For modern managed services providers (MSPs), keeping up with changing customer demands, an increasingly complex list of engagements, and evolving service types is no easy task. To juggle these challenges, it’s crucially important that you choose professional services automation (PSA) tools that help you keep up. The right PSA tools with the right features can help you streamline your day-to-day activities, standardize working practices, and improve auditing and reporting.
This professional services automation guide will help you choose the right all-in-one MSP tools for your company by providing a list of five features to look out for when choosing your supplier.
Must-have features of your PSA tool
A key feature to check for before choosing your PSA supplier is the ability to integrate with other tools. This, combined with your supplier offering a wide range of tools, can make a significant difference to how effective your PSA solution is. If you can integrate your PSA tool with other powerful tools, such as a remote monitoring and management solution, you can centralize key operations to create an integrated suite of all-in-one MSP tools.
Integrated tools eliminate the need to toggle between multiple programs and can be more cost-effective, because suppliers will often offer a bundled solution of tools that can be integrated at a reduced price. Integrated tools can also simplify the process of learning the software and onboarding new employees, because there is only one dashboard to become familiar with. Moreover, by centralizing information from multiple tools into a single console, integrated tools can make comparing and aligning data much easier—which can assist with troubleshooting activities and make your services more effective for customers.
It is, of course, important that your PSA solution is scalable. While this is important for every organization to some extent, it’s especially essential for MSPs. This is because as an MSP’s customer base grows, pressure on their systems and tools can increase rapidly. To ensure your PSA tools can cope with rapid growth, make sure the tool you choose is designed with scalability in mind.
Even if you’re a small company, we recommend choosing an enterprise-grade solution that’s suitable for both small and mid-sized companies alike—this will give you plenty of room for growth. You should also check how the cost of your solution will change as your company grows, to ensure it’s sustainable and cost-effective in a long-term capacity.
3. A SUPPLIER WITH RANGE
Another important thing to consider when choosing a PSA tool is the number of other tools its supplier provides. As mentioned above, creating a comprehensive IT monitoring and management solution that meets all your customers’ needs may require you to rely on multiple tools—so choosing tools with a similar interface and familiar design can reduce training and costs. If possible, choosing tools from the same provider means that you can look to a single channel to receive support, rather than having to reach out to disparate support teams in the event of an issue or a disaster.
4. A MOBILE APPLICATION
PSA tools that offer a mobile application give your technicians the user-friendliness and accessibility they need to provide important services on-the-go. A mobile application will allow your team to access your PSA tools from anywhere with an internet connection. It’s worth keeping in mind, however, that not all mobile applications are created equal. Before committing to a PSA tool, make sure the mobile application is native to both iOS and Android devices and offers a sufficient range of capabilities despite being designed for mobile device use.
5. CUSTOMER AND KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT
Ideally, your PSA tools should feature customer and knowledge management capabilities. This will allow you to store all your customer information in one place alongside other PSA features for maximum efficiency. Good customer and knowledge management features might include password management utilities, customer information and location details, and other types of documentation capabilities. With all known customer information stored in one integrated MSP tool, technicians can support customers without being slowed down by jumping between platforms to access relevant data.
Professional services automation with SolarWinds
Hopefully this professional services automation guide has given you some insight into what you should look for when choosing the right solution for your MSP. SolarWinds MSP Manager combines all the features listed in this article into a single tool.
MSP Manager integrates seamlessly with SolarWinds® RMM, providing a fully unified solution for MSPs to hit the ground running and deliver exceptional services. With MSP Manager, you can deliver prompt, proactive service and support. The tool helps you allocate resources effectively and bill customers quickly for seamless business operations, featuring reliable, defensible invoices for faster approval.
This PSA tool’s brandable customer portal makes interacting with your customers convenient and efficient. The portal features an intuitive user interface and supports ticket creation, as well as ticket status updates. You can also access this portal via the MSP Manager mobile application, which facilitates fast ticket generation and management on-the-go. The mobile application has support for push notifications and easy time tracking, in addition to giving you access to detailed customer, device, and system information. Finally, MSP Manager also features customer and knowledge management capabilities, like a hub for contact information and site locations.
SolarWinds offers ample support and a wide range of tools, covering everything from password management and mail protection to antivirus and endpoint detection and response. For MSPs interested in learning more, a 14-day free trial of MSP Manager is available.