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Maintel and SolarWinds increase MSP options

Firms focus on home workers and automation to protect customers and arm managed service providers with ways to add more value

The coronavirus pandemic has made it difficult for channel partners to visit customer sites, help drive value and encourage investment in future strategy. As a result, businesses in the managed service provider (MSPs) arena are being more inventive about the way they reach customers and the services they provide in the “new normal”.

Maintel has responded to the ongoing shift to home working with the launch of a package to help secure the equipment of those workers who are unable to work in the office.

Its Secure Homeworker offering is being pitched at business and public sector organisations that want remote workers to be protected to the levels they would have enjoyed in the corporate environment.

Maintel has been transitioning the business to more of a managed services and cloud player and has had to move to where customers are currently operating to keep fuelling that ambition.

The proposition is based on a combination of technologies, including Cisco’s software-defined network (SD-WAN), cloud security and Maintel’s own intellectual property. It comes in four flavours covering home worker security needs.

“The world of work as we know it has changed,” said Rufus Grig, chief strategy officer at Maintel. “The workplace will be a hybrid working environment between the home and the office, demanding new infrastructure and solutions to provide a seamless and secure experience, from any place, at any time.”

Even with a vaccine, high levels of remote working are expected to continue, with staff opting to continue to enjoy the flexibility that has been forced upon them through the pandemic. At the same time, the increased number of remote workers has been accompanied by an explosion in the volume of security threats aimed at exploiting them.

“Maintel’s Secure Homeworker solution enables businesses to industrialise home connectivity, providing high availability, rigorous security, significant productivity gains for their employees, regardless of their location,” added Grig. 

Automation cookbook

Elsewhere in the MSP world, SolarWinds has also stepped up the support it can offer partners. It has launched an Automation Cookbook that is designed to help managed service partners improve the value of services they provide.

The idea is to automate some of the tasks MSPs do for customers, such as updating operating systems and patch management, to allow them to focus on adding more value elsewhere.

“In a typical MSP world, technicians are buried in repetitive, mundane tasks that can easily be automated,” said Marc-Andre Tanguay, head automation nerd at SolarWinds MSP. “The time it takes to do things like deployments and configurations can take critical time away from adding value for customers and to the business itself.”

He said the number of scripts meant there was a high degree of selectivity for MSPs because a one-size-fits-all offering would not hit the mark.

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