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BPM could be key for MSPs

Ben Farrell
September 13, 2012

Managed service providers (MSPs) are facing a difficult operational climate. Cloud computing, mobility and other emerging technologies are pushing businesses toward new uses for enterprise technology and MSPs are having to respond through a greater breadth of service offerings. As MSPs work to respond to this trend, business process management software can pay major dividends.

According to a recent MSPNews report, the rise of cloud computing and the broad consumerization of IT is enabling many businesses to turn to MSPs for more solutions. While this creates new opportunities for MSPs, it also makes managing services much more complex.

Industry expert Antonio Piraino told the news source that many MSPs are broadening their service landscape in response to the growing demand from consumers. This means the sector is leaving behind the traditional model in which many MSPs focused on offering a single service at a high level and now have to develop methods to better manage multiple services while dealing with the more complex service level agreement created by the cloud.

Piraino told MSPNews that the core problem with delivering so many services is simply trying to predict how they will work and manage them effectively across multiple clients.

"The challenge to all of these new services is in their manageability," Piraino told the news source. "Predictability of performance unfortunately cannot be measured simply at the application level, but rather by a system that offers visibility and correlation of all layers of the stack supporting a particular service."

According to Piraino, enabling the management and predictive analysis needed to support the diverse services increasingly offered by MSPs is dependent on using sophisticated monitoring tools that provide the data and analysis necessary needed to better predict how solutions will function moving forward.

This is one area where BPM software can pay major dividends for MSPs. BPM enables process-level automation that enables data gathered from cloud, mobile and social monitoring sources to be analyzed by the software, which ensures that standardized management decisions are made without human input. This allows data that fits outside of the repeatable processes to be delivered directly to management personnel, who then can work to solve the unusual problem while the BPM system deals with the day-to-day information that can often limit the efficiency of staff working to handle more complex issues.