It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted businesses of all sizes. Employees are working from home, personal interaction is taking place through the lens of your device, and events are being live-streamed to the masses. These communication methods all lean on one common heartbeat—the network. Now more than ever, it is important for solution providers to understand the critical nature of network monitoring. Instead of a want, this service is now a crucial business need for both reseller and end user.
Proactivity Creates Positioning
Solution providers have one overarching responsibility: to solve clients’ problems. But what if you could anticipate and stop that problem before your client even knew it was coming? Proactively monitoring the network and devices your clients depend on to keep their business running positions you as their consultative partner rather than a reactive “fixer.” Your knowledge of issues before they directly impact your clients instills a level of trust and dependence on you as a partner. You have now positioned yourself as invaluable, not a dispensable line item in a budget.
Moving forward, your clients learn to depend on the value of network monitoring for their business and add it to your service contract. Your positioning has now created a recurring revenue stream, adding monthly service retainers and licensing fees. Installing network monitoring software is a one-time task, followed by a lifetime of proactively monitoring your clients’ needs.
As SMBs continue to rely more heavily on their IT infrastructure, this opportunity is mutually beneficial.
Risking Business Continuity Is Not an Option
Your task at hand is to relay the value of network monitoring to your clients while navigating two realities: There is a likely chance they don’t understand the technical aspects of the devices they use, and they may have a perception that, with current budget constraints, their money could be spent more effectively elsewhere. While these concerns are valid, there is no price that can be placed on the importance of business continuity. Having assurance that their systems are running properly allows their employees to focus their time and energy on their own customers and growing their bottom line.
No matter the industry, time spent rebooting servers and waiting for connectivity issues to be resolved ultimately costs your clients time and revenue, as well as reputation and customer trust. While the move to the cloud continues to grow, a lot of SMBs still utilize on-premises servers. When connectivity is down, servers become inaccessible via remote connection. The result? No access to files equals a halt in productivity and a loss of revenue.
Network monitoring is not just important from a remote standpoint. Within an office space, hundreds of devices need monitoring to ensure appropriate connection and operation. Printers, scanners, and digital signage are just a few examples of the devices dependent on connectivity. If a client uses VoIP for its telephony system, a continuous internet connection is needed. When an issue arises, network monitoring provides a look into where exactly the problem resides—the telephone company or the internet provider, for instance—thus speeding up the process to resolve it and get your clients back up and running.
Finally, business continuity is nothing without the security of your client’s network. Network monitoring gives solution providers the ability to closely monitor PC utilization rates. Spikes in these rates during historically low periods can indicate a hacking attempt on the system. Beyond the network is the option to also monitor the physical security of your office space, including security cameras and keycard access. Knowing when there is unusual activity happening allows you to warn your client, and prevent outside sources from accessing these particular areas.
Overall, the current state of the economy is unknown as the world navigates these uncharted territories. One certainty remains, however. SMBs are growing their technological footprint and it is up to you as a service provider to monitor their networks and help keep them safe.
SEBASTIAN KRÜGER is vice president, regional manager Americas, at Paessler AG. He has 16 years of IT experience, including several roles at Paessler AG since 2013. In his early professional years, Krüger took care of security topics in an IT company in Bonn, Germany, before moving to a security distributor in Munich. After a stopover at a Hanseatic consulting company, being responsible for selling complex IT products, he started working for Paessler AG as a partner account manager for Northern Germany, which allowed him to demonstrate his ability to build teams and lead them to success by closing the gap between sales, marketing, and the customers. After being in the lead for Central and Eastern Europe he took over the role of regional manager for the Americas in January 2019, responsible for the team in North and South America. Krüger also has established himself as a link between the Americas and the strategy developed in Germany by Paessler, coordinating and integrating the different areas of the company.