For managed services providers (MSPs) working with digital documentation, efficient document management is key to ensuring they’re able to organize and manage large quantities of data. Many organizations depend on regular documentation to ensure service delivery—which is why sharing, modifying, and transferring documents should help speed you up, not slow you down.
As an MSP, customers are likely to trust your organization to handle their sensitive documents and information on a daily basis. Managing these documents through more efficient processes will enable you to offer more value-adding services. This guide will reiterate the importance of document management for MSPs and suggest three clever ideas to help optimize your document management strategy.
Why is document management important?
To emphasize the importance of document management, imagine your best technician leaves your company, having accepted another position. While this may not seem like a huge issue initially, it can quickly become one when a customer experiences an outage. One of your senior-level technicians attempts to fix the problem, but discovers the network device has been set up using an unusual configuration.
The only person who fully understands why the environment was set up that way has left the company and, as a result, it takes the new technician several hours to learn the environment’s architecture. Your customer is left feeling dissatisfied, their problem unresolved for longer than necessary, and you fail to meet your SLAs.
Circumstances of this nature are surprisingly common among MSP companies lacking a consistent and enforceable documentation management system. Even with robust standard operating procedures (SOPs), achieving standardized documentation practices that are actually complied with is a real challenge.
Consistent and efficient documentation is critical for MSPs for the following reasons:
Faster resolution times
When problems occur, customers want them fixed as quickly as possible. Consistent document management helps technicians solve issues faster to satisfy customers. If, for example, you integrate your document management system with your RMM solution, you can automate a substantial portion of the documentation process. This makes documentation efficient and helps ensure your technicians can jump in with a clear and accurate view of what to expect, empowering them to solve issues faster.
Consistent service delivery
If you rotate technicians on accounts, consistent documentation is especially important. With multiple technicians working a single account in an ongoing capacity, undocumented activities or configurations can cause major delays in service delivery. With strong document management, you can rotate technicians across accounts with minimal concern.
Faster technician training
It takes time for even the most experienced technicians to become acclimatized to their roles. Every MSP will have different processes and SOPs, which is why most new technicians will operate at a lower capacity until they become familiar with the new working environment. Documentation consistency and consolidation can help you get new team members up to speed much faster, even allowing them to self-learn rather than taking up other technicians’ time for training.
Onboard new customers faster
If you’re in competition with another MSP for a potential customer’s business, the ability to onboard the customer more quickly than the competition gives you a real edge. With a consistent and documented process for onboarding new customers with simple SOPs, you can onboard rapidly and start delivering value faster.
Ideas for efficient document management
Efficient document management will benefit everyone in your organization by making it easier to maintain and control the documentation process. Fortunately, there are numerous tools that exist to help your MSP manage the document management process from start to finish. Here are three clever ways to streamline your document management strategy.
Implement a password manager and IT documentation tool
A password and documentation manager helps boost your team’s efficiency and drive profitability by consolidating key information within a single platform. SolarWinds® Passportal & Documentation Manager is a powerful password and documentation management solution that is able to seamlessly integrate with a SolarWinds RMM platform to keep your documentation up-to-date and consistent.
To help keep sensitive customer information out of the wrong hands, Passportal features advanced security features, including role-based permissions, multifactor authentication (MFA), and end-to-end encryption. The tool also offers robust reporting, auditing, and password change automation within one console. This tool is suitable for MSPs of all sizes who wish to establish a more efficient document management strategy.
The privileged access management features in Passportal are especially useful for boosting efficiency, as permissions ensure technicians can access only what they need and nothing more. Not only does this increase security, it helps keep your MSP employees on track by staying focused on information relevant to them. SolarWinds Passportal & Documentation Manager is also convenient because it minimizes the need to adopt multiple tools. With a single, user-friendly interface, managing passwords and documentation is easy. You can request a demo of Passportal here.
Implement a backup tool
A backup solution provides key support for your document management strategy by allowing you to secure and save documents without risking data loss in the event of a disaster or breach. SolarWinds Backup is a scalable and user-friendly solution designed to protect your servers, virtual servers, and critical applications. A powerful web-based console also increases efficiency by helping to ensure you can access Backup from anywhere.
This tool uses an at-a-glance approach to displaying information and document status, allowing you to spend less time monitoring and more time managing your MSP. SolarWinds Backup also features a unique LocalSpeedVault utility, which helps you deliver against tight RTOs without the expense of complexity associated with appliance-based solutions.
SolarWinds Backup offers a range of document backup capabilities, helping you protect locally stored business documents and reduce the cost and complexity of backing up an organization’s PCs. Backup is designed to be affordable, easy to deploy, and highly automated. It includes cloud-based self-service recovery, so your users can recover key documents at any time. With a 28-day retention period, two automatic backups per day, unlimited documents, and unlimited document size, SolarWinds Backup is a reliable solution for all MSPs, big or small. You can access a 30-day trial of SolarWinds MSP Backup for free.
Implement an RMM solution
A remote monitoring and management (RMM) solution supports an efficient document management strategy by allowing you to secure and maintain your customers’ systems from one comprehensive dashboard.
SolarWinds RMM was designed specifically for MSPs and gives you access to an all-in-one suite of RMM tools to save you time wasted juggling between multiple products. By combining out-of-the-box monitoring templates, fast and safe remote access, patch management, managed antivirus, web protection, data-breach risk intelligence, and more, you can drill down on issues faster—and then immediately refer to the relevant documentation to help you troubleshoot. RMM integrates with SolarWinds Passportal & Documentation Manager to provide a consolidated, cost-effective option to establish effective document management. A 30-day free trial is available.
Achieving efficient document management
Hopefully, this guide informed your understanding of document management and how important it is to manage documentation effectively and efficiently. The benefits associated with document management are significant, and efficient document management simply serves to ensure that documentation is as easy as possible for your employees to maintain with accuracy. When implemented effectively, consistent documentation processes can lead to faster technician training and resolution times, more consistent service delivery, and better customer on-boarding.
The best way to improve your document management strategy is to consider implementing solutions designed to support and augment the scalable documentation processes. If you still aren’t certain how to go about making your document management strategy more efficient, take advantage of the free trials and demos mentioned in this guide and experience the benefits firsthand.