Selecting the right software provider can be tricky and confusing: "What will support be like? What questions do I need answered to make an informed decision?" Here, Sanjay Castelino, VP of product marketing at SolarWinds, which specializes in IT management software, offers a list of questions to pose to your prospective partner. — Jennifer Bosavage, editor
1. Can the products scale to meet the needs of you and your customers’ IT environment? MSPs and MSP customers come in sizes. They need a solution that can support small businesses with less than 100 elements to large enterprises with multiple sites and tens of thousands of elements.
2. Does it provide flexible deployment options? Just as MSPs and MSP customers come in all sizes, they also come in all shapes. MSPs need flexible deployment options to meet the needs of their various customers and then have the ability to roll up views to a centralized NOC.
3. Do they provide centralized alert notification and management? What good is a centralized NOC if it does not support centralized alerts, notification and management. MSPs need the ability to intelligently group their alerts by customer, location, or some other segmentation.
4. Does the software provide customizable views and reports? MSPs need the ability to create views and reports that are specific to their customers.
5. Is the software easy to use out-of-the-box or do you need training to deploy?
6. Can you easily brand the software so your customers associate the service with your company? Not only does the MSP want to create their own brand awareness, but they also want to ensure that the management solution they select is recognized in the industry.