SaaS ManagementThree ways MSPs can accelerate service delivery

August 19, 2021

The software industry has changed a remarkable amount over the last ten years. The cloud was a logical evolution of data centers that solved the economies of scale problem. But what the cloud unlocked, however, could not have been predicted: an explosion of SaaS applications that would completely transform the workforce. 

As a result, MSPs have been pulled into the world of SaaS operations, whether they’re prepared for it, or not. The likelihood that your customer’s workforce runs on Microsoft or Google productivity suites is extremely high, and to support end-users you must support these productivity suites.  

Research from our Q3-2021 SaaS Management survey shows that the same frequent operational support tickets are continuing to come up.  

Instead of desktop passwords, it’s SaaS account logins. Instead of network folders, it’s Mailboxes & Groups.

Sound familiar?

We’ve been working hard to help MSPs solve their biggest SaaS challenges, and after hundreds of partner meetings, it became obvious that what was needed was a centralized view of all applications across their customer base.

A few examples of MSP challenges:

  • Needing a central multi-tenancy view instead of dozens of logins across many apps
  • Reducing administrator privileges (often SaaS portals are built for internal IT)
  • Clear visibility into your most important security setting

Multi-Tenant SaaS Management

What we’ve seen in software over the past 20 years is that SaaS vendors are not prioritizing IT & administrators when developing these tools. Outside of Microsoft, almost no software vendor is attempting to make things easier for MSPs to manage dozens of customers. Every SaaS portal seems to focus on end-user experience over admin efficiency.

What happens when you need to perform tasks across 50 different end customers and thousands of end-users?

We wanted to help improve service delivery by adding integrations with Microsoft 365 & Google Workspace. By having a multi-tenant SaaS management platform, the efficiency gains began to snowball.

 

Some notable efficiency improvements:

  • Eliminate dozens of daily sign-outs and sign-ins to different customer portals
  • Create easier workflows by no longer needing to click through 5 layers of Microsoft/Google portal settings
  • Increase speed and accuracy with consistent workflow automation across multiple applications

An Augmentt partner recounted a recent Microsoft 365 end-user ticket that took 48 hours to resolve when it should have taken 5 minutes. Before Augmentt, they simply didn’t have the tools to be as efficient in their service delivery.

 

Least Privilege Access

While MSPs tend to be far more tech-savvy than the average organization, we’ve received feedback that not all MSP technicians practice what their owners preach. They will regularly share passwords, grant temporary admin access (which remains permanent access), along with many other security mishaps that need eliminating.

 

Our design philosophy with Augmentt Engage is to implement security best practices directly into your workflow by:

  • Only providing the few admin privileges necessary to get the job done
  • To stop sharing passwords to protect against security threats
  • Track administrator activity logs individually for traceability & troubleshooting

 

As a rule of thumb, only your most senior technician with the necessary training, certifications & experience should be logging into the Microsoft or Google portals. When you grant admin access, it opens 100% of your customer’s environment, leaving room for potential issues to come up.

Right now, there is too much room for technician error, and too much risk in admin accounts getting hijacked for malicious purposes. To protect against this, very few people should have full admin rights. In this case, less is more.

 

Clear Visibility on Top Security Items

Another theme that frequently came up during our partner meetings was the need for visibility into top security configuration items.

The feedback we’ve heard is the M365 portal feels like it’s built for enterprise IT teams with global employees, dozens of countries, different business units, etc.

The average MSP is trying to answer simple security questions like “Is MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication) turned on for a particular account” or “How do I reconcile Microsoft enforced vs. enrolled statuses against Google’s MFA paradigm and give a clear picture to my management team?

Visibility is vital to customer security. As an admin on a customer account, you need clear visibility on the current state and how you can act quickly if a security breach comes up.

Senior technicians should continue to use the Microsoft portal to configure complex security policies and layered approaches to security, but when it comes to tactically supporting a customer issue helpdesk should be able to instantly sign that user out of all accounts, reset their password, or temporarily block access.

The ability for rapid front-line support is a growing differentiator in MSP service delivery today.

 

What’s next?

Well, we’re just getting started that’s for sure!

There is no shortage of requests for new SaaS software, ranging from Marketing to Sales to File Sharing software. Additionally, partners are always looking to streamline their workflows and get ticket resolution times down.

We are talking to MSPs, MSSPs, virtual CISOs, security consultants, and experts in their field to make sure we’re addressing the most critical areas of SaaS management & security.

If you want to learn more about Augmentt Engage, you can request to watch a demo or start your free trial.

If you have ideas surrounding SaaS management & security, we’re always grateful to receiving feedback from partners in the trenches every day. As the VP of Product, my calendar is always open if you’re interested in having a virtual coffee with me. Email me at ali.mahmoud@augmentt.com

Derik Belair

As President and CEO, Derik leads the vision, strategy and growth of Augmentt. Prior to founding Augmentt, Derik was the Vice President at SolarWinds, leading the digital marketing strategy for SolarWinds’ Cloud division. Derik has been working in the channel for over 20 years, starting his career as a channel sales rep at Corel Corp. and eventually becoming the first employee at N-able Technologies in April of 2000.

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Kanata, Ontario
K2K 3K2
(fax) 647-372-0393

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