Unlike other environments where IT represents a business expense, managed service providers (MSPs) are in a unique position to make money by delivering managed IT services. This gives them a unique set of IT challenges and opportunities – including the chance to create additional revenue by strategically utilizing performance monitoring capabilities.
Understandably, most managed service offerings include incremental levels of reporting, alerting, service monitoring and network device monitoring. It’s how specifically the MSP leverages its performance monitoring capabilities that determines whether or not it can create new revenue-generating services as part of its catalog.
For instance, advanced traffic monitoring is a prime area of opportunity in today’s IT environment. Performance monitoring solutions provide information on the makeupof traffic traversing critical network links with no need for probes. Using technologies like NetFlow, they help clients understand how applications are using the network and enable them to locate and manage bandwidth hogs. Other performance data collection technologies, including IPFIX, sFlow, NetStream, Juniper J-Flow, and Cisco Flexible NetFlow, add to the mix. Extending these capabilities to customers gives them valuable information about their users and applications, peak usage periods, traffic patterns and more.
Applying performance monitoring to cloud-based applications also represents a significant area of opportunity for MSPs. After all, it’s not unusual for today’s MSPs to manage an infrastructure owned by a cloud services provider like Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure. If a performance monitoring solution has plug-ins for such providers, it can import data from them and include it in all its dashboards and reporting. This gives customers complete visibility into their hybrid compute and storage environment from a single platform.
Likewise, an MSP can providemonitoring for a customer’s critical applications or services. Perhaps it’s the service that delivers the most revenue for a company, or maybe it’s an application that employees and/or customers can’t be without. Either way, MSPs can provide a service dashboard or topology map that allows customers to see the real-time health of that service at a glance.
It is through comprehensive, flexible and fast reporting that customers derive value from the Big Data store of performance information that the MSP has collected. The ability to make better decisions at the speed of business is something that any CIO would see the value in and therefore be willing to pay a premium for.
The better the MSP understands the performance monitoring capabilities at its fingertips, the easier it is to identify the opportunities to attract customers by showing that performance monitoring can provide significantly greater value than that found in basic SNMP-based usage reports.
Click here for our whitepaper, which provides more in-depth detail on “How MSPs Can Use Performance Monitoring to Create New Revenue Streams.”