How MSPs Can Thrive In The Intelligent Machine Age

http://www.channelpartnersonline.com/blogs/peertopeer/2017/04/how-msps-can-thrive-in-the-intelligent-machine-ag.aspx

This article was originally published as a guest post on Channel Partners.

The age of intelligent machines and automation is upon us. Because they eliminate the need for humans to perform simple (and not so simple) tasks, machines and bots are a boon to managed service providers and IT outsourcers. Fail to take advantage of automation, and you will eventually be unable to compete.

The threat isn’t existential yet — the MSP market is expected to reach $242.45 billion by 2021, so there’s plenty of work to go around. But the competitive landscape is shifting, enterprise IT environments are becoming increasingly complex, and forward-thinking solutions providers are taking steps to get on board with automation and standardization because they understand that they’ll be essential to staying in the game.

For often talent-strapped MSPs and managed security service providers, without automation, bringing disparate technologies and systems online while moving resources to the cloud equals a complicated, manual IT workload. Add to this the escalating urgency to contain costs while improving service levels, and it’s no surprise that managed service providers of all types are worried.

Of course, managing innovation, complexity and cost is not a new problem. For decades, we’ve seen technologies come and go with the expectation that we’ll make it work, no matter the cost. That’s partly how IT has gained notoriety for being a “cost center.” But in reality, IT is not a cost center — it’s a resource hog. The more complex technology becomes, the more specialized and general IT resources we need to add, because it’s not as if the legacy stuff goes away.

This model cannot be sustained. MSPs must take steps to improve efficiencies in their own companies and for customers. Top priorities include delivering on SLAs, cost containment, connecting disparate systems from one client environment to the next and onboarding new customers using a repeatable and seamless process. All that requires automation.

Take the task of onboarding a customer that uses one ITSM system while the MSP uses another. Several issues arise — not the least of which is the sheer scale of human resources needed to align the two systems or switch the customer over. An MSP that can’t replicate tasks and workflows across its customer base can’t control costs.

The bottom line is that MSPs need to find a way to become not only experts in IT and security operations but also aces in efficiency. Thus it follows that intelligent automation will become the MSP’s best friend.

ROI Factors to Consider               

A wide range of intelligent automation solutions exist today, and the choices can be overwhelming. However, to get on successful track, consider these key ROI factors when evaluating options:

  • Technology features: How does the solution apply machine learning, artificial intelligence and other technology that adds value to what you are trying to achieve? What is the supplier’s road map?
  • Ease of use: Solutions that require no coding and minimal training will save you significant time and headache. Choose options that can deliver enterprise-level functionality and that virtually anyone on the IT staff can be successful with out of the gate.
  • Integration: Solutions that don’t integrate with existing systems will create a whole new set of challenges. Opt for those that offer integration out of the gate and open APIs for future flexibility.
  • Cost efficiency: MSPs must improve efficiencies through technology. With the rise of IT automation, more effective use of limited resources reduces costs and increases ROI.

Machine learning, along with other advanced technologies, has helped to propel the adoption and implementation of intelligent automation. By applying machine learning to IT process automation, manual, repetitive tasks are eliminated while gaining the benefit of intelligent suggestions and recommendations based on past history. Combined, this results in major efficiency gains, significant cost reduction, and greatly improved service delivery.

Machine learning also has the potential to enable an MSP to shift its focus to value-added services, realize increased margins and improve SLAs for a truly competitive differentiation. When used appropriately, automation and machine learning can equip MSPs to not only remain competitive, but blaze a path for future success.

To view the original article, please click here.

MSPs, What’s Holding You Back? Overcoming Common Barriers to Growth to Scale and Succeed

http://www.msptoday.com/topics/from-the-experts/articles/430971-msps-whats-holding-back-overcoming-common-barriers-growth.htm

Article originally published as a guest post on MSP Today.

Moving up the stack from basic IT support to a full-fledged MSP isn’t necessarily an easy transition. There will inevitably be a number of obstacles to overcome along the way. Thankfully, many have gone before and essentially paved the way for newer players to enter the field. Learning in advance what challenges you can expect and the best way to meet those challenges head on will help you avoid potential pitfalls that might otherwise become a barrier to growth. Let’s take a closer look at the three most common issues today’s MSPs struggle with.

Fear of Change

Let’s face it. Making a major change to your business model is scary. What if things don’t work out? Will you be able to recover? The reality is, however, that success requires a certain degree of risk. If your team is feeling particularly leery of making the shift to MSP and/or pursuing aggressive growth initiatives, the key will be communication. Be open, honest and transparent. Acknowledge the uncertainty many of your staff members are experiencing and take the time to address those concerns and put them to rest.

Additionally, there may also be an underlying fear that switching to managed services will result in the loss of business. Chances are very good that this will, indeed happen, as not everyone is suited for an MSP level of support. Understand, however, that while you may very well end up saying goodbye to a small portion of your customers, over time you will gain others to replace them. It’s just part of the shift.

Lack of Differentiation

Without question, the MSP field is highly saturated. The organizations that thrive are those that have found a way to stand out from the competition. This is especially critical for those just entering the marketplace. If potential clients can get the same service from an established player that they already know and trust, why would they take a chance on you? It’s up to you to convince them otherwise.

To do so, you must identify what new and better services your company can offer. For instance, if your prospects are seeking growth themselves, focus on services that help maximize efficiency and empower them to achieve those goals. If you’re unsure of what angle to take, tap into your sales team to find out what they’re hearing in the field. Or, better yet – ask your clients and prospects directly.

Underpricing

Finally, there is the challenge of how to appropriately price your services. In fact, making a switch from fixed price to a more profitable pricing model can be a difficult transition. This is often compounded by a mere lack of full understanding and a subsequent underestimation of the true value of the services you will now be providing.

At the end of the day, you want your customers to pay you what you’re worth. If you are undervaluing your services, chances are you are also underpricing yourself, which means you will not be able to achieve sustainable growth. Be honest and do your homework. Figure out what you are worth and what you will need to make in order to bring your business to the next level and then implement the necessary changes to make it happen.

Now that you’ve got a clearer picture of what may be standing in your way, it’s time to get to work turning things around. Here are a few helpful pointers, to overcome these common issues:

  • Evaluate your current business plan and strategy, as well as team member skills and abilities.
  • Utilize technology and tools, like automation, to make service delivery much more efficient.
  • Build technical credibility through key certifications and specializations.
  • Understand your pricing model to ensure that it properly supports your level of service.
  • Keep in close contact with customers to recognize and capitalize on trends and opportunities.

Making the transition from basic IT support to full-fledged managed services may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, with a well thought out plan backed by a confident team and advanced technology, you will be well positioned to compete in today’s fast growing market.

Ayehu Introduces Next Generation IT Automation and Orchestration Platform Integrated with Machine Learning Intelligence

Ayehu’s next generation platform, driven by machine learning intelligence, is a force multiplier for overwhelmed and understaffed IT and security operations teams.

Ayehu today introduced its next generation IT automation and orchestration platform for IT and security operations. With intelligent machine learning driven decision support, the platform dynamically creates rule-based recommendations, insights and correlations that provide the operator/analyst with suggestions for how to optimize fully- or semi-automated workflows.

Today’s IT and security operations teams are plagued by a seemingly continuous flood of alerts, incidents and requests. This is compounded by the fact that as businesses scale their systems complexity grows, placing an increased workload on an already inundated workforce. This trend combined with a highly-publicized shortage of skilled, talented workers across both IT and security, has driven the need for intelligence-backed, automated solutions.

“Our next generation platform is the evolution of our successful IT automation solution, designed around our customers’ direct feedback regarding their additional, specific needs,” said Gabby Nizri, CEO of Ayehu. “We believe automation should be simple to implement, manage and maintain, from one, unified platform. Now a SaaS ready platform, Ayehu allows customers and partners to gain efficiencies across their hybrid environments and provide their overworked operators and analysts with intelligent machine learning driven decision support, further increasing productivity. This is a game changer, and we can’t wait for our customers to experience the next generation of IT automation.”

The platform includes significant enhancements, including an architecture redesign to support hybrid deployments across on-premise, private and public cloud environments. It also enriches product security in areas such as message encryption across internal and external networks, and presents a refreshed user interface.

The next generation Ayehu IT automation and orchestration platform features:

  • SaaS Ready – Ideal for hybrid deployments, Ayehu supports multi-tenant, network encryption, OAuth2 authentication, and internal security improvementsHigh Availability and Scalability – Ayehu easily scales to support organizations with a high volume of incidents, and safe guards against a single-point-of-failure
  • Machine Learning Driven Support Decisions — Ayehu provides decision support via prompts to optimize workflows and dynamically creates rule-based recommendations, insights and correlations
  • Workflow Version Control – Ayehu is the first IT automation and orchestration platform to provide version control on workflows, allowing users to rollback changes and review, compare or revert workflows
  • Tagging and Labeling – Ayehu users can associate workflows with keywords through tags to quickly search and return commonly used workflows

Ayehu acts as a force multiplier, driving efficiency through a simple and powerful IT automation and orchestration platform. Ayehu helps enterprises save time on manual and repetitive tasks, accelerate mean time to resolution (MTTR), and maintain greater control over IT infrastructure. With Ayehu, IT and security operations teams can fully- or semi-automate the manual response of an experienced IT or security operator/analyst, including complex tasks across multiple, disparate systems. Ayehu’s response time is instant and automatic, executing pre-configured instructions without any programming required, helping to resolve virtually any alert, incident or crisis.

Ayehu will provide live demonstrations of its next generation platform at RSA Conference 2017 (San Francisco, Moscone Center, February 13 -17) in its booth # 4914 (North Expo Hall). The platform is currently in beta and will be generally available later this year.

For more information and to request a live, personalized demonstration of the next generation platform, visit https://ayehu.com/ayehu-it-automation-orchestration-platform-preview/ 

About Ayehu

Named by Gartner as a Cool Vendor, Ayehu’s IT automation and orchestration platform is a force multiplier for IT and security operations, helping enterprises save time on manual and repetitive tasks, accelerate mean time to resolution, and maintain greater control over IT infrastructure. Trusted by major enterprises and leading technology solution and service partners, Ayehu supports thousands of automated processes across the globe. For more information, please visit www.ayehu.com and the company blog. Follow Ayehu on Twitter and LinkedIn.

PR Contact
Christy Kemp
Dahlia Public Relations
303-898-3390
ckemp@dahliapr.com

5 Ways IT Automation is a Must-Have for MSPs

Managed service providers (MSPs)5 Ways IT Automation is a Must-Have for MSPs are certainly no strangers to change. In a world where technology and available tools are constantly improving, MSPs are on the receiving end of many of these changes. And by all indications, this is unlikely to change any time soon. The same is true for automation, or more specifically, how IT automation will impact how these talented professionals do their jobs and achieve ongoing success. That said, here are five reasons why IT automation will be a must for MSPs over the coming years.

Realize Your Own Savings – There’s no doubt about it, the Managed Service Provider industry is becoming increasingly saturated and therefore even more competitive. The only way to stay ahead of the game is by keeping your own operational costs as low as possible. IT automation is by far the most effective tool to accomplish this goal. So, not only will you stay on top of the changes as they occur within your industry, making you that much more valuable to your clients, but you will also do so in a way that keeps your business lean.

Exhibit the Value Behind the Service – Being successful as an MSP is all about being able to sell your services, and the best way to do this is by demonstrating the value you provide to your customers. Key decision makers must be able to see exactly why relying on your services is truly worth it. Automation can help demonstrate this value in a number of ways. First, because automation is so cost-effective, you can essentially pass along that savings to your customers, offering them better service at a lower price. Automation can also make transitioning to the cloud much easier and less complicated, something many organizations are expected to be doing over the next few years.

Remain Competitive – Unfortunately, as with most industries, the IT field is slowly but surely becoming more and more commoditized. This means that larger organizations will continue to try and outpace smaller, more value-driven ones based on price alone. In order to stay relevant in this type of environment, you must find a way to offer value while also remaining competitive price-wise. IT automation allows you to do both of these things, improving operational efficiency, cutting costs and providing ammunition to out-compete others in the industry, regardless of size.

Gain Efficiency, Scalability and Profitability – What happens when your bottom-line price simply can’t match or beat that of your competitors? As prices are expected to continue to be driven down by increasing commoditization, you simply must find a way to compete in other ways besides the price tag on your services. This is accomplished by becoming the most efficient and scalable option for your clients and IT automation is the best way to achieve this goal. Also, because automation increases the efficiency of each employee, it in turn drives your own profitability. It’s a win-win.

Leverage the Opportunity of the Cloud – Despite how inherently untrue it may be, organizations of every size, shape and industry are being assured on a regular basis that transitioning to the cloud is both efficient and easy. Of course, experienced managed service providers know that this is far from the truth. In reality, integrating and managing multiple systems in a virtual environment is extremely complex. So, if this is what the customers are going to want, how can you effectively meet their needs without breaking the bank and exhausting all of your own resources? Automation which will take much of the complexity out of the process and allow you to leverage the value of the cloud to become your clients’ most trusted advisor.

Like it or not, there are plenty of changes coming up the pike in terms of how MSPs will be able to do their jobs most efficiently and continue to remain successful in an increasingly competitive field. IT automation will, without a doubt, become the most valuable tool in achieving these goals.

Don’t get left behind! Start leveraging the power of automation for your organization and be prepared to face the future head on. Click to get started today!





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




Could This Be Preventing Managed Service Providers from Growing?

Could This Be Preventing MSPs from Growing?Making the transition from basic IT support to the more lucrative role of Managed Service Provider (MSP) isn’t always as easy as it seems. Achieving growth from there can take even longer. So why, with IT process automation becoming such a mainstream accepted tool, is becoming a successful MSP so challenging? We thought it might be helpful to uncover some of the most common obstacles to MSP growth and, more importantly, what can be done to overcome them.

Obstacle #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.

Obstacle #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.

Obstacle #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 IT process 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 MSP world.

Want to learn how the right IT process automation tool can help propel your Managed Service Provider career forward into a successful future? Grab your free 30 day trial today to get started!



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




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




Highlights from Guy Nadivi’s Discussion with MSP Today about IT Process Automation, MSPs and More

Ayehu's Guy Nadivi Talks Automation & MSP ExpoIt’s no secret that IT professionals are being burdened with the increasing pressure that comes with maintaining optimum network security and maximum efficiency levels. Couple this with the fact that there is a serious skill shortage, particularly in the security realm, and those pressures increase tenfold. The good news is, this can all be overcome thanks in large part to IT process automation, which can be leveraged alongside human workers to respond faster and more effectively and maintain a greater degree of control over the entire process.

Ayehu’s Director of Business Development in North America, Guy Nadivi, recently sat down for a chat with MSP Today’s Stefania Viscusi for one of their Expert Features. Here are a few of the main highlights of the discussion.

A Shift in Thinking…

One of the biggest questions on the minds of so many IT professionals is not only what technological changes are occurring, but also how those changes will help businesses grow, improve and become even more successful. Guy shared his insight that over the past year the most significant change isn’t necessarily about technology, but rather it’s been a shift in the way IT executives and managers think, work and strategize. Specifically, there’s been a much more open-minded approach to tools like IT process automation, particularly in MSPs, NOCs and SOCs. As a result, businesses are maxing out their efficiency levels, which has allowed them to continue to grow despite of the skilled labor gap.

Increasing Challenges on the Security Front…

Of course, the discussion between Guy and Stefania naturally turned to the growing concern all organizations are currently facing in terms of cyber-security. As Guy pointed out, the greatest challenge lies in misplaced focus of efforts. It’s not just about protecting sensitive data and networks against potential breaches, but also detecting and remediating incidents as quickly and effectively as possible. Equally important is eliminating manual response tactics, which are ineffective against today’s threats, like ransomware. Incorporating automation into the incident response strategy is key to enabling faster containment, eradication and recovery.

MSPs and Automation Go Hand in Hand…

Many in the IT field mistakenly believe that IT process automation software developers, like Ayehu, are somehow in competition with Managed Service Providers. But as Guy clarified, this isn’t the case at all. In fact, while many organizations opt to use automation in order to keep IT tasks in-house, the MSPs themselves are also adopting automation technology to improve and enhance their own operations. He also pointed to a Gartner prediction that MSPs will reduce their workforce by 20 percent thanks to IT process automation – and all while maintaining the same (or better) levels of performance. The cost savings realized by this will make successful MSPs more profitable, agile and competitive.

Other noteworthy things touched upon in the article include how the cloud / MSP model is a very real and effective solution, especially for mid-sized organizations with limited IT staff; what emerging technologies are expected to further disrupt the business world and how channel partners are keeping up with the latest trends and developments.

Guy also shared a sneak peek at what he’ll be doing during his upcoming session at the ITEXPO in Fort Lauderdale, FL from Feb. 8 – 10, who should consider attending and why. Among other things, his session entitled “Why Automation is Critical for MSPs to Succeed” will be designed specifically for MSP executives and operations staff members who are struggling to remain competitive in the rapidly changing MSP landscape. Some of the exciting topics covered will include:

  • Enabling Scalability without Increasing Head Count
  • Putting an End to Firefighting
  • Eliminating the Need for Complicated Scripting and more
You can read the full MSP Today interview here. For more information about the ITEXPO or the collocated MSP Expo, please click on the corresponding hyperlinks. And, to download your free 30 day trial of eyeShare IT process automation tool, click here.





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




Managed Service Providers: How Automation Can Provide New Opportunities for Profitability

Managed Service Providers: How Automation Can Provide New Opportunities for ProfitabilityOne of the biggest challenges managed service providers (MSPs) face today is striking a balance between routine processes and procedures and the more value-added services that also bring in more revenue. Like it or not, time is extremely limited. Furthermore, in order to meet the stringent demands all managed service providers face, the business itself must be operated as efficiently as possible. Automation is the solution that can help optimize allocation of resources, thereby creating additional opportunities for more profitability.

There’s really no way to completely eliminate many of the many manual, repetitive tasks that are a necessary component of a managed service provider’s day to day work. The problem is, if you’re not completing these things fast enough and with few to no errors, your business will not be able to stand up against the fierce competition. By automating these tasks and workflows, all of the required work will be completed more quickly and accurately, allowing your company to do more with less and provide the highest level of service available.

Contrary to popular belief, automation isn’t meant to eliminate human workers, and there’s no reason to believe that such a revolution will take place in the MSP realm any time soon. What it does do, however, is empower technicians by allowing them to focus their talents and abilities on more lucrative projects. Meanwhile, the mundane work is handled by machine, the two working in tandem toward the same shared goal. This results in a much more streamlined and productive operation that is run at maximum efficiency and output – something all managed service providers strive for.

Not only can automation work in conjunction with human technicians, but the right tool can also be integrated with other existing systems and applications to further enhance and extend their capabilities. Whether it’s monitoring software, a helpdesk platform or something else, seamless integration with a comprehensive automation tool can provide greater visibility and control to further promote and sustain fully optimized, unified operations.

Key benefits of using automation to support managed service providers include:

  • Increased efficiency and productivity
  • Enhanced accuracy
  • Exceptional customer service
  • Better adherence to service level agreements (SLAs)

Obviously, all of these areas can be directly linked to the business’ overarching goals and objectives. The better your company performs, the greater degree of competitive advantage you’ll be able to maintain. Consistently standing out from the many other managed service providers in such a saturated marketplace is something all firms aspire to do, and automation can be the catalyst for achieving that goal. And because your talented techs will be freed up to work on more complex tasks and projects, you’ll be able to capture new and better ways to increase profits over time.

How does your company stack up against the rest? Could automation be the missing piece of the puzzle that will drive your business to the next level?
Start your free trial of eyeShare today and experience for yourself what a significant and positive impact automation can have on the success of your MSP.





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




How Robotic Technology is Transforming the Managed Service Provider Industry

How Robotic Technology is Transforming the Managed Service Provider IndustryIn the managed service provider industry, robotic process automation is becoming the norm rather than the exception. In fact, many firms are working both sides of the fence – assisting their clients to implement robotic technology while also leveraging it internally as a tool to maximize efficiency, boost productivity and reduce costs. It can be said that RPA is virtually revolutionizing the industry by eliminating much, if not all, of the manual work associated with IT and business services.

If you’re not yet familiar, robotic process automation (RPA) is robotic software that can be configured to execute repetitive tasks that were previously performed by human workers. RPA leverages a number of innovative technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), Big Data and smart machines to be able to mirror IT personnel. There are varying degrees of complexity and performance, from simple scripts and routine tasks to more flexible and sophisticated options, like cognitive RPA, which is capable of learning and adjusting all on its own.

The Business Case for RPA

Currently, those in the managed service provider market – particularly IT and BPO – seem to be taking the most advantage of robotic technology. These companies are using intelligent software to streamline operations, drive efficiency, improve service levels and keep costs at an absolute minimum. This is becoming more and more necessary as the industry becomes even more saturated. Additionally, they are assisting their own customers by introducing and helping to deploy robotics as a tool for automating business processes such as human resources and finance.

The main way robotics is transforming the industry, however, is in IT service delivery. Over the past several years, the technology being employed has dramatically changed, driven mostly by industrialization and other global trends. It’s been a natural journey with artificial intelligence, robotics and process automation at the forefront of change. Even big-name players, like Accenture, are now using the power of RPA so skilled workers no longer have to waste time and resources on repetitive manual work.

Another key motivator behind the widespread adoption of robotics in the managed service provider realm is that of savings, particularly on labor. With globalization, the field of outsourced IT has become as competitive as ever. Only those firms that are able to maximize their output and deliver the most cost-effective services will survive. Additionally, thanks to smart automation, there is less of a need to ship work overseas so managed service providers can instead offer domestic solutions at an affordable price, further reducing labor costs.

The New Face of the Managed Service Provider

One specific area where robotics is impacting how the managed service provider industry is run is in help desk operations. According to one estimate, shifting application support and maintenance requests from human to machine can free up anywhere from 25-40% of the help desk’s availability. RPA can be applied to anything from routine service requests, such as password resets and system access issues to more complex workflows like monitoring and reporting. Software robots can even be configured to handle such critical tasks as monitoring storage capacity and taking corrective action automatically, as needed.

In addition to improving efficiency and cutting labor costs, robotic technology can also provide a much less disruptive option for system integration. This is due mainly to the fact that software robots access and use applications much the same way humans do – through a user interface. The robots can connect to various systems and applications without interfering with the underlying software, making them a programmer’s dream.

Lastly, RPA initiatives are also typically faster and less expensive to implement. In less time, a managed service provider employing robotic technology can enjoy better quality output, faster processing times and enhanced reporting for analytics and audit purposes. And with the scalability to instantly adjust to changes in workflow and volume, the case for RPA virtually sells itself.

Are you taking advantage of the latest in robotic technology for your company or IT department? The good news is you can try it absolutely free for 30 days. Simply click here to download your free trial and start harnessing the power of RPA for your business today.



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




3 Steps for Using IT Process Automation to Optimize the MSP Role

3 Steps for Using IT Process Automation to Optimize the MSP RoleAs a managed service provider, you’re probably already (painfully) aware of the pressure to maximize output while keeping costs as low as possible. This is no easy feat, especially in such a highly competitive marketplace. Those providers that find a way to do more without having to increase expenditure will be the ones that emerge as victorious and profitable in the long run. One simple yet powerful way to achieve this goal is to leverage IT process automation to streamline your MSP operations.

If you’re not sure where or how to begin, here are 3 best practices for using ITPA to help you do your job better, faster and more cost-effectively.

  1. Identify Areas of Need

You obviously can’t automate everything you do (at least not yet), so the first step involves identifying the areas of your job where technology could be applied most effectively for immediate impact. A good place to start is to list out all of the manual, tedious and other mundane, repetitive tasks that you and/or your team perform on a day to day basis. Start by automating these things and you’ll start realizing the benefits right off the bat.

Now, instead of wasting time and resources, you and your team can focus on more mission-critical projects, such as developing and implementing a growth strategy. Eventually, you’ll also be able to apply IT process automation to more complex workflows, but this is a good place to begin the process.

  1. Choose Your Solution

There are dozens, if not hundreds of IT process automation tools on the market today. This can make choosing the right one for your business quite challenging. Do your homework and try to find an automation product that is most closely aligned with your business needs. You want a product that’s robust, but try not to fall for flashy gimmicks, otherwise you could end up with an automation tool that has a ton of features you don’t even need.

Furthermore, remember that the ultimate goal you are working toward is most likely growing your business, so be sure to choose a solution that is scalable and agile enough to match your changing needs and demands seamlessly.

  1. Develop Runbooks for Best Practices

Once you’ve chosen your IT process automation software, the next step is to develop and establish standard operating instructions, also known as run books. This allows your employees to create quicker, easier ways to complete common tasks automatically. Few MSPs maintain documented procedures for technical issues or handling customer service situations, instead relying on the expertise of their most qualified technicians to handle problems as they arise. But what happens if and when these individuals leave?

Run book automation can be used as a precautionary measure to protect MSPs from scenarios like this. These pre-programmed instructions can then serve as a guideline for running an efficient, productive operation without having to worry about the risks associated with employee turnover.

As an MSP, you are undoubtedly faced with making a number of critical decisions on a daily basis. Inevitably, many of these choices will continue to have an impact on the future of your business for years to come. Making the wise decision to adopt IT process automation will improve the chances that your company will remain stable, competitive and consistently capable of achieving sustained success.

Ready to take that first step and start harnessing the power of automation for your company? It’s a simple as downloading a free 30 day trial of eyeShare. What are you waiting for? Your future profitability awaits. Click here to get started!





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