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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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Scale Your Business with an Integrated RMM and NOC Platform

Posted October 16, 2014by Ben Barker

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Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/78855484@N03/

If there’s one thing that all business owners have in common, it’s that they want to make money. When it comes to MSP businesses, making money means taking on more clients and managing more endpoints. This can be difficult to accomplish when you also have to minimize costs. Of course, Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) allows you to oversee these growing endpoints, but who is resolving the issues? Who is remediating the tickets and monitoring the alerts? Surely the same technicians that were expected to oversee 500 devices can’t be expected to oversee 5,000! Are you coupling your RMM software with a Network Operations Center (NOC)?

Roughly defined, a NOC is a team of technicians that monitor and control multiple networks from a single location. NOCs typically provide the technical “heavy-lifting” in order to maintain uptime across many different networks, and perform essential functions like ticket escalation, communicating with on-site techs and reporting.

There are a number of benefits to utilizing a smart-sourced NOC, but the real magic happens when you integrate a NOC with your Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) solution. By doing this, you will increase efficiency and reduce overlap -  win/win!

Here are some of the key benefits that will allow you to focus on the main goal: scaling your managed IT services business.


Manage more devices without hiring more technicians

The NOC functions as an extension of your IT team, meaning you’ll be able to support more devices without having to interview, hire and train new technicians. Because the NOC and RMM software are integrated, your NOC support will grow as you install new agents, and scale back if any of these agents are uninstalled. This allows you to pay for what you use, making it much easier to grow your business without incurring unnecessary staffing costs.

RMM software backed by a NOC allows you to optimize your techs' time. You’ll no longer have to staff employees after-hours to handle unexpected client issues. Active problems are resolved overnight – before your clients return to work in the morning – because the NOC gets active alerts through your RMM platform.

Although most third-party NOC partners allow you to pay for what you use, when your NOC and RMM software are combined into one platform, alerts are resolved behind the scenes, without you needing to think twice.


Resolve more tickets, faster

 

Tickets While all NOCs perform ticket resolution, this process can be slow if many different systems are being used. In fact, there are a number of concerns with managing software from multiple vendors for your IT solutions. When the NOC and RMM software are tightly integrated, ticket resolution becomes more efficient. Even if this only saves a few seconds per resolution, with the number of tickets that typically come through a NOC, this time saved adds up throughout the day, week and year – ultimately saving you (the MSP) money and allowing you to more efficiently scale your business.
 https://openclipart.org/detail/183401/event-tickets-by-barrettward-183401  

 

Make smart hires

The time and money that you save from working with an integrated RMM and NOC platform can be spent on areas of your business that need more attention. Take some time to look at your business from the inside out. Once you understand the areas of your MSP business that need help, you can more effectively allocate resources and funds. Perhaps your marketing department could use a new hire. The money that you would have once been forced to spend chasing down a new technician can instead be spent on new talent and used to implement inbound marketing strategies to help grow your business.


Get the most out of your in-house technicians

One of the biggest benefits of using an integrated RMM and NOC platform is alert monitoring and ticket consolidation. Because your NOC technicians have a direct line into your RMM software, they can filter hundreds of thousands of events and open tickets for only the issues that require immediate action – and can, many times, resolve those issues themselves. If a problem is of higher priority, they can send it directly to your technicians to handle. Don't bury your technicians under a mountain of alerts and mundane tickets. Let them focus on the most important and pressing issues.

Additionally, an integrated NOC combines all alerts that stem from a single root cause and creates a single ticket rather than several redundant ones. Again, this saves your technicians a ton of time. Now, that they are not flooded with repeat tickets, they can focus on fixing issues, not cleaning up tickets.

Once again, you’ll be optimizing the time of your technicians, people that you’ve invested time and money into. With an integrated NOC and RMM platform, you get higher ROI!


Stay up to date with RMM software

An integrated platform lets your NOC team stay totally up to date without the need for micromanaging their training. This is far more cost efficient, especially when taking into consideration just how quickly things change in the tech world. When updates are made to your RMM platform, you can be sure that your NOC team will be fully aware and fully trained, so they won’t miss a beat.

The more efficient you can be as an MSP, the more profitable you will be as a business and the better you will serve your clients. You have many choices when it comes to RMM software and third-party NOC partners. However, choosing a solution that tightly integrates both of these components will enable you to more effectively scale your managed IT services business.

 

An integrated RMM and NOC platform is a must-have for MSP businesses. Don't believe me? Check out our eBook!

 

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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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