This scenario also works to your advantage as an MSP. Having a system that’s configured to eliminate coverage gaps not only means less disruption to your customers’ business and a higher level of satisfaction, but a reduction in the number of emergency truck rolls, which also saves you money.
Native cloud-managed access points are now essentially plug-and-play devices; once installed, they’re easily configured online from your dashboard. They can also be preconfigured prior to installation, making the process even smoother. In addition, because standard configuration settings can be quickly deployed across dozens, or even hundreds of access points, the time it takes to deploy the wireless network—including the time spent on-site—is greatly reduced.
Imagine employing a technology that allows you to configure 1,200 access points in the same amount of time it takes to configure 10. That translates into savings for your customer—and more profit for you.
The advantages for MSPs in employing cloud-managed Wi-Fi networks are just as significant.
Consider that the selling points of a cloud-managed WiFi solution should be able to shorten what can sometimes be a protracted sales process:
- Less up-front expense for equipment and licenses? Check.
- Centralized monitoring and management? Check.
- Centralized billing? Check.
- Greater reliability with no sacrifice in performance? Check.
- Faster installation with minimal disruption to daily business? Check.
- Happier client? Check, Check.
In addition to having more satisfied customers, MSPs stand to benefit in other ways. For one, cloud-managed networks provide you with the opportunity to move from a hardware model, where you make little or no margin, to a service model. This can result in lower up-front costs for your customer and recurring revenues for you.
Further, the benefits extend to centralizing the management of multiple systems for multiple customers through a single dashboard. You’ll have the ability to monitor and control the Wi-Fi networks for all your customers from a single pane of glass. You’ll be able to update firmware to all the system components quickly and automatically. Alerts can be created to immediately notify you of issues; you’ll be able to diagnose and respond to any problems, oftentimes before your client even knows they exist. Finally, new access points can be added and configured to expand coverage areas in minutes. The result: Your management platform offers benefits that will save you money by reducing the number of truck rolls needed to address any issues.
Cloud-managed Wi-Fi is a natural evolution of networking technology, and the benefits to both MSPs and customers are compelling and increasing. If you aren’t recommending cloud-managed networking, now is the time to consider it.
Even if you’ve been using a hosted solution, the explosive growth of features and technology justifies taking a new look at the market to ensure that your current solution is well aligned with your clients’ needs and maximizes the opportunities afforded by the MSP business model.
JOHN TIPPETTis vice president of networking for Datto Inc., the world's leading provider of MSP delivered IT solutions. Tippett leads Datto’s managed networking services business on a global scale. Having worked as both a managed services provider and for vendor firms, he has deep roots in the IT channel and a vast understanding of the needs and challenges today’s managed services providers face.