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Moving out of the slow lane

John Durant explains how Kaseya is helping MSPs streamline employee on-boarding

John Durrant
John Durrant

It’s a great time to be in the managed services business. Managed services is already a huge market, and it’s expected to nearly double in size to $260 billion in the six years from 2016 to 2022.

Progress to date has been so dynamic that managed services providers (MSPs) have been described as the driving force behind growth in the IT industry. On its own, cloud growth is enough to propel the industry forward. Add in heightened interest in data analytics, the rise of mobile working, the increasing need for data protection and security and the changing role of IT, from business facilitator to business driver, and the upward trajectory becomes even more understandable.

Unfortunately, there is a downside to this story, as the more potential a market has, the more businesses it attracts. Systems integrators are now being joined by independent software providers keen to expand their portfolios to include services, as well as products, and even by telcos, eager to expand beyond voice and data services.

At the same time, the growing maturity of software solutions, and the resulting proliferation of acquisitions and brand consolidation, has narrowed product choice, making it more difficult for MSPs to differentiate themselves through their product expertise alone.

In moving away from bread and butter services, such as back-up and disaster recovery, to focus on security, network and infrastructure monitoring and the hybrid cloud, high-flying companies have driven up demand for versatile and multi-skilled personnel.

Earlier this year the Daily Telegraph reported that UK firms are finding it harder than ever to recruit skilled workers, with almost three-quarters of services businesses struggling to make the hires they need. Even when they do find someone, the process of training new hires takes experienced techs away from their everyday work, potentially costing thousands of pounds in lost services revenue and adversely affecting customer relationships.

Streamlining the training process By finding innovative ways to onboard new employees, MSPs can significantly shorten the training process so that experienced techs spend less time away from their billable work and new hires are able to start serving clients more quickly. One way to do this is to capture existing information held across an organisation (and in the heads of more experienced personnel) and store it in easily accessible and searchable formats so that new hires can get to it on a ‘need to know’ basis.

To this end, Kaseya recently signed an integration partnership with IT Glue, an IT documentation platform that enables MSPs to centralise and standardise documentation for IT processes, applications, devices, passwords and other IT assets. Using the platform, new hires can securely access the information they need, when they need it, making institutional knowledge readily accessible and reducing the need for assistance from experienced techs.

The platform also makes it easy for MSPs to follow consistent processes, improving client service and minimising the effects of employee turnover.

Another useful solution from Kaseya is its free online automation exchange, where MSPs can access script packages for automating tasks and share their own custom scripts. New hires can bypass the ramp-up time required for many manual processes simply by running the scripts they need to do their work. It’s the difference between teaching a new hire calculus and giving them a calculator—and it can save significant amounts of time.

Combined, these two services can dramatically shorten the onboarding process, allowing MSPs to bring new hires up-to-speed much more quickly. At a time when many MSPs are looking to scale their businesses, these services deliver a more efficient training process, more revenue for MSPs and, most importantly, more satisfied customers.

John Durant is EVP & CTO of Kaseya, a provider of IT infrastructure management solutions for MSPs and internal IT organisations.

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