It’s about to become simpler for managed service providers (MSPs) to diagnose wireless connectivity issues thanks to a connectivity analytics program launched by Intel. MSPs that sign up to participate in the Intel Connectivity Analytics program can remotely use software from Intel to monitor network performance, adjust bandwidth, detect security threats, track assets, and much more.
The overall goal of the program is to provide MSPs and other service providers with a consistent set of tools for analyzing endpoints, that they don’t have to build and maintain themselves.
There are more endpoint devices attached to wireless networks, both inside and outside the office, than ever before. The level of visibility MSPs have into the endpoint varies widely depending on which wireless network they happen to be connected to at any given time of the day. More employees are working from both home and the office, so the days when MSPs could assume most employees would be primarily accessing IT services via a relatively small number of wireless networks are long over.
Analytics are table stakes for businesses
The data that is collected via the Intel software can also be fed into other IT management and cybersecurity frameworks to provide MSPs with the context needed to determine whether an issue stems from the endpoint accessing a wireless network, or from the server and cloud infrastructure running a backend application service. The less time spent diagnosing those issues the faster the meantime to remediation naturally becomes.
Many MSPs have been investing in their own analytics tools for years but it’s increasingly becoming apparent that vendor partners are now assuming that burden on their behalf. It’s not clear whether MSPs will partner with one vendor over another because of the quality of the analytics being provided, but at the very least analytics tools are now table stakes.
The most important thing from the perspective of an MSP is analytics tools should make it possible to cost-effectively support more clients with significantly increasing headcount. IT labor remains the most expensive element in the delivery of any managed service so vendors that don’t provide these capabilities to MSPs are, in effect, increasing the total cost of delivering a managed service.
Longer term, that analytics capability also provides the foundation for building artificial intelligence for IT operations (AIOps) capabilities that should enable MSPs to over time automate a much wider range of IT functions.
Businesses expect visibility into wireless networks from MSPs
There is, of course, no shortage of tools for collecting and analyzing data collected from endpoints. Wireless networks, however, have added a level of nuance to collecting that data, especially as end users move between them multiple times a day. However, one way or another, customers are going to expect that every MSP has this capability, so the challenge and the opportunity now is finding the way to achieve that goal at the lowest cost possible. A good place to start, as always, is by pushing as much of the burden for achieving that goal as possible onto the shoulders of someone who is better equipped to carry it.
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