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The Professional Services Automation (PSA) for Incident Responders

Customer security incidents can happen many different ways: from a lost or stolen device, ransomware attack or a data breach notification from a trusted third party. Frequently, the first point of contact will be the IT service provider’s or MSP’s customer facing helpdesk or onsite resource - the “something’s wrong” call can happen at any time. 

For the IT service provider and MSP front-line staff the pressure to follow the right process can be considerable, especially when the customer is in near hysterics. Just like police or fire paramedics responding to a call, information needs to be rapidly acquired, documented and an assessment made as to the appropriate response. Over-reaction can cause additional stress and a misallocation of resources. Under-reaction, and the IT service provider’s or MSP’s staff may be accused of “not caring” about the customer. In most cases, the front-line staff have a short period of time to determine the right course of action. 

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Adding the second “S” into MSP

Increasing focus across the industry in Security as a Service is a massive opportunity to MSPs providing they can tool and skill up fast enough to take advantage of this wave.

This should be straightforward; they have the devices and data under management; they know the customers; and they probably already offer a certain degree of IT security services bundled up with their managed services contracts. However, that doesn’t make them an MSSP and so still leaves their customers vulnerable not only to attack but also poaching by security consultants who are approaching this market from the other direction. Also watch out for MSPs who have already managed this transition.

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The benefits of automation

How annoying is it when you find yourself re-keying something, or worse, making a mistake and having to do it a third time?

Just as annoying is being forced by your PSA system to do something unnecessary in order to achieve something necessary.

Why do people write software that contains pointless clicks?

Well, they do it to achieve high degrees of functional re-usability, to keep down the cost of production, reduce complexity in the code: there are many sensible reasons. None of which make it any better when you seem to be wasting your life feeding information into a system all day that it should know already.

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