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Attn: MSPs – Your Profitability Depends on Winning the IT Automation Race

Attn: MSPs - Your Profitability Depends on Winning the IT Automation RaceAnyone familiar the role of a managed service provider (MSP) understands all-too-well the pressure of finding a way to do more with less. It’s really all about efficiency and scalability. The more effective your performance, the more success you’ll achieve. The problem is, achieving this isn’t always easy, particularly when there are tight budgetary constraints involved, because for many organizations, hiring additional staff simply isn’t feasible. The solution? IT automation, and leveraging it to win the race and position yourself firmly at the head of the pack.

Most MSPs agree that when it comes to intense competition and budgetary restrictions, the best and only solution is to invest in IT automation. In fact, this is even the case with enterprises that do not struggle with cash flow issues. Even those that can afford to hire additional staff, doing so will inevitably impact the bottom line. By taking a step back and allowing technology to do the heavy lifting, on the other hand, scalability is achieved without the added expenditure of increasing personnel.

Outsourcing or relocating operation centers to other areas of the world may provide a slight advantage in terms of overall cost, but it won’t necessarily level the economic playing field. The ultimate goal of every MSP is to successfully deliver as many quality services as possible while simultaneously utilizing the fewest resources…hence, doing more with less. Tapping into foreign markets and moving your IT department will not achieve this. Only IT automation will.

That said, it’s also critically important that key decision makers perform their due diligence when choosing an IT automation product to employ. Those who have been most successful in this so-called “survival of the fittest” contest have provided some insight into what to consider during the selection process. Most importantly, keep the concept of scalability in mind. Make sure you choose a product that will be able to bridge the past with the future, integrating with legacy systems while also adapting with your changing business needs as they occur. Flexibility is key.

It’s also incredibly important that the automation platform you choose is robust but easy to implement and use. Remember, you’re going to be relying on this system to handle not just simple, repetitive tasks but also complex workflows that are critical to the success of your entire organization. Do your homework and make sure the product you ultimately select is comprehensive enough to handle anything and everything your business may need, not just today but in the future as well.

There’s no question that IT automation is fast becoming the central part of many successful MSP operations, and only those organizations that embrace and act on this will continue to remain competitive. Don’t get left behind! Get your MSP on track to a profitable future by investing in IT automation.

Get started today by launching your free 30 day trial of eyeShare. 





eBook: Top 7 Benefits IT Process Automation Provides MSP’s




Managed service provider (MSPs) and the IT process automation race – Your success depends on winning

MSPs and the IT process Automation RaceAnyone who understands the role of a managed service provider (MSP) understands the importance of doing more with less. It’s really all about scale and common sense. The more efficient and effective your performance, the more success you’ll achieve. The problem is, achieving a high level of scalability isn’t always possible when budget is involved, because for many organizations, hiring additional staff simply isn’t feasible. The solution? IT process Automation, and leveraging it to win the race and become the head of the pack.

MSP experts agree that when it comes to stiff competition and budgetary restrictions, the best and only solution is to invest in automation. This is the case even with enterprises that do not struggle with cash flow issues. Even if you can afford to hire additional staff, doing so will inevitably impact your bottom line. If you take a step back and allow technology to do the heavy lifting for you, on the other hand, you’ve got scalability without the added expenditure of beefing up personnel.

The ability to outsource and even relocate operation centers to other areas of the world may provide a slight advantage in terms of overall cost, but it won’t necessarily level the economic playing field. The ultimate goal of every MSP is to deliver as many quality services as possible while utilizing the fewest number of employees…hence, doing more with less. Tapping into foreign markets and moving your IT department will not achieve this. Only automation will.

That said, it’s also critically important that key decision makers do their due diligence when choosing an IT automation product to work with. Those who have been most successful in this battle of the fittest have provided some insight into what to be careful of during the selection process. Most importantly, keep the concept of scalability in mind. Make sure you choose a product that will be able to bridge the past with the future, integrating with legacy systems while also adapting with your changing business needs as they occur. Flexibility is key.

It’s also extremely important that the automation platform you choose be robust. Remember, you’re going to be relying on this system to handle not just simple, repetitive tasks but also things that are critical to the success of your entire organization, such as incident management and advanced workflow performance.  Do your homework and make sure the product you ultimately select is comprehensive enough to handle anything your business may need.

As we move forward, there’s no question that automation will become the central part of any successful MSPs strategy, and only those organizations that embrace and act on this will continue to remain competitive.

Don’t get left in the dust! Get your managed service provider on track to a competitive and lucrative future by investing in automation.


eBook: Top 7 Benefits IT Process Automation Provides MSP’s




How Robotic Process Automation is Revolutionizing the Managed Service Providers (MSP) Industry

How Robotic Process Automation is Revolutionizing the Managed Service Providers (MSP) IndustryToday’s managed service providers are being expected to meet increasingly complex client needs and maximize efficiency while also keeping costs down. In the age of digital data, this is no easy feat. In fact, staying competitive these days is something that most businesses are struggling with as the world evolves rapidly around them. Robotic process automation (RPA) is proving to be the ideal tool for helping service providers in every industry achieve the competitive edge needed to realize ongoing success.

For those who are unfamiliar, robotic process automation is an advanced technology that allows computer software to take on the routine, repetitive tasks that were once handled by human workers. This software, or “robot,” is capable of capturing data from existing systems and applications and then using that data to process transactions, trigger various responses and effectively communicate with other tools and systems.

RPA has been making the news of late, mostly in general terms. Many noteworthy news outlets have been hailing the capabilities of this technology for use in traditional office roles. While there are still some who view robotic process automation as a threat, most people are recognizing that it’s more of a tool to make the lives of human workers easier, not to necessarily replace them altogether. Yes, some jobs will be eliminated, but that should make way for newer, better opportunities for people.

One key area that RPA is starting (and will continue) to shine is in the service provider industry. Given the saturated market in this highly competitive field, finding a leg up is challenging. Prices can only be lowered so much before profits take a hit and hiring additional staff to keep up with increasing demands just doesn’t make fiscal sense. Robotic process automation provides the ideal solution.

Automation enables service providers to keep staff levels lean while still producing optimum output at maximum efficiency levels. Essentially, it allows businesses to do more with less. Furthermore, highly skilled employees are able to put their expertise to better use focusing on more critical business matters, since menial day to day and even complex processes are being shifted to automation.

Another important component of the service industry is the ability to maintain exceptional quality of work to keep customers happy. When robots are introduced, productivity can increase exponentially without the worry of quality taking a hit. Human errors are also eliminated, which can actually increase the quality of service being performed. Finally, RPA provides the ability to scale up and down in an instant, based on business need.

As the business world continues to evolve, the demands placed on service providers will only continue to rise and become more stringent. Robotic process automation is the answer to not only handling those pressures, but exceeding expectations again and again.

Want to learn how robotic process automation can revolutionize your organization? Check out these top 10 automated processes and then start your free trial today.


eBook: Top 7 Benefits IT Process Automation Provides MSP’s

Managed Service Providers (MSPs) – 4 Automation Best Practices

Managed Service Providers (MSPs) – 4 Automation Best PracticesOne of the greatest challenges today’s managed service providers face is keeping up with the increasing demand on their time and resources. These days, MSPs are being expected to perform at the highest level, maximizing their output while also minimizing costs as much as possible. To remain competitive, these professionals must find a way to do more with less, which is where automation comes into play. But simply choosing an automation tool isn’t enough. Let’s take a look at 4 specific best practices to ensure the biggest ROI.

Be Proactive

Beyond just taking existing manual tasks and workflows and automating them, successful managed service providers are able to anticipate and identify additional areas where ITPA can further benefit them. As an experienced professional, you’re already intimately aware of your clients’ pain points. Being able to offer the best solution at the lowest cost by leveraging automation ahead of time will provide the competitive advantage you need to stay on top.

Create a List of Standards

Sure, every client is different, but for the most part there will be a good number of strategies that you will be able to apply universally, regardless of which client you happen to be serving at any given moment. Standardizing these practices can help you save time and also provide for a much better client experience, which, in turn helps with retention and word of mouth marketing. Automation can be the piece that completes this puzzle, allowing you to keep your operations running like a well-oiled machine and wowing your clientele at the same time.

Manage Policies Better

Another critical role of managed service providers is that of IT governance, or understanding the specific policies that are in place with each of your clients and ensuring that users adhere to these regulations. This might cover everything from who has access to which applications and who is authorized to action updates to simple things, like password refreshes. Establishing a system of proactive policy management can help you and your customers stay compliant and prevent risky actions from occurring in the first place.

Continuously Review & Re-Evaluate

While implementing the above steps will likely help you reduce the amount of tickets you receive, you’ll never reach a point when there are none. To that end, use those remaining incoming requests as a tool for learning and identifying other areas where additional best practices can be established and implemented. By regularly reviewing and improving your standards, policies and automation, you’ll be able to further streamline your operations.
To be successful, managed service providers must continually find ways to keep costs at a minimum while also providing exceptional service using limited resources – not an easy feat, especially in such a competitive landscape. Automation can provide the perfect vehicle through which to drive these best practices forward, thereby improving service levels and ultimately increasing business.

Could your managed service providers use a boost like this? Try our IT process automation tool free for 30 days and experience for yourself what a difference technology can make.

eBook: Top 7 Benefits IT Process Automation Provides MSP’s


IT Process Automation: 5 Reasons It Matters for Today’s Managed Service Providers

IT Process Automation: 5 Reasons It Matters for Today's Managed Service ProvidersNow more than ever those in the managed service providers (MSP) field are facing the growing challenge of having to maximize output on limited resources while also minimizing expense. To say it’s a monumental feat would be an understatement. Yet, along with these increasing demands, the landscape of technology has also evolved with more change certain to come over the next few years. Part of these changes will be the widespread adoption of IT process automation. In fact, ITPA will likely become a fundamental tool for all managed service providers of the not-so-distant future. Here’s why.

Do More With Less

The ability to leverage technology via automation to handle a huge portion of day to day manual tasks will continue to make it easier for managed service providers to cut costs and operate on optimum efficiency levels while also maintaining service levels and customer satisfaction.

Handle the Cloud More Effectively

While cloud technology has certainly revolutionized the way businesses operate, it’s also created a number of additional and sometimes quite complex challenges. As a result, the demand for trusted managed service providers who can address and manage these challenges continues to rise. Automation is the tool that will bring all of this together and position MSPs as invaluable advisers.

Overcome Commoditization

As the IT field becomes more saturated and new technologies continue to emerge, more and more IT companies are marketing themselves based on cost rather than value. Automation allows managed service providers to match the demand and remain competitive by achieving a greater level of operational efficiency without having to increase expenditure.

Remain Profitable

In a highly-competitive field such as IT, the ability to maintain profitability is what keeps many managed service providers up at night. The fact is, there are new players entering the field at a rapid rate, each offering a newer, faster and better product or service. Furthermore, as prices are driven down, commoditization will continue to rise. Automation can become the secret weapon for MSPs both in terms of efficiency and scalability. Expand your offerings and grow your business without increasing your staff, thereby driving up revenue per employee.

Prove Your Worth

Ultimately, if a MSP is going to remain competitive and profitable, it has to find a way to demonstrate the value of its service to the customer. As mentioned in the points above, dropping prices and a more saturated playing field are making this more challenging by the day. Automation can give managed service providers the ability to prove why their prospects should choose them over their competitors.

So, how can you take advantage of these benefits and leverage them for your own managed service providers business?

Simple. Start automating as much as you can, as quickly as you can. Get started today by downloading your free trial and ensure that your company stays ahead of the curve as we navigate the changes that are sure to come in the IT field.





eBook: Top 7 Benefits IT Process Automation Provides MSP’s




Most Common Barriers to Managed Service Providers (MSP) Growth and How to Overcome Them

Most Common Barriers to Managed Service Providers (MSP) Growth and How to Overcome ThemMaking the transition from basic IT support to the more lucrative role of Managed Service Providers (MSP) isn’t always as easy as it seems. Achieving growth from there can take even longer. So why, with automation becoming such a mainstream accepted tool in the IT world, is becoming a successful MSP so challenging? We thought it might be helpful to uncover some of the most common barriers to Managed Service Providers growth and, more importantly, what can be done to overcome them.

Barrier #1 – Being Too General – Many managed service providers out there that are struggling to achieve growth and ongoing success are missing the mark because they’re not positioning themselves as the gurus they truly are. Obtaining the appropriate certifications and credentials and honing your individual service offerings is key. Additionally, selling these services either by competency or by vertical can boost business tremendously and increase the amount of revenue you could be earning.

Barrier #2 – Not Differentiating from Break/Fix IT Support – The main driver keeping this barrier in place is fear. Many IT pros want to transition to selling managed services, but they hesitate for fear that they’ll lose some of their customers. In reality, not every client is suited for a managed service provider vs. break/fix type of support. But while you may, indeed, lose a small segment of business, you will gain it back and then some over time. Understanding and accepting this fact can help overcome the uneasiness and make the shift a little bit easier to make.

Barrier #3 – Underpricing Themselves – Switching from fixed price and/or cost plus pricing to a more realistic and profitable pricing model can be challenging, particularly if you don’t fully understand the true value of your services or, more importantly, how willing your customers are to pay what you’re worth. If you’re undervaluing and underpricing yourself, you will not be able to realize growth. In fact, you may even price yourself out of the industry all together.

Now that you know what may be standing in your way, here are a few helpful tips for overcoming these common barriers to growth:

  • Evaluate your existing business plan and MSP strategy, the strength of your software, and the skills and abilities of your team members.
  • Leverage technology and tools, such as automation, to buckle up your service delivery and make it much more efficient.
  • Keep a close eye on the market and your finger on the pulse of your customers to recognize and capitalize on trends and opportunities.
  • Develop and foster specialties by obtaining certifications, etc. in areas where your customers are.
  • Assess and modify your pricing model to ensure that it properly supports your level of service.
  • Establish a specific goal (i.e. 20% growth in 12 months) and develop a strategy for achieving that goal over the designated time frame.

Making the shift from one-off, break/fix IT support to a qualified, highly sought after Managed Service Provider isn’t as difficult as you may think. By understanding what factors might be hindering your ability to change and grow and applying the above advice for overcoming those obstacles, you’ll be well on your way to securing your position in the profitable Managed Service Providers world.

Want to learn how the right IT process automation tool can help propel your Managed Service Providers career forward into a successful future? Check out these top 10 automation processes



eBook: Top 7 Benefits IT Process Automation Provides MSP’s




IT process automation for Managed Service Providers (MSP’s)- Infographic

Managed Service Providers (MSP’s) are among the biggest beneficiaries of IT process automation.  When your business involves managing thousands of servers running an equal or greater number of complex applications and accompanying databases, you need all the automation you can get just to keep up with your environment’s needs.

eyeShare for Managed Service Providers Infographic

IT process automation for Managed Service Providers

With IT process automation Managed Service Providers get ahead of the curve and not only remediate incidents automatically, but run automated preventive maintenance jobs that minimize the number of incidents occurring in the first place.  Even better, IT automation provides a competitive advantage to MSP’s who need to offer guaranteed SLA’s, but don’t want to increase the budget for additional hires.  MSP’s seeking ways to improve their service levels, optimize their resources, and increase their profits should make IT process automation a core part of their infrastructure stack.




eBook: Top 7 Benefits IT Process Automation Provides MSP’s




Run Your Internal IT Just Like a Managed Service Provider

Run Your Internal IT Just Like a Managed Service ProviderFor decades, businesses have been turning to Managed Service Providers (MSP’s) to handle their day to day IT needs. This outsourcing was something that many smaller or mid-sized enterprises were forced to do, since housing IT internally wasn’t always an option. The good news is technological advances have begun to make it possible for these companies to actually manage IT operations in-house with the same efficiency and service levels as an MSP.

We recently wrote about how tools like IT process automation (ITPA) can be leveraged by MSPs to save time and reduce costs. This same concept can be applied to internal IT departments as well. For small to mid-sized businesses that previously relied on external MSPs to essentially serve as their IT office, the reason was typically due to cost. It was simply more cost-effective to outsource the tech duties rather than to manage them in-house. But with the ability to accurately measure the value of internal IT, more and more small to medium sized businesses are recognizing the benefits of keeping things in-house.

The answer to the age-old question of how an internal IT group can match the efficiency of a managed service provider lies in the concept of IT automation. When you can begin to automate not only individual repetitive tasks, but entire workflows, suddenly the idea of running a busy IT operation doesn’t seem as overwhelming. You no longer face the need to hire more staff than you can afford, and those staff members that you do employee will have the ability to focus on critical things that require a human touch, such as analyzing and developing business strategies for future success.

Benefits of Using IT Process Automation to Keep IT In-House

While using Managed Service Providers is certainly not a bad option, there are a number of specific benefits that a business can realize by keeping IT in-house. These benefits include:

  • More Control – Outsourcing always requires giving up a certain amount of control. Keeping IT operations internal gives the business full control over all processes and procedures.
  • Flexibility – A quality IT process automation product provides flexibility and customization to each business’s unique pain points. That means that your internal IT can be designed specifically for the needs of your organization, unlike an MSP which can only adapt to a certain point.
  • Higher Level of Security – It goes without saying that internal versus outsourced departments always provide a more secure atmosphere. IT operations for industries that deal with more sensitive information, such as the financial sector, benefit greatly from keeping all transactions in-house.
  • Saves Time – Internal IT operations eliminate the need to contact and rely on a third party for any support requests, which can save time. The beauty of ITPA is that it is designed to make IT operations more efficient, so it is inherently a time saver. Couple this with the fact that ITPA lets computers do the heavy lifting, freeing up personnel to be available if and when an issue arises, and you’ve got a highly effective and efficient department with exceptional service levels.
  • Saves Money – Keeping IT internal saves money over time, since you will no longer need to incur the costs of outsourcing to an MSP.

Think your business is too small or lacks the resources to manage IT operations internally?  Think outsourcing to an Managed Service Provider is your only option?

Think again.With technological advances, namely the rise of IT process automation, now organizations of any size have the ability to achieve the same operational efficiency with their in-house IT as they would with an Managed Service Provider.

eBook: Top 7 Benefits IT Process Automation Provides MSP’s




Managed Service Providers – 4 Essential Steps to Managing Your IT Services Cost-Effectively

Managed Service Providers - 4 Essential Steps to Managing Your IT Services Cost-EffectivelyWe’ve certainly come a long way since the antiquated automation tools introduced at the turn of the century. Huge, clumsy and less than perfect, those old tools were enough to get the job done, but thankfully have been vastly improved over the years. Now, IT automation offers sophisticated solutions in easy-to-use, out-of-the-box products that are affordable and scalable to suit just about any industry and business need. Yet, there is still work to be done if we are to truly get the most out of IT process automation in its current form – particularly if you are in the highly competitive field of Managed Service Providers (MSPs). Here are 4 key steps to manage your IT services efficiently and cost effectively.

  1. Stay Proactive – Of course you know what to do in the event that one of your clients’ infrastructure is compromised, but wouldn’t it make more sense to stay one step ahead of the game? That way, instead of having to waste time, resources and money putting out fires, you could resolve issues before they developed into serious problems. Let’s take the task of patch management into consideration. If you’re handling this manually, vulnerabilities in the days following a new release could be placing your clients at risk and making your job much more complicated than it has to be. IT process automation, on the other hand, allows you to take a proactive approach to patch releases, speeding the process and reducing risk.
  1. Develop and Implement Standards – By developing a check list of technology standards that can be applied across multiple devices and clients, you can remove much of the guess work from the trouble-shooting process. This will improve customer service levels and streamline your own internal operations. For instance, you can create a list of back-up and anti-virus processes, recommended amounts of memory, standard applications and configurations, etc. You can then automate the process of auditing these standards accordingly.
  1. Manage Policies – In addition to common standards, there are also a number of policies that must be managed properly, particularly in terms of IT usage governance. It’s critical to ensure that all users remain in compliance with the policies of your customers. Common policy areas include password refresh, application usage, allowable downloads and access security. By setting up a policy management plan that is proactive and automated, you can prevent unwanted actions and reduce the number of tickets you and your team will have to field.
  1. Review Regularly – While implementing the three steps listed above will dramatically improve productivity and performance, you’ll never get your incoming trouble tickets down to zero (nor should you want to). By reviewing your existing tickets regularly, however, you can effectively identify other areas where automation could help. What pain points are regularly causing you problems that you might be able to streamline for better results? You may also find through routine reviews that adjusting your standards and policy management in certain ways could further reduce the excess workload that your team is currently carrying.

As any MSP, you’re probably struggling with the need to do more with less. As IT issues become more and more complex, the ability to stay on top of the needs of your clients without having to increase expenditure will be critical to your future success. IT process automation, along with these 4 key steps, can help position you right where you need to be to stay out on top.

eBook: Top 7 Benefits IT Process Automation Provides MSP’s




How Leveraging a Virtual Operator Could Transform IT Managed Service Providers (MSPs)

Managed Service ProvidersIt’s happened time and time again: large corporations wavering between total in-house IT and complete outsourcing, only to discover that neither option provides a truly cost effective and efficient solution. Such was the case with European oil company Rompetrol, who seesawed between both approaches, all the while wasting value time, money and resources only to lose control over their IT altogether. This all changed, however, when CIO Marcel Chiriac took over in 2012.

Upon discovering that the outsourcing firm the company had hired had grossly mishandled things, Chiriac took on the daunting task of getting things back under control as quickly as possible. Weighing his options, and considering the fact that shifting everything back to in-house again that fast would be just short of impossible, Chiriac opted instead for a hybrid IT environment. This provided the “best of both worlds” in terms of control and efficiency.

The first step in the process involved putting together a team of IT professionals with whom he could work to renegotiate contracts with the many software vendors Rompetrol dealt with. Chiriac’s in-house team then had the job of evaluating the state of the company’s IT infrastructure since it had been managed by the previous provider. The results were disheartening. Additionally, the outsourcing provider refused to cooperate with the transition, making the process extremely frustrating and arduous.

Knowing he was working with a timeframe of just 3 months, Chiriac knew that using traditional technologies simply wouldn’t be sufficient to gain control over and document the asset transfer process. He decided that IT process automation might be his best option for meeting the tight deadline and getting the company’s IT performance back up to par. The new IT provider got to work extracting the information needed to allow Rompetrol to begin securing their scattered and vulnerable infrastructure.

Perhaps the most important step taken during this 3 month period was the introduction of “virtual operators”. These are essentially just IT service robots which helped to quickly identify the exact network composition. In addition to facilitating the consolidation and optimization of the company’s infrastructure, these virtual engineers also enabled in-house IT professionals to manage incidents more proactively. This allowed problems to be resolved quickly and efficiently, improving performance and service levels.

Within just one month’s time, automated solutions had been put in place for more than 2,000 items, including switches and servers for over 750 of Rompetrol’s gas stations. There has only been one single outage since the shift to the new hybrid model, and it’s succeeded in reducing operating costs by 27%. At this point, the internal IT team is able to focus on further optimization needs.

Beyond what this means for other companies looking to cut costs and improve IT operations, the use of virtual operators is poised to revolutionize things for managed service providers.  IT Automation will open up new avenues of opportunity to provide enhanced levels of support, maximize internal resources, lower costs and maintain competitive advantage. As businesses begin to recognize this hybrid approach, they will begin to once again look to managed service providers to help them achieve the best of both worlds in terms of control, IT security and efficiency.

Are you an managed service provider that would like to become part of a success story like that of Rompetrol?  IT Automation is the tool you need to jump ahead of the game. 





eBook: Top 7 Benefits IT Process Automation Provides MSP’s