A Managed Services Provider’s Tools of the Trade

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As a company, Affinity’s vision includes becoming the best-in-class managed services provider in Greater Nashville for organizations intent on growth. That is a vision we can’t turn into reality without investment—investment in constantly honing our processes, in consistently finding and developing great team members, and in implementing the right technical tools to facilitate the most efficient technology service possible.

In the interest of transparency, and to help raise awareness among business leaders on what it takes to provide best-in-class outsourced IT services, we wanted to share a bit about the investments we’ve made in some of the technical tools of our trade. These tools, when paired with the right technical expertise and sound business practices, facilitate efficient maintenance and support of our clients’ systems, allowing us to make their teams more efficient in the process.

Professional Services Automation (PSA)

It’s hard to imagine how a managed services provider would function without a PSA tool. This is the tool that houses a ticketing system for efficient tracking of service requests, a project management component for managing changes, calendaring and scheduling, as well as a whole host of other features related to tracking – and in some cases even automating – work that needs to be done for clients. Affinity is devoted to using our PSA in a way that makes our service delivery processes as efficient and transparent as possible, while remaining unobtrusive to our clients. 

Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM)

An RMM tool is the hub of automation for a managed services provider. Not only does it monitor all of a client’s key assets—workstations, servers, networking devices, etc.—and alert systems administrators when potential issues arise, but it also facilitates the automation of processes and systems maintenance to help efficiently optimize clients’ systems. An RMM is crucial to the work of a modern managed services provider, as it allows them to provide enterprise-level automation functionality to clients of all sizes. At Affinity, we value our RMM tool highly. We are constantly adding and tweaking automations to make our clients’ systems run more smoothly and efficiently, empowering them to do the good work they have set out to do.

Antivirus, Anti-SPAM, and Other Security Solutions

In today’s climate, a managed services provider not investing in security tools is not doing its job. A good provider will understand that security doesn’t stop with implementing these tools, but that they are a necessary beginning. The right antivirus tool can prevent a large portion of threats from entering a client’s environment. Anti-SPAM solutions can keep fraudulent and potentially harmful emails from ever reaching unsuspecting recipients. And, of course, there are a whole host of other software solutions that Affinity uses to mitigate risk and keep our clients secure, from email encryption to penetration testing.

Documentation

A key to providing fast and efficient support is having updated and detailed documentation on clients’ systems, workflows, and processes related to their technology. But with all the necessary tools in a managed services provider’s toolbox interacting with clients’ systems in different ways, it can become difficult to find the right information on the right system, as it may be living in one of several places. Thankfully, the marketplace has responded to this problem and given managed services providers solutions for a centralized hub for information about their clients’ systems. Affinity uses a documentation system designed specifically for managed services providers to ensure that all necessary information to provide support or maintenance is right at our technicians’ fingertips.

Metrics

Like any business, a managed services provider can’t be efficient if they don’t measure key performance indicators (KPIs), set goals, and track their progress toward those goals. That’s why Affinity has invested in a system that integrates with all of our other tools to help us measure our progress toward our goals—and, more importantly, live out our mission to foster a culture of continuous improvement. To us, continuous improvement means that we are consistently striving to become even better at our work—so that our clients can experience consistently better results from their technology, and thus be empowered to achieve their goals.

Want to Learn More About Affinity?

If you’d like to hear more about how Affinity helps businesses throughout Greater Nashville transform their technology from a necessary evil to a competitive advantage, don’t hesitate to contact us today!