by Graham Rogers, MSP Account Manager.
Working in an essential but by definition invisible sector – well, maybe that needs a sprinkling of magic. The public are quick to blame, maybe slower to be forthcoming with support, but behind the scenes, MSPs – IT Managed Service Providers – are the technology lifeline for many organisations, large and small. Those companies that have chosen to trust their technology decisions to a third party, rely on their external tech infrastructure and service provision, sometimes entailing entirely outsourced internal and customer support. Trends in externalising technology decisions come and go – we’ve all seen in-house switch to outsourced and back again in every department of every kind of business – but the requirement prevails. So, who steps up to the mark? Offering managed technology services externally can be a bit of a minefield. I’ve worked with MSPs providing IT help desk and support technology for over 10 years now and quite honestly, no two companies are the same in their requirements, or how they, in turn, go about supporting their customers. I guess that behind this is the fact that no two customers are the same either!
Flexibility is the key. When no two end customers are alike in their needs, process and ways of working, the MSP has to provide technology services that cater for their different service requirements at the click of a button (ok, maybe just a few…). MSP help desk software plays a key role: contracts may differ and SLAs vary by all sorts of criteria, so on-boarding and supporting new clients has to be simple. Companies merge and acquire other businesses, yet have to accommodate support of the new customer base as seamlessly as possible. Sunrise customer Castleton, a software and managed services provider to the public and not-for-profit sectors, is a prime example of a company that has harnessed flexibility to its own business best interest and differentiated successfully in the process. “[Sunrise is] quite simply more of a business driver than a helpdesk… It’s the lifeline giving key information on our client base across the business.”
When the MSP’s customer service desk becomes the heart of business, as at Castleton, a whole new realm of management information becomes available at the fingertips of departmental heads and decision makers. Lessons can be learned about diversity, flexibility and planning for change from the most unexpected and often invisible of places!