Software for Managed Service Providers – those external third party organisations which provide software and other technical services to multiple client organisations. MSPs usually interact seamlessly with their corporate clients, end users often having no idea of the external element of their infrastructure or support.
How an MSP service desk works
MSP software provides the platform for ‘one to many’ servicing of corporate clients’ IT services and support requirements, catering for each client organisation’s differing contractual obligations and thus ensuring targets are met and each end user’s experience is positive.
MSP Software features a range of functionality to help manage both the MSP’s own and its clients’ IT requirements. It should support the ITIL framework with core processes including Incident, Request, Problem, Change, Configuration, Asset, Knowledge and Service Level Management. Add-on areas including Project Management help the MSP and its clients alike, with customer contracts and Crisis and Risk management ensuring consistent standards are upheld at all times. Aspects of ’PSA’ (Professional Services Automation) capabilities are important to MSP software and the value of core project planning and resource management functionality should not be overlooked. The ability to track and manage both customer and internal projects as well as manage, schedule and track internal resources is key to ensuring delivery of the best possible service to customers, as well as operating efficiently.
MSP software is centred around each customer. The MSP operative can view the customer record which quickly shows key details, including the customer history, any incidents logged against them, any specific contracts including SLAs that each customer has, as well as any current projects they are working on. Additional information such as named customer contacts, locations and any of their items or assets supported are easily seen and managed.
Hosting the software in the Cloud also overcomes any historical ‘multi-tenancy’ concerns over security of client data. MSP software on a SaaS platform such as IBM Cloud allows the service provider to manage an individual instance per client.
Client management for MSPs
Managing complex SLAs is a key element of the MSP software system, giving visibility and flexibility to balance responses and manage multiple clients. This frees the MSP up to be able to offer the services and SLAs that support its business, rather than have any restrictions imposed by the relative stated urgency of the support call itself. SLAs can be directly linked to the client organisation, or if required to each individual contract, as one client could have multiple contracts. There can even be a specific SLA per contract within the MSP software with many hardware or software components linked to that contract, each with its own SLA.
MSP software also offers a fully integrated self-service portal, enabling customers to interact with the application. Fully configurable, the portal can provide powerful access to the application, including:
- the ability to publish useful messages
- search the standard knowledge base with dynamic searching assistance
- check the progress of ongoing incidents and requests
- raise new incidents and requests if necessary.
This could further incorporate a shopping cart type experience, allowing customers to order standard hardware, software and services offered. Integration with other third party collaboration and communication tools extends the positive customer experience, with MS Teams a common addition for many organisations. Easily integrated with available APIs, seamless updating of Teams channels with relevant status updates direct from the MSP software is highly valued.
Reporting for MSPs
Reporting is of course very important to the MSP and software needs to enable the creation and scheduling of reports within the application itself, as well as exporting to powerful analytical tools like MS PowerBI. For MSPs seeking SDI certification, Sunrise has achieved the Service Desk Institute reporting compliance version 8 reporting.
For more info, watch the demo of Sunrise MSP software.