Early on the second day, Dave Sobel took to the stage to deliver a bit of product future-gazing with a serious caveat: “These are things we’re talking about and not promises,” he explained. “This is more about a vision of where the industry is headed.”
Moving beyond his “table stakes,” Dave went on to set out what he saw as some of the core areas of focus for MSPs in the future.
To set the scene, Dave initially set out the things he called table stakes:
“One question we’re asking is, what if the system was human-centric, and we looked at the person and their individual devices, and not just the device itself? If we address the software automatically, we can then focus on supporting the people.”
“When I founded my MSP in 2002, things were simple,” said Dave. “We were just getting into the idea of RMM, and people had one or two devices at most. Now people can have up to nine different devices and IP addresses to manage. With the proliferation of devices today, we have to figure out what devices and IP addresses we’re dealing with.
“It used to be relatively easy to remember everything about all your customers’ systems, but now we’ve moved to a place where there is way too much data for one individual tech to handle,” said Dave. “There’s too much stuff to know everything, so what if we apply machine learning and AI to that problem and synthesise it into something intelligent?”
Rethinking the Nature of Computers
“There are so many more devices around today; we need to rethink what we define as a computer,” said Dave. “The age-old picture of a computer being a box and monitor or even a laptop is gone. There is more computing power in many things that people don’t see as computers—from iPad® devices to Amazon® Echo® devices. IoT will change this further; we can’t keep the old model, as we have too many devices. We won’t be able to create an agent for every device, so we need to think about things differently. What does the device management of the future look like?”
“I’ve been asked a number of times why we have two RMMs,” said Dave. “A lot of this is to do with the data. With a community of around five million endpoints under our management, we have far greater insight into what is really going on thanks to the collective intelligence of the whole community. This could enable us to move towards self-healing smart management, where our systems spot problems before they occur and heal themselves, which would allow our customers to focus on managing people better.”
SolarWinds MSP considers various features and functionality prior to any final generally available release. As such, comments given in this article are not (nor should they be interpreted to be) a commitment from SolarWinds MSP that it will deliver any specific feature or, if it delivers such feature, any time frame when that feature will be delivered. SolarWinds MSP is always trying to improve and enhance its products. All discussions herein are based upon product team current interests, and product team plans and priorities can change at any time.
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