The future of unified endpoint management

| By:
Topher Barrow

Since beginning my career in the tech space in 2010, I’ve worked with managed service providers (MSPs) to convert from a break/fix model to fully proactive managed services. Through the years, I’ve seen the end customer demands grow and watched what they need or expect from their MSP continue to rise. I’ve seen the maturity curve of MSPs continue to improve and watched the market truly explode.

However, as I set my sights on the future and what MSPs can continue to expect, I find myself focusing on one main area: Ongoing growth in the tools, solutions, and products that MSPs rely on to deliver effective and complete services to their customers.

Whether that be due to the growth of specialized services in the small and midsized business (SMB) market or to the immense attention and focus on technology cybersecurity, MSPs should focus on how they can begin to streamline their existing process flows to maintain or improve their current efficiencies and productivity. This means finding ways to tap into these additional applications and services to create a singular flow within their organization and finding ways to tap into the benefits of integrations.

Growing demand unlocks huge potential benefits for MSPs

Taking a deeper look at this trend of increased customer demand for innovative solutions, MSPs have several great potential benefits to take advantage of. The shift in purchasing preferences, access to data, and the tailored manner in which organizations cater to their clients are leading to a huge potential revenue stream and deeper customer loyalty. Suppose your MSP is able to keep up with these demands. In that case, the ability to differentiate and gain competitive advantage are also ways you can make the most of these growing demands from their existing customers and prospects.

Of course, there are also tools on the market that can help ensure your MSP is able to meet these growing demands. There are a variety of tools you can use to help run your business more efficiently, including:

  • Remote monitoring and management (RMM) software: RMM software allows MSPs to remotely monitor and manage their clients' IT infrastructure, including servers, workstations, and other devices.
  • Professional services automation (PSA) software: PSA software helps MSPs manage their business operations, including scheduling, billing, and project management.
  • Help desk software: Help desk software enables MSPs to provide technical support to their clients and track support requests.
  • Backup and disaster recovery (BDR) software: BDR software allows MSPs to backup and restore data in case of a disaster or other data loss event.
  • Security tools: MSPs use a variety of security tools, including antivirus software, firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and vulnerability scanners, to protect their clients' IT environments.
  • Collaboration and communication tools: MSPs use tools such as video conferencing, email, and instant messaging to communicate with clients and collaborate with team members.
  • Cloud management tools: MSPs use cloud management tools to manage their clients' cloud infrastructure and services, including public, private, and hybrid clouds.
  • Network monitoring tools: MSPs use network monitoring tools to monitor network performance and identify issues before they impact clients' operations.
  • Patch management tools: MSPs use patch management tools to automate the process of applying software updates and patches to clients' IT systems.

While these tools are helpful, simultaneously taking advantage of and mastering these tools and areas of growth is no easy task. It takes forward thinking and innovation to keep things progressing within the people, processes, and products you manage today. With these benefits of a great offering comes the difficulty of managing the additional solutions. Cue the need for additional and deeper integrations from the many, many solutions you use to keep things aligned.

I’m referring to the need for a single pane of glass that allows you to streamline, automate, and aggregate the data and intel you’re receiving from the ever-evolving solutions in your repertoire of tools. Meaning: The complete unification of the separate solutions you’re utilizing today. This is what we refer to here at ConnectWise as Unified Monitoring and Management.

Stop sacrificing function for scalability with other Unified Monitoring and Management solutions

Think about it, the solutions that continue to provide valuable and actionable information, such as alerts, begin to transition from a relief to a burden. The additional need to handle more vendors, the multiple means of resolving the same issues via different portals, and the inability to standardize can create huge gaps in the maturity level of your organization. And some of these gaps include the scaling down of a solution’s functionality.

What do you do if you can’t keep up with the alerts your remote monitoring and management (RMM), backup solutions, and network management tools are sending you? You begin to quiet the noise by disabling some of the proactive monitoring and alerting. This not only devalues the solutions you’re paying top dollar for, but it also puts you and your customer at risk. You’re no longer delivering the optimal service you promised your customers, and you prioritize the fires.

Ultimately, working to take advantage of each solution via a single console helps resolve most of these gaps by allowing you to use the foundational services of each solution to create synergies between them. For example, let’s take the ConnectWise Asio™ platform. Within this platform that the ConnectWise RMM™ solution is built upon, we’ve worked to build extensible services that more than just RMM can take advantage of.

We’re expanding the ability for multiple business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) solutions, such as Acronis, Veeam, and Axcient, to integrate and function within the ConnectWise RMM user interface, which you can learn more about by watching this webinar. From one single screen, you’ll have the ability to deploy automatically, easily see which BCDR solution is deployed, and take action from the device’s screen. This offers your technicians the simplicity of a standard operating procedure for managing the backups for each endpoint you manage.

Asio holds the key to the future of unified endpoint management

ConnectWise is eager to expand this functionality further and take advantage of additional services within the Asio platform. In a recent study, it was found that a typical MSP resells more than three BCDR solutions to their customers. We’ve been there—you bring on a new customer, and a new backup solution comes with them. 

At ConnectWise, we’re currently working to create a single unified management solution that will combine data and information from multiple sources to supply you with a single source of truth for your backups. This would allow you and other MSPs to easily review one screen to understand the status of the backups for all of the vendors they resell. With a single spot to see the data, we’re not far from the ability to also use another Asio service: automation. 

As more alerts and information are being sent to a single source, the combination of the extensibility and automation layer of our ConnectWise RMM solution now becomes a lot more valuable. This combination offers the ability to now automatically queue tasks based on the information being fed to the Asio platform from multiple solutions. This leads to fewer issues with the ability to resolve problems before they happen, fewer auto-remediate issues that occur, and reduces the time it takes to manage your backup solutions. Not to mention how it improves the health of your customers’ networks and creates an added layer of comfort for you and your clients knowing their backups are always up to date.

The above are just a few examples of how ConnectWise is rethinking the endpoint management mindset, and we’re working to not only enhance, but highly innovate, the day-to-day technical tasks for MSPs. Some other examples include the integration with Intune, the inclusion of SaaS backup, and the addition of network monitoring for additional insight and functionality from external solutions into the ConnectWise RMM user interface. Our goal is to offer a single solution to manage all aspects of the endpoint. So, keep your eyes peeled as the unified monitoring and management future is closer than you think! In the meantime, stay up to date on product developments with our monthly product innovation webinars.