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Powerless in the world’s biggest library

  • 2 minute read

You pride yourself on knowing your stuff.

Technically, as an MSP owner, you know exactly what to do 99% of the time and if you don’t, you can find out in seconds via Google and multiple data and vendor sources.

We forget how lucky we are with technology and the amazing tools and opportunities it opens for us.

When I see my daughter researching resources in seconds for GCSE revision I compare it to the latest tech I had access to when studying for my O levels - micro-fiche searches at the local library. It’s why working in and with technology is such a great business to be in – it’s an enabler of the highest order, transforming our lives at an ever-increasing rate.

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The Difference Between UK and US Managed Service Providers

  • 5 minute read

I recently travelled for a speaking engagement in the United States. I was speaking at a conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, attended by an audience of small business IT Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and IT Solution Providers.

The trip was a fun one for me. I had the opportunity to sit and talk with MSPs from across the United States, and apart from the differences in the English language between the UK and USA (I was teased for talking about “Rooters” rather than “Rowe-ters”, for instance) I was struck by the similarities in challenges that MSPs on both sides of the Atlantic face.

MSPs in the UK and the USA both struggle to hire and retain good quality staff, for instance. On both sides of the pond, MSPs find a challenge in motivating their engineering staff to record their time correctly. Oh, and the frustration of client's nickel and diming (or as we’d say in the UK, “being skinflints”) MSPs on purchasing is the same worldwide.

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How can MSPs grow their business through automation?

  • 5 minute read

Few people would argue against the statement that one of the tenets of IT Managed Services is scalability.

An IT Solution Provider or Managed Service Provider (MSP) should be able to scale their business to serve more clients without necessarily adding additional staff every time they win a new client.

For instance, one service desk engineer can manage dozens or even hundreds of client servers or workstations from his desk, using remote monitoring and maintenance (RMM) tools. Another service desk engineer can simultaneously help multiple end-users through remote desktop and online chat facilities.

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Part Five: Why do PSA implementations fail?

  • 2 minute read
Avoiding Implementation Failure: Summary

So in this last blog in the series, I’ll summarise the core reasons for implementation failure and how to avoid it.

The previous posts in this series covered the four main corners of failure:

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Part Four: Why do PSA implementations fail?

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Reason 4: Ambition

The fourth major cause of PSA implementations failing is actually being too ambitious.

The sales process will have set you up to fail if you’re not careful. And, worse, you may have pitched this story internally, setting your ambition in stone with your boss.

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Part Three: Why do PSA implementations fail?

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Reason 3: Data

The third major cause of PSA implementations failing is poor data.

Why data? That should be the simple bit.

Well there are two aspects of data to consider in your PSA plan:

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Part Two: Why do PSA implementations fail?

  • 3 minute read
Reason 2: Engagement

The second major cause of PSA implementations failing is insufficient engagement.

A PSA system changes people’s lives, hopefully for the better. Irrespective, it will certainly change your employees’ working practices and to succeed, they all need to be engaged, to varying degrees.

This is a serious commitment, one to be entered into with a clear vision of the end-point in mind.

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Part One: Why do PSA implementations fail?

  • 2 minute read
Reason One: Software still catching up with changing business needs

This is the first in a series of blog posts about implementation failures and how to avoid them.

ERP implementation failures became endemic (almost apocryphal) during the 90s and onwards as expansion in the adoption of business software reduced prices. The driver for this was the change from bespoke instances (all with significant localisation code changes), to a more configuration-based commoditised offering.

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HarmonyPSA at SITS16

  • 3 minute read

HarmonyPSA is targeted at a number of verticals within the technology sector, but with SITS16 only a few weeks away, we thought we’d write a blog specifically highlighting the features we have designed to help MSPs manage their businesses without getting buried in administration and finance tasks.

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The Internet of Things is finding its way onto MSPs' agendas for 2016

  • 2 minute read

The Internet of Things is finding its way onto MSPs' agendas for 2016.  At the CompTIA EMEA Conference in London earlier this week Andy Dow, HP Enterprise Business Unit & Group Marketing Director talked about the opportunities that the Internet of Things (or IoT) presents to MSPs and what businesses need to do to position themselves to take advantage of the changes that are coming.

For MSPs who depend upon selling and supporting infrastructure for their livelihood, and who will be most negatively impacted by the growth of cloud platform services, the Internet of Things offers a real opportunity for growth.  Gartner forecast that by 2020 there will be a $309 billion incremental opportunity for IoT suppliers, mostly in services. And by 2020 it is reported that there will be 50 billion connected devices.  For MSP’s, this means more clients with IP connected devices as more and more businesses looking to use the Internet to connect and control different devices to monitor performance, control processes, and secure property, people and information.

As consumer IoT technologies are gaining ground, homes fitted with smart thermostats, increased usage of personal fitness trackers, internet-linked home entertainment systems, so too is use of business applications, connecting devices, vehicles and machinery to turn pockets of technology into networks, driving automation and data collection and analysis.

IoT technology can be employed to cover a wide range of functions, from industry specific applications to uses in utilities and premises security, for example, reconfirming doors and windows are locked, alarms set and movement within specific areas results in alarms being sent to law enforcement.

Companies operating fleets of vehicles can leverage IoT technology to monitor the current condition of each vehicle, perform vehicle diagnostics, alert when vehicles are outside their specified service area and much more.

Smart meters can give companies more control over consumption of electricity and other utility services.

Application in healthcare looks like it will be huge, monitoring patients and administering medicine as required. According to marketresearch.com healthcare IoT market is poised to hit $117 billion by 2020.

IoT factory automation, robotics, supply chain management, sensor monitoring of product movement with real-time analytics and many other techniques can all contribute powerfully a business’ bottom line.

So, the opportunities are definitely there for MSPs to take up, but to make this happen you’ll need to consider the following:

  • Keep a constant eye out for opportunities for your customers to leverage the IoT to increase efficiencies, keep up-to-date with the offerings in the market place that you could sell onto your client base
  • Be ready to deal with the big data and security issues that are associated with large scale data collection and analysis in the cloud
  • Set up your internal infrastructure to support IoT services. You will need the right internal billing infrastructure in place in order to handle to complexities of billing that IoT brings.  A system that can handle recurring revenue billing based on consumption or volume-based charges.

For more information on how to set up your billing infrastructure to prepare to take advantage of IoT growth opportunities get in touch.

 

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