A few weeks ago I wrote a blog about what Managed Service Providers (MSPs) exactly mean by “monitor and manage”. The point was that the definition among MSPs varies wildly. As a follow-on to that topic, I want to go a little deeper into exactly what organizations want and need, and how MSPs are failing to focus on the right things with regards to network monitoring and management. A common theme that Vallum Software continues to hear from organizations across all industries is that they are frustrated with their MSPs and their inability to grasp what is important to them, and prioritize it.
When we speak with organizations about Network Monitoring and Management, making sure that their network equipment is up and functioning is not at the top of their list. If we lead with this in our discussions with them, we quickly lose them. Sounds a little perverse, but let me explain. Yes organizations know their network equipment is important, but what is more important to them is their applications, whether on premise or cloud. But wait, don’t they know they cannot access their applications without their network equipment? Yes they know this, and it is not an either/or proposition. Rather it is a matter of priority for them that MSPs do not seem to understand, and this is the crux of the issue.
Organizations run their businesses with their applications, and they want to ensure that their critical applications are healthy and available. From there they work their way down the chain through supporting applications, databases, and network equipment. There are many things that can degrade or crash an application that has nothing to do with communications or the network equipment. The lack of focus on the applications as the first step by MSPs leads to their being reactive when it comes to application issues, which leads to downtime for organizations. Organizations want a phone call from their MSP when one of their applications is encountering problems, not the other way around. They want a call before an application is down, and preferably want the MSP to fix it without them knowing about it.
MSPs need to adjust their focus towards what is important to organizations. They need to focus on monitoring and managing applications as the first step, and work their way out from there. This is not only going to require a change in their focus, but it will require a change in the solution vendors they are relying on for Remote Monitoring and Management (NMM). Many of these solutions have antiquated architectures, and were not designed with the flexibility that is required to monitor the huge number of different applications, as well as their variations across releases. Solution vendors need a modular approach where functionality can be easily and quickly created and added to accommodate all of the different applications and their variations. At Vallum Software we believe we have this modular architectural platform. Check our solution out on our website. It’s a free fully functional trial download.
About the Author:
Lance Edelman is a technology professional with 25+ years of experience in enterprise software, security, document management and network management. He is co-founder and CEO at Vallum Software and currently lives in Atlanta, GA.