From monitoring to end user remote support, we have a myriad of tools that we use on a daily basis to provide the best possible support to our clients across the globe. While our clients may never see some of these tools, they are critical in keeping their systems running quickly, efficiently & securely.
By far one of the most important tools we use is ConnectWise Manage. This is a dedicated Service Desk Management Software and is the hub of everything that we do. It’s where we log all our tickets and manage our various call queues. We can update tickets with notes when we starting to work on a ticket which in turn sends updates to stakeholders associated with the specific ticket. We can also measure the amount of time spent working on issues, which client has logged the most calls and what are the most frequent types of issues.
These important statistics feed into a BI tool call BrightGauge which allow us to publish these results to clients via an interactive dashboard. We can drill down on the data and it is great for trend analysis on where improvements can be made (for exmaple, which users may need training on certain areas, or which machines may need to be replaced). Manage also has great integration with other ConnectWise offerings, Automate and Control, which enable us to access customer devices and check for alerts on that device without ever leaving the ConnectWise suite.
This is an integral part of the ConnectWise suite of products and deals with remote monitoring and Windows patching and updates. Automate checks for alerts on every device and when an alert is found automatically logs a ticket in Manage for a member of the team to investigate. It also has built in intelligence and in certain cases has the ability to automatically heal issues (such as stopped services) and therefore resolve tickets without any technician intervention. This is all part of our proactive monitoring which allows us fix problems before they develop into more severe ones.
For example, we have set a specific tolerance for hard drives so that, if there’s less than 10% of free space, a ticket gets logged. Our help desk team then contact the affected user to carry out housekeeping or investigate any underlying issues. The net result is that we stop the issue from developing to a state where the hard drive is totally full – meaning the user will be unable to save anything to the disk, and the computer performance will be poor.
Again, integrated into the ConnectWise, Control is our tool for remotely connecting to client devices. It has many great features which including file transfer, remote reboots and the ability to chat with end users while connected to their devices. There’s also a ‘toolbox’ which enables us to quickly launch our favourite system management & troubleshooting apps.
It’s important to note that security is at the heart of this system. All connections are encrypted, and a user must provide consent before we are able to see or control their computer.
Backup, Anti-Virus and Patching monitoring
There are three regular checks we do to catch and prevent issues developing into major problems.
Daily backup checks ensure that the previous day’s backups have been successful. On Monday, we also do weekly checks for backups that run over the weekend. This is important because if something happens to your data and you need to restore from a previous backup, we need to be sure that the backups have completed successfully and we can restore back any lost data.
Anti-Virus checks are run weekly. We use Microsoft Intune and ESET to monitor devices for any threats and log tickets where necessary to deal with problems. Both programs stop viruses before they are executed, however with the ever-increasing amount of malware it is paramount that we know of any potential infections so we can ensure our clients’ IT estates are secure. ConnectWise Automate also has great support and integration for ESET which means we can see all our clients’ devices from a single screen, and any urgent issues are logged as help desk tickets.
Patching checks are also run weekly. Using a combination of Microsoft Intune and Automate we can monitor available Windows updates and ensure we deploy them in a timely manner. Both tools also let us know if any updates fail which enables us to identify & deal with any underlying issues. The recent WannaCry ransomware was able to attack devices so quickly because they were not patched with the latest Windows updates – these were provided by Microsoft months before the threat was released to the world.
A combination of these excellent tools and processes allow us to provide a high level of support and deliver a service to our clients that underpins their businesses.