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October 25, 2021

Introducing ScalePad Insights

Peter Martens

Automated data analysis surfaces potential issues at a glance, eliminating time spent scouring data

Introducing ScalePad Insights

Prevent critical data from slipping through cracks in your processes. Don’t wait for problems to arise and put out (metaphorical, or worse, literal) fires! :fire:

There’s a lot of detail to unpack, so here’s what you’ll find:

  • What are ScalePad Insights?
  • What will ScalePad Insights do for my MSP?
  • What kind of insights do ScalePad Insights surface exactly?
  • Give me some details about ScalePad Insights. How do they work?

What are ScalePad Insights?

ScalePad Insights uses rule-based data analysis to automatically highlight potential issues in the client environment, eliminating the manual task of exporting and searching through data. Insights is found on the new Strategy dashboard for your organization overall, and on the Clients dashboard for each client.

Insights uses the same asset and lifecycle data that powers the new Digital Maturity Index (DMI™), but for a different purpose. Where the DMI™ provides a single score for benchmarking, Insights automagically provides four panes of summary information that enable you to quickly drill down to surface specific problem assets in just a few clicks. 

Insights are binary rules-based: an asset is either compliant with an insight's rule or it is not. The predefined rules have been set to reflect best MSP practices. There’s nothing that requires any tweaking or configuration — it all just works right out of the box!

What will ScalePad Insights do for my MSP?

For your team:

  • Automatically surface potential issues
  • Prioritize critical assets before they become critical problems
  • Multi-tenant view gives you the 30,000ft overview, then zoom in to each client’s environment as needed
  • Pre-defined technology standards set a minimum floor, enabling better client conversations about ticking time bomb problem assets, and fueling Initiatives to correct these issues

For your clients:

  • Create a shared accountability with your clients for their IT environments — Insights point out potential or active pain points in their experience
  • Your clients get the proactive management they’re seeking, not a break-fix response to tickets

What kind of insights do ScalePad Insights surface exactly?

The most critical issues are surfaced and displayed as High-risk insights, and secondary opportunities for hardware modernization, software modernization, and warranty coverage are also shown as panes on the new Strategy dashboard tab.

Give me some details about ScalePad Insights. How do they work?

ScalePad Insights’ four panes are:

  1. High-risk insights
  2. Hardware modernization insights
  3. Software modernization insights
  4. Warranty coverage insights

We’ll break down the details of these panes below, but it should be noted that not all insights require immediate action. For ease of use, insights are color-coded for quick identification:

  • Red - These are high risk insights when a partner is not fully compliant. Prompt action is required.
  • Dark Blue - Non compliant insights that are not as critical as high risk insights.
  • Green - Fully compliant insights. No action is required. Green = good.

High-risk Insights

High-risk insights are the most important. The focus is on four critical server and security issues that could create significant downtime if not addressed: 

  1. High-risk servers — servers that are over 7 years old and without any warranty coverage are at a significant risk of failure which could lead to extended downtime. Most ScalePad partners have policies to replace servers when they are between 3 and 5 years old as a best practice. 7 years was set as an accepted, not-to-exceed maximum age where risks increase to an unacceptably high level, and immediate replacement or warranty coverage is required.
  1. Servers with an unsupported OS — servers with an unsupported OS will not get security updates, and thus become a significant risk factor for your clients. ScalePad pulls server OS support information directly from the developers, ensuring this is always up-to-date.
  1. Servers with warranties that have expired — while these are not mutually exclusive from High-risk servers, servers with lapsed warranties are also a risk, though one that’s easier to mitigate at lower cost for clients. Avoid remaining in a risk position by renewing the warranty or replacing this server.
  1. Assets without endpoint protection — servers or workstations that do not have endpoint protection software installed are a high security risk for the client’s organization. This is one of the most common attack vectors for malicious actors to exploit. Most compliance frameworks require active, working antivirus on every system on the network. If you don’t find your endpoint protection software is currently supported yet (we have support for over 40 from 19 different publishers), please reach out and we’ll add it.

Hardware modernization Insights

Identifies servers over 7 years old and workstation assets over 5 years old. 

For servers, 7 years was deemed to be the maximum age where risks begin to increase to an unacceptably high level. Even well-specced workstations typically begin to feel long in the tooth by the time they reach the half-decade mark, so 5 years was set as the point when workstations would likely be degrading in performance and negatively affecting your clients’ users’ experiences.

Machines that are old break more often and decrease the productivity of individual users and the environment overall. Servers present an especially high risk as multiple users depend on them.

Software modernization Insights

Software that is old or missing degrades both the performance of the machine and the user's productivity. There are two key software-related insights here:

The first identifies workstation assets with an unsupported Operating System installed. Like servers, workstations with unsupported OSes will no longer receive security updates, and become a significant risk factor for your clients. ScalePad pulls OS support information directly from the OS developer.

The second finds desktop installations of Microsoft Office that are not cloud-based Microsoft 365. While extended support is available for Office 2016, mainstream support ended over a year ago, on October 13, 2020. In Microsoft’s own words, “Older products may not meet today's more demanding security requirements,” and known and unknown vulnerabilities in desktop Office present an attractive attack vector to malicious actors. Cloud-based Microsoft 365 offers a much broader array of security features.

Warranty coverage Insights

These are workstations and servers that have ScalePad and OEM warranties that have either expired or are about to expire. These devices present both a risk — servers that are out of warranty are a risk for the client, even if they are relatively newer machines — and an opportunity to mitigate that risk. If a device without warranty coverage fails, it’s your team diagnosing the issue, your team procuring replacement parts, and your team doing the fix. Warranties protect your own productivity as much as they do your clients’.

If you’re already a ScalePad partner, simply sign in and start using the Insights today. If you are not a ScalePad partner yet, sign up today or book a demo with our Partner Development team.