NOC Relevance In The Ever Changing IT MSP Word
Recently we were asked to explain to a prospective client why they should utilize our after hour Network Operations Center (NOC) Services. With the changing landscape with Remote management tools providers and the recent acquisition of LogicNOW by SolarWinds, we believe that it is important to constantly assess our blueprint of what our NOC Services are offering our clients. It is important to us that we are not in conflict with the automation and functionalities built into the RMM tools that our IT MSP clients use to provide added value to their clients.
MyIslandWorker believes that our role in the grander scheme of the IT Managed Services Providers offering when hired as your IT outsourced NOC is to not only monitor alerts but to test new functionality and new agent releases. Our role also is to determine how best we can incorporate these to reduce the overall noise being generated by your RMM tool. Your NOC team should not be there to just receive alerts for backups, failed checks, intrusive detection etc but to ensure out of the box templates for checks and automated scripts are functioning optimally and not creating unnecessary IT noise. We believe an NOC alert should be an indication of a network, server or user issue. It should not be generated based on non-critical events or poorly set time intervals generating multiple alerts.
Our NOC Philosophy is to take your RMM and audit the template being used for Servers, workstations, and Network Devices within the first week of providing our service. We will then make recommendations on some suggested tweaks based on our experience after researching the best practiced for those checks within the provider’s recommendations and general user community consensus.
What happens when all the irrelevant noise stops?
Well, this is a good thing, it means the NOC can actually work on ensuring remedial action and assessments are made on alerts that can actually be converted into relevant time entries either billable or non-billable for the IT MSP. It also allows the MSP to ensure eminent issues are caught before turning into something that will cause downtime in one way or another with their clients.
The best sales pitch the IT MSP can give a current client or prospect is the one where they were able to mitigate a disaster and show the proof of that in a clear to understand log of issues and fixes.
NOC and its Role in ensuring Health Reports are green:
One of the tasks we have found to be very helpful to our monthly health report auditing. Larger Managed Service Providers will have their VCIO present these to the Point of Contacts at their clients on a monthly basis along with hours worked on remediation and resolving backend issues to ensure their networks are functioning optimally. The larger the MSP the harder it gets to ensure that those automated tasks and features are run on time and on all managed agents to ensure those end of month reports come out looking as pretty as possible to their clients.
We ensure those network devices that might not get caught in a scheduled task or failed to apply those patches are investigated and resolved. If machines have missed patch Tuesday we will ensure those patches are pushed out manually to those machines. If an antivirus update fails because of a pending reboot we will script and ensure this is down. If those performance counters are constantly exceeding thresholds we ensure permanent fixes are found.
Our goal here at Myislandworker is to ensure that your RMM is configured optimally, audited regularly and responded to promptly in cases of emergencies so that the IT Managed Service Providers can trust in the tools and NOC to ensure uptime of their clients.