Revisited: How to Run a 24×7 MSP
As 2019 comes to an end, OnPage would like to re-inform MSP teams about the value and importance of offering a 24×7 support service.
Twenty-four seven support ensures that client issues are quickly resolved by an after-hours support team. Though 24×7 support is a must-have offering, MSPs must first re-work their internal workflows and policies, ensuring that after-hours servicing is a pain-free venture.
This post highlights three factors—policy, process and team—that need to be enhanced, allowing MSPs to successfully implement and offer after-hours support.
One: Re-Think Your After-Hours Policy
On average, labor covered under a managed service agreement (MSA) extends from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Issues handled beyond 5 p.m. or weekend hours equates to a bill that’s 1.5 the regular rate.
Implementing such a policy ensures fewer emergency after-hour calls from clients and forces them to consider whether or not an issue is worth the extra cost. This means that MSPs will only handle real, critical events during after-hours servicing.
MSPs don’t only save time tackling real client issues, but engineers handling after-hour emergencies are incentivized with the extra money.
Two: Re-Work Your Organizational Process
Using email and text messages are an ineffective way of receiving important alerts. Through these communication channels, critical notifications tend to get missed, buried under unimportant messages or sent to an engineer’s junk. At its core, missing even one email or text can result in delayed incident resolution.
Ditching emails and texts for after-hours alerting is a must! MSPs need to be responsive to clients, ensuring that incidents are promptly resolved. It’s not a secret: Quick incident response results in client satisfaction and business retention.
A better solution is to use an intelligent alerting application, equipped with persistent, Alert-Until-Read technology. Such a solution continues to ping until the designated recipient acknowledges the notification on mobile, ensuring that incidents are never missed and always addressed at the right time, every time.
Three: Address Your Team
Enhance MSP team operations by leveraging digital on-call schedules. Digital schedules minimize engineer burnout, allowing MSP teams to share the after-hours workload. Since responsibilities are rotated and configured within a digital scheduler, no one individual is responsible for IT outages or other infrastructure issues.
The schedule should be the responsibility of one person on the MSP team, who modifies the schedule on a weekly basis according to their working times and availability. Essentially, MSPs and their teams need to work together to set a schedule that works for everyone, with work distributed equally.
These digital schedules are configurable through an intelligent alert management console with a smartphone app. After schedules are set in the web console, tasked engineers will receive immediate, critical mobile notifications, detailing the extent of a client’s IT issues.
By simply re-working these three factors, MSP teams can implement and offer a sound, 24×7 after-hours service to clients facing time-sensitive issues or critical events.