Managing Your Service: Must-Have Automation Tools

Learn how as-a-Service business process automation tools empower managed services providers (MSPs) to provide better customer service, keep costs down, and maximize profits.

The keystone of your managed services provider (MSP) business is providing your customers with services and tools that enable them to run their businesses with greater efficiency, less downtime, and increased profitability.

Have you equipped your own business with tools that provide those same advantages?

There are a number of solutions specifically designed for as-a-Service business process automation that provide MSPs with benefits including:

  • Greater efficiency: By automating business and IT processes, you can accomplish more without adding additional staff. Automated processes streamline workflows, eliminate duplication of effort, and minimize errors. They also free your technical staff to focus more on high-value tasks.
  • Enhanced customer service: As-a-Service business process automation tools shift your perspective from reacting to an IT issue or a business task to taking a proactive approach. This results in prompt responses, more uptime, accurate records—and better customer relationships.
  • Increased profitability: Automation reduces administrative labor hours and minimizes errors. Remote capabilities mean fewer on-site service calls and the ability to detect issues before they lead to more significant problems that take more time and resources to correct. As-a-Service business process automation can also streamline recordkeeping and accounting, so time tracking and billing are accurate. Lower costs and greater efficiency add up to higher profits.
  • Growth potential: With as-a-Service business process automation, you can gain a competitive edge with the ability to scale more quickly—you can take on new clients without having to add new staff.
4 Must-Have as-a-Service Business Process Automation Tools

There are solutions that can automate a wide range of business processes, but all MSPs can benefit from these four automation tools:

1.) Professional services automation (PSA)

PSA enables you to automate and manage essential business processes including time tracking, billing, reporting, project management, service desk, and customer relationship management (CRM). Automating these processes saves time and results in more accurate recordkeeping than manual processes can achieve.

2.) Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM)

RMM provides visibility into your clients’ IT systems, proactively monitors networks and endpoints, automates routine maintenance, and allows you to manage some tasks remotely—minimizing the need for on-site service. RMM prioritizes tickets, so issues are addressed in a logical order.

RMM integrated with PSA can provide even more efficiency. For example, tickets from your RMM system can be automatically assigned in your PSA’s project management tool, helping to address and close tickets faster. You can also generate detailed reports from your RMM to provide with billing so keep clients informed of work you performed proactively to maintain uptime.

3.) Remote Access Software

Remote access software enables you to log in to a client’s computer to perform updates or troubleshooting with minimal disruption—and without making a trip to the client’s facility. You can also leverage these solutions for training and demonstrations in which a visual component is useful.

4.) Quoting Software

Consistently quoting services to ensure margin is a common MSP challenge. Quoting software makes pricing, proposal language, and templates accessible in one tool that streamlines the quoting process and ensures consistent pricing. These solutions may also enable you to embed your agreement, accept an e-signature and collect payment information so you can close deals faster.  Integrate quoting software with your PSA and accounting solutions for added efficiency.

5.) Network Assessments

Network assessments reveal IT network and security risks and generate easy-to-understand reports and documentation that indicate steps that must be taken to correct them. Reports based on network assessment findings include IT SWOT analyses and checklists.

Additional Automation Tools to Consider for Your MSP

Automating any task, especially routine, time-consuming work, will benefit your business by freeing time to devote to other areas. Consider how solutions that automate these tasks could streamline your operations:

Business processes:

  • Email marketing
  • Social media posts
  • Tracking sales opportunities
  • Client onboarding
  • HR operations
  • Payroll

Client services:

  • Quarterly reports
  • Client security system monitoring
  • Patch management
  • Password management
  • Energy and facilities management

If you are performing routine tasks that an automation solution can handle, you aren’t making the best use of your time. Maximize efficiency—and revenue—by leveraging as-a-Service business process automation tools.

Mike Monocello

The former owner of a software development company and having more than a decade of experience writing for B2B IT solution providers, Mike is co-founder of Managed Services Journal (formerly XaaS Journal) and DevPro Journal.