Papers spread out on a desk next to a laptop

The Value of MSP Documentation Tools

The most successful managed services providers are masters of chaos. Those tech professionals bring order to the confusion for their clients in the form of the latest solutions while managing a multitude of people, processes, compliance requirements, files and documents behind the scenes. While savvy MSPs leverage automation tools and integrations with key management systems to speed up processes and improve efficiency, the astronomical number of tasks and information under their control would astound those in other industries. The work is much more difficult and costly without solutions like MSP documentation tools.

Less is definitely more in IT services operations. Therefore, two of the most important goals for providers include lessening the complexity and, whenever possible, eliminating the human element. Operational efficiency and structure, including documentation, allow MSPs to work faster and scale their businesses more effectively with fewer resources. Those capabilities help boost margins and make it easier to attract clients and investors, especially for those looking at M&A opportunities or designing short-term exit strategies.  

When employees are forced to use multiple systems and siloed information to perform their jobs, it lessens the time available to work with their clients, heightens anxiety and often leads to more keying errors and other mistakes. Partner management portals and centralization can alleviate many of those concerns, as can integrations and automation tools. The most productive MSPs provide their employees with better and more intuitive controls while eliminating as many manual tasks as possible. Those changes make it easier to scale the operations, deliver better and more consistent client support, and retain every company’s most valuable assets—its employees.    

The proven “tools of the trade” allow MSPs to successfully mature, providing more oversight and reporting capabilities, and making it easier for owners to sell their businesses. An established operation with properly optimized and authenticated processes and contracts is worth significantly more to a potential buyer than a poorly run organization with few, if any controls.

MSP documentation give managers more leverage. Whether proving the value of their business during M&A discussions or highlighting problem areas and solutions, these systems allow IT services firms to attain a higher level of operational maturity.                

Target Easy Access and Control

MSPs need fast and easy access to more tools than ever before, including those that run their operations, as well as every managed client and computer. From business and vertical market-specific applications to professional services automation platforms (PSAs) and remote management and monitoring (RMM) solutions, juggling all the credentials and login procedures can be quite a chore. 

IT documentation applications simplify that process. They collect and provide secure access to vital information across the IT ecosystems and help manage all of an MSP’s contacts and assets, all from one central repository. Authorized personnel can review client notes, service tickets, and system performance data and access password vaults for various customers. Documentation platforms provide a cost-effective and intuitive management system for modern-day IT services firms.

One of the most valued features of these applications is a flexible and easily navigable integrated dashboard that provides users with instant access to their specific tools and information. These secure and adaptable tools empower individual employees with the things they need to successfully complete all the various aspects of their jobs. No more and no less.  

Documentation Power in the Pieces

Every business owner likes leverage. The exponential power MSPs (and their employees) gain from IT documentation platforms lets them focus more time and effort on existing and prospective clients, training, and operational improvements. The collective controls of the various features increase the capabilities of individual workers and the entire team. The core elements of an IT documentation platform include:  

Knowledgebase – this is the crux of an IT documentation system. Instantaneous access to all the articles and documents available within an MSP’s ecosystem, including all information related to clients’ IT environments, is invaluable. An easily searchable knowledgebase simplifies system management and makes it easier to address potential problems.   

Central dashboard – this feature provides each employee with a personalized view of their business applications, contacts, lists, credentials, activities, and other job-critical information. Users can organize actions and details by dates, priority, or other important factors.

Configuration manager – manually entering details of each new device set-up can be a time-consuming and error-prone activity. IT documentation platforms can use templates to enter and update configurations and prevent unauthorized individuals (including users) from making changes.

Integration portal – MSP-focused IT documentation platforms should offer extensive integration options, allowing providers to connect and automate a variety of business-critical applications. For example, PSA and RMM integrations let providers quickly and seamlessly access client service tickets and account information and respond to support requests more effectively.

Asset management – knowing the location and status of IT equipment is critical for MSPs and the businesses they support. A valued IT documentation platform should track wireless and network devices, virtualization hardware, server components and other IT and non-technical resources.

Standard and customizable templates − each organization has different processes, requirements, and solutions mixes. An effective IT documentation platform will include both pre-designed and flexible templates so MSPs can accurately document configurations for each client.

Secure data backup – business continuity begins and ends with information control. MSPs must have sound and highly secure backups for each client and their own businesses, and a good IT documentation platform will provide administrators with that level of control. According to Statista, more than 55% of U.S.-based organizations store data in the cloud, and most of that information contains sensitive material. Preventing outside parties from accessing that information should be a top priority for MSPs.

Password management – MSPs hold the literal “keys to the kingdom,” with credentials providing access to all their clients’ systems, networks and everything in between. A secure password vault protects those lists and helps monitor and manage updates and changes.  

A Cost-Effective Way to Improve Operational Efficiency

Improvement typically comes at a price. For MSPs, technology is generally a cost-effective investment, especially when the solutions increase productivity, sales, customer satisfaction and retention. IT documentation platforms deliver a good ROI for channel partners, especially considering how many different areas of an IT business and processes they optimize and strengthen. From the back-office operations and support teams to ensure the protection of client environments, these applications support virtually every business objective of MSPs.

Managed services is a competitive endeavor, and any solution that can give providers an edge over their peers should receive close attention and a full evaluation. IT documentation platforms like IT Glue, NinjaOne, PandaDoc, and N-able Passportal (and several others) help bring order to that chaos, especially when MSPs leverage integrations with other valuable business tools, including ConnectBooster. Interlinking these platforms creates an automated network that can share new information and update data across the IT ecosystem with little if any, manual intervention.

Best of all, the documentation MSPs need to manage both their clients’ and internal business systems effectively remains secure from unauthorized personnel and cybercriminals. Building and maintaining a successful IT services firm is never easy. Still, by leveraging the power of automation and the top tools of the trade (including integrations), that job is a lot less complicated and stressful.   

Greater efficiency is critical for MSPs to remain competitive with their peers, and can propel profitability. ConnectBooster is the payment solution that thousands of MSPs trust for greater billing and collections efficiencies. Schedule a demo to see how ConnectBooster can simplify your processes and optimize cash flow.

Published May 21, 2022

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