For security service providers, or resellers wanting to break into the MSP space, there is a double challenge at hand: selecting solutions whose performance will delight their customers, yet that are easy enough to “drive” on a day-to-day basis to prevent margins being eaten away by costly management overheads.
This is why the appearance of AppRiver’s Nautical platform has set our antennae a-twitching. It promises a unified management console that enables service providers to deliver and manage a raft of cloud-based security solutions from one place, without the profit-sapping expense.
Here are just a few ways in which that could benefit service providers and their business.
The business benefits of Nautical, (1): Devolved management
Managing everything from under a “single pane of glass” is a seductive sell, but (I hear you say) doesn’t that just make for a crammed and complex window onto your world, which in turn drives management and admin costs up?
But Nautical turns this on its head, by enabling role-based interaction, so that different users each have different views of what is under the pane and can exercise different levels of control over it – and this includes the end-users themselves.
In this way, management workflows are made more targeted and efficient, but also flexibly devolved to customers where possible - taking even more of the admin burden off the service provider’s desk.
The business benefits of Nautical, (2): Easy upscaling
Theoretically, cloud-delivered services can easily scale up to meet the needs of increasing numbers of end-users, thus supporting service providers’ revenue growth.
But critical to this process is the ease with which those new users can actually be brought on board. All the cloud service capacity in the world is no money-spinner if it is difficult, time-consuming and costly to connect users to it.
One of the killer new features in Nautical is a configurable user account management function that enables new users to be brought on board, and the overall user count to be increased, very easily.
Previously, this would have entailed multiple workflows in multiple environments; using Nautical, however, it is now a far simpler (and therefore cheaper) process.
The business benefits of Nautical, (3): App-style agility and healthchecks
To go back to a previous point, bringing on additional users also inevitably drives demand for more products and services. Any service provider that delivers on the first point but not the second is painting themselves into a corner.
Nautical, however, makes it possible for both service providers and their customers to add and integrate new products and services with the kind of pick-and-mix agility you’d expect from something like an app store.
But (I again hear you ask) doesn’t that, in itself, create another management challenge – namely, monitoring all those disparate products and services without excessive (and expensive) manual intervention?
Here, too, Nautical comes up with the goods, thanks to its cross-product diagnostics that deliver a single, regular, unified application healthcheck to service providers’ customers and all the solutions they’re using.
What else should you know about Nautical?
Nautical has been described as “an entire channel programme in one portal”, but what’s really striking is that this deep integration across all aspects of security service provision comes at no charge.
Nautical simply becomes automatically available when a service provider chooses to deliver AppRiver’s security solutions – including anti-spam / anti-virus, web protection, email encryption, Exchange and mailbox protection – and this of course covers existing AppRiver service providers, too.
All in all, Nautical takes the hard work out of delivering MSP services that can really boost service providers’ bottom line, by making all business activities manageable from one place.
Now that really is something you should know.