MSP business. They are essential to building strong client relationships and must be clear, reasonable and well-constructed.

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Benefits of Using an Integrated RMM and NOC Platform

Posted August 11, 2017by Lily Teplow

Technicians play an absolutely critical role in every Managed Services Provider (MSP) organization today—but finding, hiring and retaining the right talent are often difficult and expensive processes. And while MSPs do need an in-house team to conduct onsite work and meet with customers, they can further-extend their capabilities and remain cost-effective by leveraging an outside Network Operations Center (NOC). 

At its core, a third-party NOC is a team of offsite technicians that can provide monitoring, remote troubleshooting and issue resolution, and absorb much of the “heavy lifting” that MSP technicians and engineers are responsible for on a daily basis. This can help increase client uptime and improve incident response rates, allow MSPs to offer 24x7 service without maintaining their own overnight staff, and much more—creating greater efficiency and providing MSPs with a scalable and elastic workforce they can leverage when needed.  

While there are a number of benefits to tapping into a third-party Network Operations Center, Continuum’s model is unique in that our NOC is fully integrated with our IT management platform—providing a number of benefits that a traditional outsourcing relationship simply can’t offer.   

For MSPs looking to profitably scale their businesses and expand the scope of their service offerings, consider the following benefits of leveraging a third-party NOC for added support:

Win New Business Without Hiring New Technicians

Continuum’s NOC functions as a direct extension of your team, meaning you’ll be able to support more devices and take on new customers without having to hire technical staff to support them. Whenever a new RMM agent is deployed, our technical staff is deployed alongside it—and with multiple service levels to choose from, you can determine exactly which type of remote support you’d like to receive for each customer site you’re managing.  

This pay-as-you-grow model allows you to mitigate payroll risk and maximize your profitability, rather than hiring full-time technical resources and cutting into your margins as you scale your business. And with Continuum’s team absorbing daily monitoring, maintenance and issue resolution, your internal teams are free to focus on revenue-driving work, expanding their own skillsets and delivering greater value to your organization. Leveraging an outside team can also help you bridge the skills gap that exists in today's market, allowing you to offer specialized services or provide support for specific types of technology that your existing team may not be quite as familiar with.  

Proactive Resolution and 24x7 Coverage

One of the greatest challenges in the managed services industry is that IT support is inherently episodic, yet staffing and payroll costs are fixed. An MSP may have a spike in service requests or alerts early one morning, but the next morning may be relatively quiet—and it’s impossible to predict exactly when issues will occur or how many staff members need to be on-hand for a given shift. This results in many MSPs either being understaffed, which causes customer support and service delivery to suffer, or being overstaffed which cuts into profitability and may leave personnel without enough work on their plate.

Continuum’s integrated RMM and NOC platform empowers MSPs to overcome this obstacle and maintain both an agile and profitable business. With NOC technicians providing 24x7 monitoring and maintenance, the need for an internal overnight shift or on-call staff is eliminated—and connectivity between the platform and technicians supporting it ensures that customers are receiving the most proactive support possible, minimizing downtime and ensuring business resumes as quickly as possible following any type of incident.  

Ticket Filtering and Consolidation

One of the core functions of a third-party NOC is the remediation and resolution of alerts generated created by your remote monitoring software—but what good is that if you’re still being assigned hundreds or even thousands of tickets to deal with?

The better the integration between RMM and NOC services, the lower the volume of tickets you’ll actually have to manage. Continuum partners receive only actionable tickets, when some type of activity or intervention is actually required—while the built-in intelligence in our software and our technical experts cut down a vast majority of the white noise and alerts generated by other platforms.  

What’s more, a NOC provides a collective knowledgebase and pool of experience that even the largest MSPs struggle to maintain internally—enabling remote technicians to better-identify the root causes behind certain issues, creating unified tickets and troubleshooting recurring issues rather than just applying a quick fix each time an alert is generated.  

An additional benefit of a truly integrated IT management platform and NOC is the fact that the MSP is able to leverage both software and services from a single unified provider. This greatly simplifies the billing and invoice process, and helps build accountability and trust that often doesn’t exist when multiple third-party tools and solutions are stitched together.

Conclusion

The more agile and efficient you can be as a MSP, the more profitable you can become as you scale your business—and a third-party Network Operations Center can help you drastically improve your operational efficiency without sacrificing customer support or service levels.  

Keep these benefits and tips in mind when exploring whether an outside NOC is the right fit for your business and growth plan, and if you’d like to learn more about Continuum’s fully integrated RMM and NOC platform you can click here to watch an on-demand demo!


Download-Scaling-for-Success-The-MSP-Guide-to-Operational-Efficiency

Meet Lily Teplow! After majoring in Communications and French, Lily graduated from South Carolina's Furman University and now takes on her new role as Content Marketing Associate and Blog Manager at Continuum. In her spare time, Lily enjoys singing, traveling, and cheering on her favorite Boston sports teams!

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