Mobile access: Why it's as important for you as it is for your customers

Dan O'Keefe

As an MSP, you’ve probably become used to spending a substantial quantity of time helping customers make sure they have mobile system access through their shiny tablets and smartphones.

In recent times, the popularity of these devices has exploded. Given that you work in IT, you probably possess one or more of them yourself.

Assuming this is the case, have you put the same effort into making these devices work for your own MSP business as you have integrating them into customer infrastructures?

Be smart – work remotely

Imagine for a moment that you're on vacation overseas, and that all you have to hand is your iPad and access to a Wi-Fi network. Just how much of your work could you carry out competently, with nothing else available?

If you immediately think of various things that you would be unable to achieve, then you’re not making as much use of your mobile devices as you could be.

Tablets and smartphones, when used with the right apps, can allow you a wide range of mobile system access including:

  • Remote into client networks using VNC, Remote Desktop and similar technologies.
  • Access your MSP systems including call-ticketing databases, remote monitoring solutions and invoicing systems.
  • Access your company documents.
  • Update your MSP's website or blog.

If you can’t already do all of these things using your mobile devices, then it is worth spending some time turning them into the true business tools they are capable of being.

Unless your MSP business has a team so competent that they never have to call on you while you are away from the office, there will inevitably be times when you are disturbed at an inconvenient moment. Fate dictates that these are always the worst times possible – on vacation when you’re about to hit the pool, or while you’re waiting to board a train.

Get your devices ready

If you’ve taken the time to configure your mobile devices to give you as much access as possible to your MSP systems, the impact and duration of these interruptions should be significantly lessened.

Getting this right doesn’t end with installing the right apps and ensuring your systems are all remotely accessible. There are two more things you must do:

  • Ensure all of the information you need on hand is stored within your devices. For example, there’s no point in having a Remote Desktop client readily available if you don’t know the IP details you need to connect to the client's systems.
  • Ensure your staff team also make maximum use of their mobile devices. By building a network of people who can react to problems from wherever they happen to be, you ensure that your clients always receive the best possible service.

The effort expended in getting your mobile systems ready should pay off many times over when you next get that dreaded phone call on your way down to the pool.