Continuum's new iOS app for MSPs is just the beginning of the company's plans for Apple and other mobility-powered devices and operating systems, said Dee Zepf, vice president of product management and technical services, at Continuum.
"We are committed to supporting mobility initiatives with clients. This will be the first in a series of things we will do to support the whole trend toward a more mobile workforce," Zepf said.
The new iOS app, called ITS247, was introduced this week. It was developed jointly with LogMeIn, with which Continuum worked on other projects, and allows an MSP's technicians to open tickets, run scripts, view device information and -- perhaps most importantly, Zepf said -- remote into those devices to analyze and fix while on the road.
"It's a real great productivity tool for the MSPs," Zepf said.
In addition, a new SMS alert escalation option allows MSPs to receive alert notifications via text instead of a phone call, according to the company.
"I love it. For the mere fact that it's no longer tied now to a desktop or laptop," said Bernard Davis, CEO of Xceed Networks, a Bowie, Md.-based solution provider. "It gives us access to important resources and information to service clients. We can respond quicker and deliver better service. If you don't have an iPhone app today in this industry, you're behind the curve."
Continuum plans to develop apps around other mobile platforms, but Zepf couldn't offer details around when they might be available. She also couldn't say how many current Continuum MSPs use iOS devices but offered that "the iPad and tablets are wildly popular. They use them to support clients on the go. The phone will only get you so far. Sometimes phones are difficult with screen size, so iPads are very popular."
The app is user friendly and Xceed's technicians picked up on it right away, Davis said.
"Without any training, I was able to follow it through. We are in the technology business so we're not going to read anything. We just go to do it," Davis said. "People were able to navigate it with no problems. There is room for improvement but for basic stuff, for us to be able to remotely monitor clients mostly from iPads is a good thing."
While Continuum's managed services platform currently does not allow MSPs to monitor and manage their customers' iOS devices, Zepf said that feature is also coming.
"In this first release, we're looking at MSPs using their mobile devices. You'll see us follow on with products that allow MSPs to provide services down to the end client to set and enforce policies and fix devices that way," Zepf said.
PUBLISHED OCT. 3, 2012