As an MSP, a Professional Services Automation (PSA) tool is the engine that runs your business.  It is one of the most important tools you can use in your business as it is the central location for everything your business does.   You have made the important decision that you need Professional Services Automation (PSA) Software in your business.  You have decided on which PSA tool you are going to use, you have signed up to a contract and now you have the daunting task of ensuring it is implemented throughout the business, being used to its full potential and all your staff are fully up to speed and trained on the software. 

There are so many benefits of using a PSA Tool but some of the biggest issues faced by businesses are linked to lack of understanding of the tool and what it can do for the business, its functionality, difficulties with implementation and finding time to do it all properly.  It is understandable that business owners don’t have the time or the resources to focus on implementing their new PSA tool so they often pass the task on to a senior employee within the business.  The problem then is that whilst that person does a great job of implementing the elements of the tool in their area of the businessthey then falter because they don’t have visibility of the business as a whole.  The implementation needs to be assigned to somebody that that has that visibility and knows and understands the entire business, not just the particular area or the department that they’re working in.  

Whilst the PSA vendors in the industry are excellent, there’s no substitute for having that concrete experience of running an MSP, being involved in the MSP space and a 3rd party consultant who can have that holistic, objective view on your business, and look at every single department and really understand how they work and are going to use it, and where the handoff comes from one department to the other. 

This is where using an independent expert consultant can really help you with implementing the product correctly across all departments in the business and ensure you are getting the most out of your PSA tool.  Having previously owned an MSP businessworked at Autotask (now Datto) and continuing to be heavily involved and active in the MSP industry, Chris Timm of Sondela Consulting, has extensive knowledge from both sides of the industry.  He understands the requirements and expectations from the PSA tool from a MSP business owner’s perspective, as well as having a detailed understanding and in-depth knowledge of the product.   And although some PSA vendors can send people out to help MSPs, many of them don’t have experience of running an MSP business.  

If you are feeling overwhelmed at the thought of implementing a PSA tool in your business or have been using your PSA for a while but feel you are only using a small part of it and not to its full potential or you are just generally frustrated with it then Sondela Consulting can help you.  To get the most of your PSA tool in the long run, you must be prepared to invest time and energy into getting it implemented properly and this is where Sondela Consulting will methodically take you through each section of the product and be with you every step of the way to ensure that your MSP turns into a well-oiled machine and you get the most out of your PSA tool. 

When you hear the name CompTIA, you immediately think of its leading certification programs for the IT industryCompTIA represents this and so much more, it is a world leading tech association that, amongst other things, conducts relevant and up-to-date research and has engaging member communities and councilsTheir unparalleled programs set industry standards, foster skills development and generate knowledge and insight every day. With its members, CompTIA is building the foundation for technology’s future. 

But let us focus on CompTIA’s UK Business Technology Community, which brings together technology business professionals from across the UK tech ecosystem to discuss both regional opportunities and global trends. CompTIA has held many successful community events where Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and IT professionals have come together to problem solve, network and find out about the latest vendor products.   

Now that we are in lock-down and unable to meet face-to-face at peer groups and networking events, CompTIA is doing its part to support the community with online sessions called “Friday Check Ins” featuring experts providing advice designed to ensure the tech industry can keep businesses running as smoothly as possible. They are also making plans to hold other virtual events over the coming months. One in particular is the Unconference on the 6 May, which is always a popular session. CompTIA has also just opened registration for its flagship, annual event ChannelCon, which will be held online this year in August and features three days of educational content, networking opportunities and thought leadershipRegistration is free 

Estelle Johannes, Director of member communities at CompTIA, said: The UK Business Technology Community is a progressive industry group embracing emerging technologies and shaping the future of the channel. As an open, vendor-neutral forum, we help members build and expand their businesses and connect with others to create a stronger, thriving industry. We offer a continuous programming of regular meetings and initiatives to deliver thought leadership, help and advice through networking, collaboration, peertopeer learning, vendor neutral technology qualifications and sharing best practices in order to advance technology businesses and the customers they serve, highlight emerging technologies, and promote organisational diversity to create equality in the workforce as well as help fill the many open roles across our industry. 

So, if you are still wondering why you should join CompTIA or attend and participate in one of its events now or in the future then these are the reasons why: 

  • Learning best practices and engaging with thought leaders 
  • Networking with colleagues and making new connections 
  • Collaboration and problem-solving with peers 

Sondela’s Technical Director, Chris Timm, is passionate about the community and is a member of CompTIA’s UK Business Technology Executive Council. Chris sees the value in regularly attending a variety of industry events and peer groups, where he is often seen having lively discussions about PSAother industry tools and business best practices. If you would like further information about joining CompTIA or attending one of its events, then contact Chris, he would love to have a chat with you about it. 

Sondela Consulting works with MSPs to help them get the most out of their PSA and RMM tools, optimise their IT Management Tools and advise on business best practices 

During consulting calls, the subject of using a 3rd party tool often comes up.  The PSA tools have builtin quoting systems however they are limited in their capabilities.  There are many benefits to using a 3rd party quoting tool as it gives more flexibility.  One such quoting tool is ITQuoter and we have been discussing this product recently with our clients as we can see the benefit of using it. 

ITQuoter is a complete quoting system that can handle anything from a simple one-line quote, to more complex special bids and professional services proposals.  ITQuoter does not require any hardware investment and only a small configuration process to get started.  It is very easy to use, allowing users to quote quickly and accurately for ‘single source’ IT solutions. It also offers customised branding of quotes, proposals and other documentation, automated price feeds from many vendors updated daily and an easy to create eCommerce portal.  The system then integrates with your PSA tool allowing you to manage your opportunities.  

Gary Henderson, ITQuoter’s Sales Director said:  Our MSP customers have varying sized businesses, meaning they have different management approaches.  ITQuoter offers the flexibility that they can use all features or just the ones they need.  It offers a complete lifecycle management system that spans quoting, procurement, implementation, support and renewals.  We are also focused on the evolution of the product so exciting updates are in the pipeline”.   

So, if you are using the built-in quoting system in your PSA toolbut are looking for more flexibility, then contact ITQuoter as they could be a good fit for you.  Contact them for a demo.  

Every recommendation Sondela makes is geared towards enhancing profits, efficiency and customer satisfaction.  We are committed to making your business a success by taking the time to understand your needs and making the best-fit recommendations which align with your mission, vision, and goals.  If you would like to find out more about how we work with clients, contact us, we would love to chat with you about your requirements. 

With millions of people now working from home almost overnight, the use of an RMM tool is important, now more than ever.  MSPs are currently faced with their busiest period, trying to assist their clients to set up all their staff to be able to work remotely, sometimes on their home computers.  For many companies, this is not the norm, and Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and their customers are having to be flexible and adjust to the changing environment.   

So, what is an RMM tool and why is it such a key product to use within your business?  An RMM tool is a remote monitoring software that MSPs use to remotely and proactively manage their customers computers, servers, networks and mobile devices.  

Now, more than ever, an RMM tool provides your team with the means to carry out remote access/screen sharing, patch management, management of antivirus, remote software installation, detection of hardware failures, unattended scheduled reboots and hardware and software auditing.   

In these unprecedented times, your engineers need the best tools available to enable them to continue to provide the highest level of support to your customers despite a vastly increased workload.   There might also be many customers using their home machines connected to corporate networks.  This is where RMM tools really come into their own, not only can you remote on to your customers’ home computer and set everything up for them remotely, but you can also set up the same level of security and rapid deployment of software as you would with their company devices. 

Sondela Consulting works with MSPs to ensure that all aspects of their RMM tool are set up correctly and it is being used properly and efficiently.  We also help them to ensure that their RMM tool correctly talks to their PSA tooso that the right information is being received into the ticketing system and the policies are set up correctly.  

So whether or not you currently support your customers’ home machines as part of your managed services, the fact that under these circumstances, you can install the RMM tool onto their home machines as well means it will alert you of any issues, such as a virus, which allows you to quickly address and fix the issue so that it doesn’t compromise the corporate network.  You will also be able to ensure that applications and systems are patched and up to date on home machines.  Essentially you will be able to provide the same level of service and support that you do on their corporate machines.   

If you are wondering if you are utilising your RMM tool to its full potential and would like to find out more about how to set this up to optimise this tool and maximise your efficiency when dealing with your customers’ portfolio of devices, then get in touch with Sondela Consulting.  We have a proven track record of helping MSPs get the most out of their RMM tools.  

Check out our latest blog about the importance of using an RMM tool