Proactive Management

Crystal Ball vs. Magic 8 Ball

Crystal Ball vs. Magic 8 Ball Support

By: Dan Tomaszewski

Welcome to the world of proactive technology management. Being a Managed Services Provider is nothing like being the traditional IT provider. The entire mindset is different not only for your company, but also for your clients.

Your clients are used to coming into the office each morning, and picking up the infamous Magic 8 ball, and shaking it to see if their technology is going to work that day. It’s always an office joke to guess how many cups of coffee can be consumed while their computer boots, or if the computer will crash just minutes before a big presentation is due.

As a Managed Services Provider you are working to deliver an entirely different type of experience for your clients. Instead of sitting back waiting for the phone to ring you are proactively working to make sure they don’t have to call you with problems. It’s more of a Crystal Ball approach to managing technology than a Magic 8 ball.

Of course, delivering the Crystal Ball approach to technology management doesn’t mean that your clients will never experience issues ever again. Unfortunately, technology is technology and it’s not black and white. There are countless shades of gray in between. Regardless of how much proactive support you provide, there is no magic wand that will eliminate all problems. However, this approach will significantly lower the number of issues that a client will experience as compared to the Magic 8 Ball approach.

As a managed services provider, you have selected a remote monitoring and management tool (RMM) that can help give visibility into your client’s technology environment. This RMM tool is what helps you provide the Crystal Ball approach. One of the goals of the RMM when it comes to the Crystal Ball is being able to identify issues before your client does. Often, a client’s workstation or server is speaking about issues. However, only in a language that technology professionals understand. These are often small issues that can go unnoticed. If left untouched they may snowball into larger issue that can not only cost time but money.

Depending on the RMM, you will need to set up monitoring alerts that will give you vision into these small issues. You can choose to monitor for everything and suppress alerts that may be deemed insignificant, or you can start by monitoring for nothing and add alerts that you feel would be the most beneficial. There are different reasons why one would choose one approach versus the other. One primary reason is based on the size of your staff and the ability to handle the volume of alerts that could be generated. In either case, it’s best to have these alerts generate tickets in a separate monitoring alerts queue in your Professional Services Automation (PSA) software.

The process of reviewing and taking necessary action is the most important step to delivering the Crystal Ball approach. If you are going to paint this beautiful picture of how you manage technology to your clients, you have to deliver on it. This must be part of your daily process, as it’s easy to get stuck in the rut of delivering reactionary service.

When your focus on being proactive and delivering Crystal Ball service, you will build a reputation for delivering a level of service unlike the competition. There is nothing more awesome that being able to get an alert that a client’s workstation is showing signs of hard drive failure that you can resolve before disaster strikes.

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