As a Managed Service Provider, are you going to be caught as unaware as most governments? I could be totally wrong, but do you know what is coming?
As I watched the President of the United States (and other world leaders) speak about the Coronavirus, my mind was whirling. Not so much about how it affects me (I live in Maine where – knock on wood – we have no REPORTED infections yet), but how it affects everyone else in the world. Our hearts go out to our Italian and other European Customers, along with the rest of the world.
Then my mind turned to business. How is this going to impact SDB-C? How is this going to impact our Customers – and more importantly, our Customers’ Customers?
While I do not wish global pandemic outbreaks to happen to anyone, besides catching the virus, there could be another downside if we are not prepared: the increased demand for our services as many businesses are expecting their Employees to work from home as well as when co-located.
Then it dawned on me: SDB-C is 13 dispersed, contracted employees, working well as a Team. But it did not happen overnight. It took work to get the technology going and our working rhythms in sync. Working full-time from home is not the same as 1 day a week.
Here is some background information.
- Work from home
- Have a collage of different computers
- Use different ISPs with various modems, routers, and WIFI. (I look forward to the day when we provide the technology and have some consistency across the Team).
- Use Off365 and most use Off365 Desktop Apps, because the online version stinks.
- Use RoboForm as a password keeper, so everyone has access to the other software we use.
- Are moving off Wunderlist (May 6th EoL) to Trello and Marvin.
- Use the other core application, Active Campaign, which enables us to communicate with each of you.
- Are oh so glad Autotask is a SaaS only product.
In this day and age, I suspect most MSPs have some Customers that are employee dispersed workers. However, if I owned an MSP, the first thing I would do is get in a conference room (this includes Zoom) with the best minds in the Company, and noodle how we should prepare and respond to our Customers that are kicking their Employees out of the building.
- What firewalls and routers are left on the shelf that we can secure quickly (my guess within a week they are going to be hard to come by)?
- How do we advise our Customers on home security for the network?
- Is spinning up VPNs for this mass exodus feasible?
- Who needs an Off365 license that will need to be upgraded to support Desktop Apps?
- How do we ramp up our Help Desk to handle so many more remote workers?
- Is there an Outsource NOC that can help some of our increased workload? If so, how quickly can we spin them up, and what sort of tickets do we send to them?
- And the list goes on…
One of the few talents I have is reading the wind. The purpose of writing the article is to forewarn the MSP industry what could be coming – without crying Wolf or the Sky is Falling. I realize this may just be a 2-week disruption and it will blow over before you know it (or before we can do anything about it) but it is a sign of the times. A month from now, will DR be a hotter topic than Ransomware?
While there is no product or service we offer that will help you in this situation, you can thank us for the heads up, by forwarding the link to a friend (or enemy – we will take anyone) and encourage them to subscribe to our weekly articles.