To MSPs, time is often the most valuable resource they have. With so much involved with servicing clients, time becomes the limiting factor in their daily workflow.
That’s why so many MSPs are looking to automate more of their manual tasks, like backup monitoring. Manual tasks not only eat up time, they leave room for human error.
Some of the first tasks MSPs look at automating are the most tedious ones, such as:
The list could go on, but fortunately more automation tools are being used across the industry to save staff time and improve accuracy of data collection.
Removing human error and speeding up data collection brings a big improvement to the quality of work done by the MSP.
However, the major benefit of automation is the time given back to MSP staff. Time that they can now use for work that creates value and progress for the MSP’s business goals. They are innovating and improving the service to clients.
We sat down with MSPs who have made these changes to discuss how they use their time more effectively.
Spend less time manually tracking backups and more time growing your business.
With hours of time back in the hands of the MSP staff, one of the most valuable tasks that MSPs can do is communicate with clients.
Aside from carrying out service, being responsive and available to clients is a big way MSPs demonstrate their value.
After automating backup monitoring, James Ratcliff, of Ratcliff IT, said his team is now able to focus on communication more effectively.
Even if an issue isn’t very big, if clients don’t hear about it, they can be frustrated.
Automating tasks like backup monitoring, can lead to benefits for other processes as well.
For MicroAge Swift Current, automating backup monitoring saves hours each week. Allowing their staff to spend more time on inventory management and product sales.
Carol Beyer, service coordinator, used to spend hours monitoring backups and tickets. That time took away from inventory tracking and managing warranties for clients.
“I make sure that the warranties come in or that we receive the product… They can’t do anything until I’ve processed the product. They can’t sell it, so [automating backup monitoring] gives me a lot more time to try and do that,” Beyer said.
Being able to stop manual busywork has let the staff generate more revenue for the MSP.
The benefits MicroAge Swift Current has seen to their internal process isn’t just from internal improvements either.
MicroAge Swift Current’s staff also has more time to directly work on service tickets.
Bryan Bonifacio, service technician, said he is now able to keep up with the service requests.
Before, backup problems were piling up and causing him to fall behind on service requests just due to time constraints.
Falling behind meant he was only able to address the most critical problems at any given time. Making it harder to get ahead and keep clients up and running.
Now that they use automated backup monitoring, those issues are caught before they even become a problem.
“That means all these billable activities like work for a certain customer, onsite installation, do a [hardware] swap, do troubleshooting, things that are actually billable. Things that really generate income for our company. I have time to do that.”
“There’s that thing at the back of your head so that even if you’re on holidays, even near the weekends, you’re always behind and Monday’s gonna be hell. But now we’re on top of things, that makes everything less stressful.”
Automating manual busywork also allows MSPs to create a better environment for employees.
Without the constant pressure of a time crunch, MSPs can create a work space that allows their staff to do their jobs well. More time spent doing good work leads to a better work-life balance.
Dee Ramos, continuous improvement engineer at SUCCESS Computer Consulting, said they want their employees to be able to have a good work-life balance.
A good balance will improve the quality of work they do. Staff that enjoy their jobs will be better able to drive growth at the company.
“So we wanna make sure you have time to be the human you want to be,” she said. “It’s truly helped with employee appreciation. We’re not trying to burn you, we’re trying to get time so that you can do the best job elsewhere. And if it can be automated, let’s do it.”
The MSPs featured here aren’t alone either. Across the industry, more MSPs are using automation tools to streamline their operation. Returning time back to the hands of their staff.
Whether it’s improved client communication, service, or workflow, MSPs have proven success through the time savings created by automated backup monitoring.
How can your business use automation to eliminate manual busywork? Identify staff spending time on manual tasks like backup monitoring. From there, MSPs can calculate the value of more time in that employee’s day.
Staff can accomplish more in their other responsibilities, improving the value they provide to the business and pushing the MSP’s goals forward.
As automation becomes more accessible, MSPs need to look at how emerging technologies can be used as solutions to existing problems. Taking control of your workflow will lead your MSP to improve both service quality and value.