Performance Monitoring for MSPs – TubbTalk #58

TubbTalk-58-Mark-Banfield, Logic Monitor

Join Richard as he talks to Mark Banfield, Chief Revenue Officer of LogicMonitor, TubbTalk 58 Mark Banfield from LogicMonitor talks about performance monitoring
a SaaS platform that provides automated hybrid infrastructure monitoring and analytics. Mark talks about the role of performance monitoring for MSPs who want to grow their business, increase efficiency and improve all-round customer experience.

An Interview With Mark Banfield

Mark first found himself in the MSP space back in 2011 when his former boss, Mark Cattini, who had become CEO of Autotask the previous year, encouraged him to jump on board and kick-start Autotask’s first European branch.

He found that he loved working with the very community-driven MSP market and he helped grow the business to the point where they could boast multiple UK sites as well as bases in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Munich, Singapore and Sydney.

Mark first became aware of LogicMonitor through his work with Autotask — he was so excited by the technology they were using that moving over to LogicMonitor seemed an obvious choice. He describes it as a hugely exciting space to work in, “we’re in an absolutely phenomenal market — it’s a critical time for enterprises as well as for Managed Service Providers.”

The Fourth Industrial Revolution

Monitoring has always been important for any organisation, but never more so than now. Mark considers the last 10 years to be the Fourth Industrial Revolution — every aspect of every business has become digitised. Every aspect of the customer journey is becoming digitised. And as such, every company in the world is effectively becoming a software company.

“What that means is that the infrastructure that runs these services, these applications that every company in the world is using, is critical. You cannot have downtime.”

He cites banking as an example. The days that you’d go into your bank and know the staff by name are long gone. Now with internet banking and mobile banking, the way we interact with banking services has completely changed. It’s vital to monitor the infrastructure that underpins these interactions “because if you can’t log on to your internet banking, you’re not going to stay with that bank for long.” He continues, “I don’t think monitoring has ever been more important than now. An outage for an organisation can be catastrophic, not only in terms of lost revenue and frustrated customers but from a PR perspective too.”

..monitoring has ever been more important than now. An outage for an organisation can be catastrophic, says Mark Banfield, CRO @LogicMonitor Click to Tweet

LogicMonitor’s focus is preventing such disasters by enabling organisations to better monitor their infrastructure, whether it’s based in the cloud or it’s traditional infrastructure on an organisation’s premises. They work on everything from monitoring an airline’s baggage handling systems, checking system and flight control systems to a global healthcare service provider’s MRI scanners and heart rate monitors.

Monitoring and MSPs

Mark appreciates that effectively monitoring practices are particularly important to MSPs, who represent a rapidly growing section of LogicMonitor’s market — “their infrastructure is inherently very hybrid. As they are innovating they’re becoming more agile, shifting to the cloud, starting to embrace cloud transformation, using AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure…they have to be able to rapidly innovate and launch new applications. But they still have to look after a very diverse and very complex range of servers, server infrastructure, virtualised environments, storage, etc.”  

LogicMonitor is a SaaS-based platform that can help MSPs monitor any new environment, identify any issues and their root causes more quickly and prevent these issues from occurring in the first place.

Mark reassures us that there is no end to what you can monitor with a platform: “That’s really part of the uniqueness of it — if anything has any kind of IP connection, we can monitor it. And we can collect metrics and start to identify the health of that service. Where MSPs are looking after an organisation’s infrastructure, we’re helping those MSPs proactively monitor and maintain those environments for their customers. If you can minimise the amount of time you need to spend in terms of looking after systems, that’s critical to MSPs.”

“Imagine an MSP is bringing in a new customer and they can turn on and monitor that customer’s environment in a matter of minutes. They can deploy the agents, the collectors; they can start getting metrics on the health of their customer’s environment immediately…that becomes really compelling from a sales point of view for an MSP. They can start to show results to their customers very quickly and when you’re selling a service, that’s critical.”

LogicMonitor have solved another one of the common problems facing MSPs. “If you want to extend monitoring capacity and want to monitor a new environment — maybe it’s a new server environment, or a new network environment — we have a team of people that are constantly going in and out and working out environments and building monitoring capabilities to monetise their environment. So out of the box, you can pretty much monitor everything you need. We have in the region of about 5000 different monitoring packs for all different types of environments, all different types of devices. And those are available in a kind of store we call the LM exchange. Again it’s all about allowing MSPs to provide a better service to their customers and reducing their cost of ownership in terms of monitoring.”

“For me, that’s what managed services is all about: serving the customer while lowering your cost of support.”

For me, that’s what managed services is all about: serving the customer while lowering your cost of support, says Mark Banfield, CRO @LogicMonitor Click to Tweet

Planning For Tomorrow with Monitoring

When it comes to troubleshooting, many MSPs are still locked into the reactive mindset; they wait for a problem to come along and then get to fixing it. But one of the main benefits of LogicMonitor’s work, Mark says, is the ability to help MSPs and their clients plan for tomorrow.

“One of the aspects of our platform that’s quite unique is a part of what we call LogicMonitor (or LM) Server Insights. We group together the entire underlying infrastructure that makes up part of a service and look at it from a service viewpoint. So effectively, we can almost like a traffic light system, identify whether or not a service is healthy. There could be many different parts of the infrastructure that’s causing an issue and we can pinpoint them really quickly. This allows MSPs to become really, really productive.”

Monitoring can also help with future planning as it relates to growth. When it comes to expanding infrastructure, advance visibility is key and LogicMonitor can help identify future capacity needs and put certain measures in place to help MSPs and their customers identify where they need to focus when expanding their business.

“We have amazing dashboards, and we can show the data and say, ‘look, we need to buy additional capacity or additional storage, or whatever it might be and here’s the data showing that you’re going to need it in the next three to six months.”

And that’s exactly what progressive MSPs should be doing: not just solving issues as they crop up but opening up revenue opportunities, performance monitoring, and proactively helping customers increase productivity. This, in turn, helps MSPs create better customer connections and increased customer loyalty.

Security From the LogicMonitor Perspective

With MSPs having been in the news rather a lot lately with ransomware strikes and having been targeted by criminals as being the gatekeepers to their customers’ networks, Mark was eager to talk about security from the LogicMonitor perspective.

“We take security very seriously. We host our platforms in the top-rated data centres in the world and have a very stringent security process. We have various accreditations in place that we need from a SaaS perspective to be able to provide our services. One thing that actually helps our MSPs from a security standpoint is our integration with the likes of ServiceNow and ConnectWise and having such a breadth of coverage in terms of what we can monitor.

Being able to pull up all of that device information into assembly is critical. Because if I’m an MSP, how can I protect customers from cyber crime if I don’t know everything that’s in the network, if I don’t have visibility and control of every configuration item. If I can’t see it, I can’t mitigate the risk; I don’t know what’s going to happen with it.

So we’re very strong from a security perspective, but we also enable MSPs themselves to be able to be more security conscious and provide better security for their customers in terms of visibility and the ability to monitor everything in their customers’ environments.”

What’s Next for LogicMonitor?

Mark’s excited about a number of strategic initiatives in LogicMonitor’s future — one of which is their dedicated MSP programme. The programme focuses on bringing MSPs onto the platform, and giving them dedicated MSP account managers to not only help them understand and get value from it, but also to give them the right tools and techniques to sell it better and so help them grow their own business, as they grow customers’ businesses.

“Every person in the company is focused on questions like how can we delight our customers? How do we provide value to the customer? How do we ensure that we continually provide the best possible service and the best possible products to our customers and ensure that they are getting the most value they can? This year we established our first ever user conference and we’ve called it a lab because we’re really looking at how MSPs, as well as other enterprises, can take the level up and start to use monitoring to make their businesses perform better.”

In 2020, look out for some on-the-road style versions of the LogicMonitor conference, where the focus will be on building the community and talking to and learning from customers.

Visit the LogicMonitor website where you can also request a guided free trial.

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