How to choose the best remote support software for your MSP

Posted:
08/05/2021
| By:
Topher Barrow

Now that remote work and distributed user bases are the norm, remote support software has become a must-have tool for managed service providers (MSPs). Devices operating outside the traditional office environment introduce new risks and vulnerabilities, which can lead to data compromises, user downtime, and loss of productivity and profit. 

With so many tools available today, how do you determine which is the best remote support software for your MSP?

We’ve narrowed it down to five criteria you should consider:

  • Usability
  • Compatibility
  • Functionality
  • Security
  • Flexibility

Let’s take a closer look at each and the impact they have on your MSP business. 

Usability 

Usability (or ease of use) is a top consideration when evaluating the best remote support software for your MSP. The solution should be intuitive and user-friendly — for both your clients and your staff. 

Your clients’ end users have varying degrees of technological proficiency, which means your remote support software must be dead simple to use without requiring a complicated installation process. Ever had a client who can’t quite explain the problem they’re having? Some remote support software even includes app-less connectivity and live camera support so your team can see through the client’s eyes and walk them through the resolution process with confidence.

While your team possesses plenty of technical expertise, that doesn’t mean your remote support software should demand complex implementation. The best remote support software has a quick learning curve and can be easily mastered by any technician no matter how many years of experience they have in the field.

Compatibility 

Mac vs. PC? That shouldn’t be an issue for your MSP’s remote support services. When working with clients across different industries and business sectors, your remote support solution has to be able to support a range of operating systems and applications. The best remote support software is compatible with operating systems such as:

  • Microsoft Windows
  • macOS and Mac OS X
  • Linux
  • Android
  • iOS

Your remote support software should also be compatible with popular web browsers, including:

  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Safari (Apple)
  • Google Chrome
  • Microsoft Edge

With the ability to work across these widely used operating systems and browsers, your MSP will be able to rapidly establish single sign-on, ultra-secure remote connections to and from virtually any endpoint you may encounter. This allows you to seamlessly control, manage, monitor, and repair your clients’ computers, mobile devices, servers, and more

Functionality  

The best remote support software doesn’t just provide the features you expect to see (remote control access, screen sharing, file transfer, etc.), it also offers next-level functionality capable of modernizing and streamlining your MSP in ways you may not have considered. Best-in-class remote support software often has one or more of the following features.

Endpoint management 

A whopping 44% of the U.S. workforce now works remotely five or more days per week, up from 17% before the COVID-19 pandemic. With more people working outside the traditional office environment, endpoint management has become a top priority for many businesses. Remote support software with comprehensive endpoint management features can help your MSP track devices across different networks, environments, and locations. 

Proactive monitoring 

Clients dislike experiencing any technology issues or downtime — after all, even small problems can negatively impact their bottom line. That’s why top MSPs have shifted from reactive fixes to proactive maintenance as a best practice. Robust remote support software makes this even easier by automatically monitoring all customer endpoints to check for performance or security issues, and triggering alerts when an endpoint requires immediate attention.

Integrations

For the highest levels of functionality and efficiency, the best remote support software is able to integrate with outside platforms and applications to provide an A+ remote support experience that fits each client’s unique needs. For example, integration capabilities can help streamline the ticketing process, secure access to unattended devices, and ensure backup protection and security.  

Security  

Last year, the U.S. government reported an increase in the number of hacking attempts carried out against MSPs. Because your business and its technicians have special privileges to access clients’ credentials, permissions, and other confidential information, you must be vigilant to protect this sensitive information from threat actors. 

Top-notch remote support software promotes stronger cybersecurity for your team while also helping to ensure that you are meeting your clients’ security and compliance requirements. Recommended security elements include:

  • Role- and/or permission-based security 
  • Session activity logging
  • Consent requests
  • Data encryption
  • Session timeout
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • IP login restrictions 

Additionally, it’s a good idea to research the company behind the remote support software you’re considering to see if they actually practice what they preach. This might include official security certifications and/or documented security measures and practices

Flexibility 

No two MSPs are exactly alike, and how you configure your remote support software depends on many factors including your business size, your clients’ needs, and your current technological infrastructure. When you adopt a new tool, it should be able to slot into your existing service models without requiring any major changes to how you run your business.

That’s why the best remote support software is highly adaptable and can be customized to provide all the features you need (and nothing that you don’t). Look for software that offers flexible pricing options and a free trial so you can accurately determine the scope of your needs.

Remote support software: an essential tool for MSPs

As you can see, modern remote support software is capable of meeting the needs of any MSP. Whether you’re looking to support a few end users and a small group of machines or a large group of users running many simultaneous connections, there is a solution for you that can be implemented quickly and seamlessly — without disrupting your business whatsoever.

Which one will you choose?

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