Benefiting from a Unified IT Business Management Platform

July 18, 2017  By Len DiCostanzo

This content originally appeared on MSPmentor.

IT Service Providers (ITSPs) and Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are on a constant quest to boost efficiencies and cut operational costs while driving recurring revenue and increasing profitability. But achieving these goals can be a serious challenge when you do not have the right solutions in place, or your team has to move back and forth between disparate solutions to run the business and deliver managed and cloud services to clients.

That’s what happens when you use separate RMM (remote monitoring and management) and PSA (professional services automation) solutions. Even though the solutions can be integrated, integration is not enough – as manual tasks remain to make the approach less than ideal.

A new, more efficient approach is now available to ITSPs and MSPs – unified IT business management, a higher level integration combining PSA with RMM to help providers achieve new levels of accountability, efficiency and intelligence.

Automation Aspiration

The less time you spend on manual tasks such as combining reporting data or moving between disparate systems, the more efficient your business becomes. In a world where you are delivering services remotely to scale and prevent downtime at client sites, the more you can automate repeatable service delivery tasks and business processes, the better off you are. Automation allows you to effectively keep an eye on client systems 24/7 while still giving your engineering staff time for strategic work. And that is where PSA and RMM solutions shine.

ITSPs typically leverage RMM solutions to deliver remote, recurring managed services to their clients. But to run internal operations, you turn to a PSA solution to help manage the service desk and ticketing, client information, project status, contract management and billing, and other key business processes (e.g. surveys).

Many ITSPs have realized you need both RMM and PSA to be successful, and look for a best of breed for each platform. Some decide to use an RMM but forgo PSA, while others go with PSA and forgo RMM, opting instead to execute tasks manually or with a collection of separate applications (e.g. CRM, Project Management, Remote Control, etc.) and/or a homegrown solution.

No matter which route you go, using lightly or tightly integrated solutions, or no solution, is an inefficient approach that costs you in productivity and hinders your profit potential. Although integrating PSA and RMM solutions significantly improves efficiency, the platforms remain disconnected in many ways, which means ITSPs may not have easy access to the right decision-making data and still have to handle large amounts of data manually.  Now you have a chance to leverage a more efficient and profitable approach to using PSA and RMM.

Central Management

At Autotask, we created our Unified IT Business Management platform by going beyond integration and unifying Autotask PSA and Autotask Endpoint Management (AEM), our RMM solution.  With a unified PSA and RMM platform, all the data is available through a single pane of glass, eliminating the need to switch back and forth between system dashboards, or pulling data for reports from different sources to cobble together. This is truly centralized management.  The unified management approach reduces complexity, accelerates the completion of tasks, and improves productivity.

While you can use Autotask PSA and AEM separately, they are clearly better together! Partners who are already leveraging Autotask’s unified platform have significantly reduced their costs and boosted profitability, thanks to the further automation of tasks and easy access to decision-making metrics and real time data. For example, when managing a service desk ticket, you can easily drill down into detailed RMM and PSA data from the ticket screen, which saves a significant amount of time and brain power.

It is not just Autotask saying our unified platform delivers solid ROI. Autotask commissioned Forrester to conduct a Total Economic Impact study of our unified platform. The results speak for themselves. Among the findings:

  • A productivity increase of one hour daily for billable resources
  • Productivity improvement valued at $378,000 over three years
  • A 12 percent client turnover drop, thanks to improved service delivery
  • ROI of 198 percent, with payback in less than four months

As you compete for new business and look to retain your clients for life, you need to run your business as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. With Autotask’s unified IT business management platform, that’s what you accomplish. At the same time, you improve client service levels and boost profitability, while making your staff much more productive – and happy!  The benefits of a unified platform approach become even more obvious when other solutions are connected into the platform.  But we can talk about Autotask Endpoint Backup (AEB) and Autotask Workplace (AWP) some other time...

Click here to learn more about Autotask's Unified Platform.

Len DiCostanzo
Senior Vice President, Community & Business Development
Len is one of the most widely-recognized figures in the IT industry with more than 25 years experience in the channel. Len develops and nurtures Autotask’s strategic industry alliances around the world.

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