Article | May 4, 2012

Do You Offer A Managed Workstations Service?

By Scott Calonico, Web content manager, GFI MAX

Do managed workstations form part of your MSP offering? If not, you are missing out on great potential for extra revenue, as well as the opportunity to have early warning of system problems that can affect the day-to-day performance of customer’s networks.

It can be easy to fall into the habit of concentrating efforts on client’s servers, forgetting that the everyday performance of staff desktops and laptops is equally (if not more) noticeable to users.

To see the benefits of managed workstations, you only need to think of a few example problems that could affect the operation of a user’s computer:

1. A failing hard drive slowing down a machine and causing crashes.

2. Internet security products being disabled, causing a PC to be vulnerable.

3. A corrupt file stopping an essential service running.

In the normal course of events, any one of these potentially serious problems could go unnoticed until you happen to work on the machine for another reason, or until the problem causes an issue significant enough to warrant a support call.

Surely, then, it is better to offer a managed workstations service and help yourself to be as proactive in maintaining individual computers as you are in managing servers?

This shouldn’t be a difficult proposition to put to clients. It really comes down to a simple choice: Would the CEO prefer to know in advance if his laptop hard drive is about to fail, or would he rather wait for it to die just before he is due to deliver an important presentation? Unless systems are in place to proactively monitor event logs, there’s every chance the problem could go unnoticed until it is too late.

Implementing managed workstations can be easy and cost effective, and the time it takes to keep a watchful daily eye on many machines is minimal when using a good, automated tool. It is best to find a product that considers all the small things that can affect daily PC operation and build up to become far bigger problems – event log errors, missed antivirus updates, intrusion attempts and disc space issues being just a selection.

The revenue for the implementation of managed workstations needn’t end with your fee for the service and any product commission you may be able to earn. The fact that you are proactively watching every workstation at a site means that opportunities for additional work will constantly present themselves. By having a far better idea of performance levels and daily problems, you will be in a position to offer ongoing system tweaks and improvements.

Financial and technical benefits aside, the biggest plus point of all may be the fact that the ability to head most problems off at the pass reduces the number of stressful, tense phone calls you have to have with system users. For many this may be the most compelling reason to begin to offer a managed workstations service!