MSP (managed service provider) software helps service providers manage their workload and monitor client network performance. The software has many benefits, but it can be difficult to decide which MSP software is the best for your business.
What is MSP Software?
Businesses that provide IT services to other organizations often use managed service provider tools to help them manage their workload and monitor customer network performance. They do this by installing monitoring devices onto clients’ networks and devices, and then, they analyze data collected to identify problems and take corrective action.
MSP software enables enterprises to provide clients with cloud services, security and compliance features, advanced monitoring, multi-factor authentication, policy-driven automation, and more. MSPs can use MSP software to optimize relationships with existing and new customers, assess customer environments, and develop projects and services in a timely manner.
Also read: Steps for Starting an MSP Business
Benefits of MSP Software
Some of the benefits of using MSP software to manage your MSP business include:
- Lower overhead costs: MSP tools allow you to manage your resources more efficiently and effectively. You can be as lean or as streamlined as you need to be without worrying about overhead costs, which saves the company over time.
- Improved efficiency: MSP software allows businesses to improve their efficiency by offering a suite of management tools that provide accurate insights into network performance with customizable reporting capabilities. This gives companies greater visibility into customer networks to make informed decisions about how best to serve them based on data analytics.
- Decision-making support: With access to relevant information at all times, MSPs can make quick operational changes when necessary instead of waiting days or weeks for reports from clients’ IT departments.
- Customization: The ability to customize your MSP software is an essential feature for businesses that want to meet their specific business goals and stay ahead in a competitive industry. For example, you can configure alerts based on thresholds or rules to trigger immediately if problems arise. This allows companies to address issues as soon as possible without wasting time gathering data manually from all their client networks, which saves money and resources.
- Predictable expenses: With most MSP tools, enterprises pay only for what they use instead of being forced into paying big chunks upfront with no way out down the road should they need fewer services than initially planned for each month. As long as monthly usage remains within predetermined amounts set up in the MSP software, companies will pay only for the services they use.
Key Considerations When Choosing MSP Software
When choosing MSP software, it’s important to keep the following key considerations in mind:
- Data collection and reporting capabilities: You should always pay close attention to how well an MSP tool can collect data from your clients’ networks. It is also essential that you consider what types of reports are available with each product before making a purchase decision. Ensure all the information needed for reporting purposes—and more if possible—is collected through automated processes instead of manual entry. This will save time and money while eliminating errors and omissions.
- Enterprise size: If your company serves thousands or even hundreds of customers at once, make sure any MSP tools you choose have flexible licensing options, so they scale up as your business grows.
- Real-time support: When choosing MSP software, look for products that are always available with real-time support, so your team can access the information they need as soon as possible when issues arise. The best MSP tools come equipped with 24/7/365 live chat and phone support, or they offer a third party to provide it if not included in the platform itself.
- Setup and configuration: Setup and configuration time varies between different providers’ platforms; however, you should never settle for anything less than instant setup whenever you make a purchase decision unless necessary.
- Integrations: The ability to seamlessly integrate with third-party applications is essential for maximizing efficiency and boosting productivity within your organization. A good MSP tool will offer several preconfigured integrations with popular business tools, but it should also allow users to create their own if needed.
- Multi-platform compatibility: You can never go wrong by investing in a platform that offers compatibility across multiple devices (i.e., both desktop and mobile options), operating systems (Android, iOS, macOS), and browsers (Chrome, Safari).
- Pricing: Pricing varies greatly depending on your needs. When evaluating pricing, the most important point is to compare apples to apples. Look at the different license options available for each managed service provider tool you are considering, and identify which one closely aligns with your current needs. Then, compare that to other platforms on the market offering similar services.
Also read: Best Managed IT Service Providers 2021
Best MSP Software
Below, we examine five of the best MSP software tools to help you decide which solution is right for your business.
LogicMonitor is a SaaS-based network monitoring solution that provides you with comprehensive visibility into your IT infrastructure. LogicMonitor’s platform features an intuitive user interface, customizable widgets, and robust data analytics capabilities to make it easy for users of any technical expertise level to pinpoint the root cause of performance issues quickly.
- Unified infrastructure monitoring: Monitor all devices across multiple networks from one place using native device support for Windows servers (2003+), Linux servers (RHEL/CentOS/SLES), virtual machines, switches and routers, load balancers, firewalls, Cisco ASA appliances, wireless access points, and more.
- Endpoint management: Gain control over endpoint management across distributed enterprises by centrally configuring policies on remote systems through a single interface.
- Automated incident notifications: Get notified immediately of an issue with a complete audit trail and detailed context available at your fingertips for rapid problem resolution.
- Performance analytics: Monitor the performance of IT infrastructure against preset thresholds to ensure SLAs are being met or exceeded across all application areas.
- Unified platform allows you to see every device on one screen regardless of OS type and location.
- LogicMonitor’s intuitive user interface provides a simple way for novice users unfamiliar with networking management software to gain visibility into their infrastructure.
- LogicMonitor offers live chat support, a ticketing system, and knowledgebase.
- It lacks a custom URL or email address for sending alerts.
LogicMonitor has two pricing tiers, Pro and Enterprise, which both come with volume pricing.
- Pro: For on-premises, cloud, and hybrid environments, LogicMonitor Pro provides a cloud-based infrastructure monitoring platform. Get started with customizable dashboards, automated deployment and configuration, intelligent alerting, and more than 2000 pre-built integrations. You can connect and monitor up to 199 devices on this tier.
- Enterprise: Include all Pro features plus access to AI-based monitoring capabilities such as dynamic thresholds, forecasting, root cause analysis, and more.
Actual pricing is provided via a custom quote.
NinjaOne (formerly NinjaRMM)
NinjaOne is a Unified IT Operations Platform for MSPs that integrates all of the Ninja platform’s device monitoring and management features, giving you total visibility and control over managed IT assets. NinjaOne delivers the Ninja platform’s fundamental device monitoring and management capabilities, providing complete insight and control over managed IT resources. In addition, all of your essential tools will work together more smoothly with NinjaOne, which gives you a natively integrated remote monitoring and management (RMM), ticketing, documentation, and backup solution.
- Multi-platform endpoint management: NinjaOne offers native and agentless monitoring of Windows, Mac OS X, Linux/Unix, VMware ESX(i), Citrix XenServer.
- Powerful patch management: NinjaOne provides native software update deployment and network access protection.
- Easy IT automation: With robust programming and automation tools, you can save time and improve productivity by automating recurring activities.
- Robust monitoring and alerting: Monitor devices, receive alerts from multiple monitoring systems, and check the health of your network.
- Fast, secure remote access: Ninja’s secure remote access technology gives you the freedom to connect from anywhere, anytime.
- Robust endpoint protection: Proactively defend devices against malware and ransomware with continuous endpoint protection powered by powerful antivirus integrations.
- Integrated cloud backup: Backup your devices to the cloud with a built-in cloud file and folder backup solution.
- Native and agentless monitoring of various platforms
- Powerful automation tools allow for quick process creation and management
- Robust patch management and update deployment tools
- Highly customizable with a variety of programming and automation options
- No live chat support
Pricing is on a pay-per-device model. However, no other pricing information is provided on the company website.
Atera is an All-in-One SaaS solution for MSPs, combining remote monitoring and administration (RMM), remote control and support, and professional services automation (PSA).
Atera’s remote monitoring solution allows you to provide immediate, first-class IT support to your clients from any device with built-in remote management software.
- Real-time monitoring and alerts: Catch issues before they become problems with real-time monitoring and alerts.
- IT automation: Perform pre-configured routine system administration using pre-configured tasks on your client’s behalf while ensuring nothing falls through the cracks thanks to Atera automation features.
- Patch management: Atera offers a complete platform for patch management automation.
- Advanced remote maintenance: Perform complex tasks and repairs on your client’s systems remotely with the help of Atera’s remote control and support.
- Integrated Splashtop remote support: Provide instant, high-quality support to your clients from anywhere in the world with Splashtop.
- Asset and inventory tracking: The tool comes with many IT asset reports and an intuitive user interface, allowing you to keep track of your client’s IT infrastructure.
- Robust reporting and analytics: Make better business decisions by viewing the most relevant information to you through Atera reporting tools.
- Complete activity log: Gain access to every task performed within the software for full traceability.
- Mac RMM: Monitor and manage your client’s Mac devices through the same powerful remote monitoring software you use for their Windows systems thanks to Atera’s included Mac RMM solution.
- SNMP monitoring: Keep track of networked equipment in real-time with SNMP monitoring capabilities.
- Comes with a wide range of features, including remote control and support, patch management, IT automation, and more
- Intuitive and easy-to-use user interface
- Powerful reporting and analytics tools
- No live chat support is available
- Some clients have also complained that support is not very responsive
Atera has three pricing tiers as follows:
- Pro: $89 per month per technician
- Growth: $129 per month per technician
- Power: $169 per month per technician
Each tier comes with a free 30-day trial (no credit card required). All tiers also allow you to manage and monitor an unlimited number of devices and agents.
Auvik for MSPs is a network monitoring and process optimization solution that provides the network visibility and efficiency necessary to improve the profitability of network services.
The company claims to have over 3,500,000 monitored devices, over 45,000 networks, and more than 400,000 managed network devices.
- Automated network visibility and IT asset management: Powered by AI, Auvik’s network discovery automatically finds and classifies all devices on your network. With asset management, you can quickly see what hardware and software are running on each device and track changes over time.
- Simplified network performance monitoring and troubleshooting: Network alerts help you quickly find and fix the most pressing problems, while Auvik’s deep dive troubleshooting provides all the information you need to resolve even the most stubborn issues.
- Automated configuration backup and recovery: Ensure your clients’ configurations are always safe with scheduled backups that can be restored with a single click.
- Intelligent traffic network analysis: Auvik monitors your clients’ networks to provide you with actionable insights about who is doing what, where, and how.
- Easy network navigation: Auvik allows you a quick bird’s eye view of the client’s network, so you can zero in on devices to investigate and get all the information you need.
- Remote network access: Auvik’s remote console lets you connect to any device remotely, so you can troubleshoot problems and monitor the network from anywhere.
- Efficient management of distributed sites: When your client has multiple locations, managing them is simple with Auvik. You can monitor and manage all their networks from a single dashboard.
- Bank-grade privacy and security: As an MSP, you need to know your client’s data is safe. Auvik’s security features include end-to-end encryption, two-factor authentication, role-based access control, and audit logs.
- Powerful workflows with Auvik APIs: With Auvik’s robust APIs, you can quickly build custom workflows to automate your most time-consuming tasks and extract data points like historical stats, alert history, and inventory and integrate them into a third-party application or consume the data yourself.
- 173% return on investment for MSPs based on a study by Forester Consulting commissioned by the company
- Intuitive and easy-to-use user interface
- Powerful reporting and analytics tools
- No live chat support
- The alert function can overwhelm if not properly managed
Auvik has two pricing tiers, Essentials and Performance, which come with a 14-day free trial. In addition, you can have unlimited users, unlimited network sites, unlimited endpoints on both plans.
SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor
SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor (NPM) is an easy-to-use network monitoring software that can quickly detect, diagnose, and fix network performance problems. In addition, you get advanced troubleshooting features for on-premises, hybrid, and cloud services that come with critical path hop-by-hop analysis.
- Multi-vendor network monitoring: Use the right tool for the job by monitoring your network with the devices you already have. Solarwinds NPM supports thousands of different devices from hundreds of vendors.
- Network insights: Get deeper visibility into your network topology and performance data with Network Insights. Choose from more than a dozen customizable views to get the data you need when you need it.
- Intelligent Maps: See what’s happening on your network in real time with intelligent maps that automatically highlight critical problems across multiple locations and devices.
- NetPath and PerfStack for easy troubleshooting: Get hop-by-hop visibility into every device.
- Smarter scalability for large environments: Easily monitor up to thousands of nodes and handle hundreds of monitored devices per server without adding complexity or cost.
- Advanced alerting: Get notified when problems arise on any of your networking equipment.
- All-in-one solution. You don’t need to install different servers for different packages.
- Monitor your network with the devices you already have, without added complexity.
- SolarWinds Query Language (SWQL) or SQL needed to display non-out-of-the-box information
- No live chat support
- Improvements needed for easier software troubleshooting
The tool comes with a fully functional 30-day trial. Pricing starts at $1,638, with Subscription and Perpetual Licensing options available.
Choosing an MSP Software
When choosing a product to manage your managed service provider business, you need to consider whether it has all of the features and capabilities that are most important to you based on what you want your company’s strategy to be moving toward. You also need a product with top-notch customer support. If issues arise during implementation or post-launch deployment, someone should be available 24/7/365 via phone call, live chat, and email who can help quickly resolve them.
Finally, price matters too—you don’t want an expensive piece of software that impacts your cash flow negatively over time since many MSP tools have monthly subscription fees after initial setup. The bottom line—the features must justify the cost.