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5 Ways to Improve Your MSP Service Level Agreement (SLA)

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5 Ways to Improve Your MSP Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

SLAs are the foundation of your MSP business. They are essential to building strong client relationships and must be clear, reasonable and well-constructed.

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10 Free and Helpful Online Tools for MSPs

Posted August 10, 2015by Ben Barker

Everyone appreciates a helping hand. When you discover a free, online tool that makes your job easier, it can be hard to imagine life without it. With that in mind, we decided to reach out to you in order to compile a list of these helpful tools, all in one place. Why spend hours poking around online looking for a solution to your problem when it is very likely that one of your peers has already discovered and shared that solution?

#10 - Evernote

Check out Evernote

In a nutshell, Evernote keeps you organized. In a world that is shoving an increasing amount of digital media down our throats, it can be difficult to keep track of what we have stored and where we have stored it. With Evernote, you can find anything, anytime, anywhere. Using its own Optical Character Recognition (OCR) service, Evernote is able to read text whether it be in keyboard text, PDF documents or even text in a photograph. 

Check out the example that Mark O'Neill gives in his article on "MakeUseOf."

With Evernote, you would be able to find this photo by searching for the term "U.S. Air Force" or by looking up the number "94977" which appears on the back of the aircraft.

The basic package of Evernote is free, but to get the full experience, you'll have to sign up for one of two subscription plans. The organization and search functionality is just part of what makes Evernote such a key tool. For a full rundown of Evernote's capabilities, check out the rest of Mark's article!

 

#9 - Sidekick by HubSpot

Check out Sidekick

Sidekick is an application that you can add to your internet browser that allows you to gain information about your contacts. Sidekick is able to pull and provide information including, but not limited to, professional history, location, mutual contacts and email history. 

Sidekick also has extensive email capabilities, including the ability to schedule emails and track who has opened your emails and from which devices.

 

#8 - Google Keep

Check out Google Keep

Much like Evernote, Google Keep is a good way to store and organize important information.

Google Keep also gives you the ability to take notes and make checklists to help you keep your day, week, month or year in order!

 

#7 - Charlie App

Check out Charlie App

Want to get some inside info on a prospect or new partner before you meet with them? Charlie App can help with that. Charlie combs through hundreds of sources and provides you with a simple, one-page profile on the person or people that you're preparing to meet with.

Not only does Charlie App help you better prepare for a meeting by understanding the background and details of the person that you're meeting with, but it saves you the time that you'd spend collecting this information on your own!

 

#6 - Canva

Check out Canva

Canva is a good way to increase your visual marketing efforts. Canva's easy to use templates allow you to make simple, but visually captivating graphics for social media, landing pages, direct mail campaigns and more! Below is an example of a template that Canva provides for creating a Facebook cover!

Visual marketing can seem like a daunting and expensive task. However, by using tools like Canva, you can create and host high-quality graphics with minimal effort and zero cost.

 

#5 - Password Safe

Check out Password Safe

Password Safe is a great way to eliminate the stress and turmoil that comes with having to remember a long list of user names and passwords. With Password Safe, one master password allows you to access you entire list of log in credentials. Just as only using one password for accounts is risky, keeping a list of your passwords in a Word document or notebook is also unsafe. 

As one of our Spiceworks followers pointed out, there are other similar solutions out there that provide the same solution.

Check out KeePass

 

#4 - VirSCAN.org

Check out VirSCAN.org

VirSCAN.org is a free tool that uses antivirus engines to scan uploaded files for malware.Below is a snapshot of the VirSCAN.org tool and instructions for use.

 It should be noted that VirSCAN.org should not be counted on or used as a replacement for antivirus software. Instead, this free tool can be used to check on the amount of risk files pose to your system.

Thanks to Redditor, "Paultwo" for the tip!

 

#3 - Mail Tester

Check out Mail Tester

Are you concerned that your emails are coming off too "spammy?" Mail Tester allows you to check the "spammyness" of your email by simply sending the email to a provided email address. After you've sent the email, you can check out your results by clicking on the provided link. 

Even if it isn't spam that you're worried about, Mail Tester is a good way to get some constructive feedback on the makeup of your emails.

As you can see in the above images, Mail Tester gives you access to a range of information on your emails including broken links, improvement suggestions and whether or not your messages include any broken links!

 

#2 - Ninite

Check out Ninite

Ninite is a great tool used for downloading multiple apps all at once. Instead of downloading each of your needed applications individually, Ninite allows you to select all of your desired apps, and it installs them in the background! Check out the wide range of apps that Ninite offers for installation.

Not only does Ninite install the apps for you, but it also updates applications that are out of date!

 

#1 - Spiceworks

Check out Spiceworks

If you're not already a part of the Spiceworks community, it's time to get in on the action. Spiceworks is THE place to gain information from your peers. Have a question that you just can't seem to get the right answer to? Post a topic on Spiceworks and let the community answer it for you. If you're facing an issue, it's highly likely that someone else has faced and solved that same issue in the past. 

Below is a screen shot from the "Water Cooler" thread on Spiceworks.

 

 Perhaps one of these tools will make life easier for you. That is certainly our hope! Did we forget any important and free online tools? Let us know in the comments section!

 

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Ben is a member of Continuum's marketing team. He specializes in blog content as well as video production. Ben is a graduate of Emerson College and a huge Boston sports fan.

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