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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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How to Take Responsibility for Your Clients’ Networks

Posted March 23, 2018by Alex Hoff

How to Take Responsibility for Your Clients’ Networks

Networks are more important than ever. A recent RightScale 2018 State of the Cloud report surveyed 997 tech pros and found 96 percent of respondents use cloud services, and 81 percent have a multi-cloud strategy. And, the report indicated companies are now running the majority of their workloads in the cloud.

With more data and systems in the cloud, there’s an opportunity for you as a managed services provider to boost your clients’ efficiency and scalability, but this can also increase risk. If the network goes down, your clients can’t function. As their MSP, they expect you to keep their network constantly running in the background, kind of like electricity. So how do you make sure clients can reach the cloud and stay productive? The answer is you own their networks—you take full responsibility for keeping them connected.

3 Ways to Own Your Clients’ Networks

1. Know About Network Issues Before Your Clients Do

No MSP likes getting the dreaded, “My network is down, what’s going on?” phone call. When you know about issues before the client, you’ll be proactive rather than reactive—and you’ll build trust with your clients when you call them first.

2. Provide Clients With Strategic Guidance So Their Network Is Optimized to Support Broader Business Goals

“Clients don’t buy technology anymore,” says ESG analyst Kevin Rhone. They buy business outcomes. That means understanding what your client is trying to achieve and constantly evolving their infrastructure to help them get there.

3. Mitigate Network Risk

It’s inevitable that a disaster like a lightning strike or flood will affect a client. As a best practice, you’ll need to have a disaster recovery plan for servers and data, but what about the network devices? How can clients get back up and running without a recovery plan for network infrastructure?  

Barriers to Owning the Network

The problem is, the three things you need to do to effectively own your clients’ networks are challenging to integrate into your service offering.

Traditionally, network management has been a very manual activity, involving time-intensive tasks. Drawing Visio diagrams, tracing wires, and parsing the CLI are all tedious, and they put a real drag on productivity.

As well, there are few network standards. There are hundreds of vendors making thousands of devices. Most business networks have a mishmash of gear.

There are network experts out there who can make sense of this complexity, but they’re hard to find and often expensive. If there’s one on your staff, they’re probably burdened with finicky network issues that take forever to resolve, which means they aren’t available for higher-level strategic work.

The Solution: Automation

So how does an MSP own the network in an efficient and cost-effective way?

With network infrastructure RMM, you gain visibility into your clients’ network devices and see issues before clients do. You can work with clients to ensure their network is fit for purpose to support business goals. And you ensure network risk is mitigated—automatically.

The entire world runs on networks. With network infrastructure RMM, you can do your part to make sure it keeps running.

 

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Alex Hoff is the VP of product and sales at Auvik Networks. Auvik's infrastructure-focused RMM (remote monitoring and management) helps MSPs grow their network services profitably.

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