MSP advises that Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) tools are irrelevant for 90% of service tickets
Sinefa recently attended Connectwise ITNation 2016, and Amy Luby and I visited a number of Managed Service Providers across the US East Coast after the event. We heard about the many challenges MSPs are facing, but the number one issue that was raised repeatedly was “why is the network slow”?
As the VP of Sales for one MSP put it, “at each of my quarterly client meetings, the number one gripe I hear is ‘why is my network slow?’ The challenge we have is that we can’t tell the client why with our current tool set.”
Increasingly, more network activity is moving to the WAN and Internet and this is becoming a choke point for network traffic. The “slowness” of links is often intermittent and very difficult to identify.
MSPs typically rely on end point management tools which are more suited to the Local Area Network (LAN). These tools often indicate that the network infrastructure is operating normally, yet they cannot identify network traffic easily. Some RMM tools provide rudimentary visibility of network traffic using NetFlow (see 10 limitations of NetFlow), but for many MSPs understanding what’s consuming bandwidth and controlling bandwidth use is a blind spot.
So why is this important? The Business Owner of a national MSP conceded that 90% of their service tickets are now related to customer experience, and have nothing to do with hardware or infrastructure. Common complaints were “my network is slow”, “my apps take ages to load”, “my screen is frozen”, “I’ve forgotten my password”, etc.
It stands to reason that as virtualization continues, static end points are diminishing, and being replaced by mobile end points. MSPs have a great range of tools to choose from that are keeping the “network infrastructure” operating, but these tools don’t help with the customer experience service tickets.
The challenge for this business owner was customer retention and cost. Each service ticket costs the business money, and the longer the customer was unhappy with the “slow” network, the more at risk they were of losing them. The VP of Sales was frustrated because he couldn’t talk about other opportunities whilst this problem remained unresolved.
So what’s the answer? MSPs absolutely need to hang on to their RMM tools, but they have to compliment this with WAN and internet visibility and control. Once they’re able to identify and control network traffic, thereby ensuring performance of key business apps, the service tickets disappear, the sales teams can get back on the front foot and talk about other services.