Q: Many of my clients are beginning to let their employees and end-users return to their establishments, as local government restrictions are slowly removed. As the ‘return to normal’ slowly progresses, how can my MSP business best prepare for this new reality?
With SMB clients slowly being allowed to resume their normal level of on-site business, MSPs must transition from their operation style that they used during coronavirus-related restrictions to meet the needs of their clients as those restrictions are peeled back. To help provide some guidance, SmarterMSP spoke with several MSPs who are currently in this exact situation, to hear how they are adapting to these recent changes.
Preparing customers for their return to the workplace
Many MSPs are focusing on ensuring the security and productivity of their clients’ employees and end-users. This can prove especially challenging when these groups have a mix of some who return to the workplace and others who prefer to continue their work remotely, as they have done throughout the pandemic or even before.
“We are stressing the importance of security, as many customers will still have employees both in the office and working from home. It is important to ensure that the customer’s employees don’t become victims to phishing attacks,” detailed one MSP on their approach to dealing with this challenge.
Some MSPs expect “business as usual” with the only added focus being “following good hygiene and social distancing practices” at all times. Matthew Brunk, Engineer at Covoda, stated that the primary change he will now see is, “Having various remote tools available for both Windows and Mac users,” who prefer to continue working from home.
Other efforts from MSPs to transition their SMB customers back to their workspace include network upgrades, additional firewalls, and VoIP phones, along with, loading pre-COVID licenses back for clients that request them.
Changes from the pandemic
As mentioned previously, the obvious change that MSPs expect to see in the ‘new normal’ is the higher amount of employees who will elect to work from home. Some organizations have utilized a schedule that “alternates [in-person] attendance based on group responsibilities.”
Other changes are still happening, however, including Matthew Brunk’s prediction that customer VPNs will increase. Gavin Lee, Technician at Covoda Communications, added that Covoda Communications is providing, more mobility for the employee like Soft-phones and apps to connect to their resources.
The overall lesson these MSPs shared with us is that going ‘back to normal’ does not actually mean that everything will be exactly the way it was before the pandemic. MSPs will have to maintain practices that they adopted during the lockdown restrictions, and possibly offer new ones to meet the needs of SMB customers who have found certain business operations born out of necessity during that time to be their best option moving forward.
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