09 Oct Developing A “Joint Venture For Success” With Network Assessments
Read how one MSP gained her clients’ trust using Rapidfire Tools’ network assessment solutions, fostering a mutual strategy for success
MSP: Binatech System Solutions
Locations: Mississauga and Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; and Williamsville, NY, United States
RapidFire Tools Customer Since: 2012
Modules: Security, Exchange, Reporter
Joan Haworth is the CEO at Binatech System Solutions, a managed services provider supporting clients in the manufacturing, healthcare, law, and construction industries with customized IT solutions and consulting.
Binatech is unique because it works across two countries simultaneously, with headquarters in Canada and the United States. Its clientele includes businesses with anywhere from 10 to 300 users, covering a range of SMB verticals. This includes business such as record companies and trucking companies, with some clients having up to 90 locations.
Joan swears by the RapidFire Tools network assessment solutions, leveraging the Network Detective Security, Exchange and Reporter modules to review, document and report on network activities. As she describes it, Binatech has built a business model around the modules. “We were fortunate to integrate network assessments early in the course of our progression as an MSP,” she says. “It’s made a huge difference in how we do business.”
Viewing a Network Assessment as a Comprehensive Tool
“We originally offered fee-based assessments,” Haworth notes. “We told clients we needed to assess their risks, not for our own benefit, but for them, so we’d have the ability to properly service their network.”
As Binatech applied the tools more frequently, she explains, the staff realized they could use the solutions in other productivity-enhancing ways. “We realized we could use the tools to address and automate many of our monthly and quarterly tasks, as opposed to limiting usage to one-off assessments,” she says. Binatech decided to leverage the tools on a more long-term basis across its entire client community.
“We now use the assessment modules as part of our daily, monthly, and quarterly discovery process,” Joan explains. “It gives our clients a great overview of exactly what’s going on in their networks and what exposure they’ve sustained. It pinpoints things like active directories that have been compromised or unauthorized users lingering on the system.”
Much of the reporting happens automatically. “Network Detective Reporter runs the assessment for us on a scheduled basis. All we do is download the reports and our technicians review what needs to be done,” Haworth explains. For example, as per the tools’ reporting, Binatech completes tasks such as deleting inactive accounts and identifying any “holes” or vulnerabilities in the network ports.
Haworth tells clients that without detailed, ongoing reporting, her company simply wouldn’t be able to do a superior job of protecting their networks in real time. “That’s our job, to protect their networks. That’s how we justified ongoing assessments as a basic requirement. I need to be in a joint venture with my clients when it comes to protecting them,” she says. “RapidFire Tools allows us to create that partnership.”
Rather than being met with resistance, her stance on assessments fostered a new level of confidence. “Clients came to understand. The network view produced by these tools is essential in order for us to function as the IT advisor they need and deserve,” she continued. “When end-users review the risk assessment reports, it instills trust in us, because they can plainly see the work we need to conduct on a monthly or even a daily basis. After that, clients typically want to go forward with remediation, and they’re thankful that we’re diligent enough to identify their issues.”
If It’s Not In The Report, It Didn’t Happen
The truth, she asserts, is that she isn’t enthusiastic about taking on clients who don’t understand the necessity of network assessments — their purposes won’t be aligned. “Sometimes it’s difficult to convince small businesses to make IT a priority. They’re focused on making their widgets, not securing their networks.” However, with tools like the Network Detective modules, clients can more easily comprehend the intricacies of how an MSP keeps their network up and running.
“This is vital,” Haworth explains, “because if their system goes down, they lose money.” That, clients readily understand.
Joan calls RapidFire Tools’ technology a “hidden gem” that “helps in the delivery of everything we do. I can’t deliver quality services unless my customers’ networks are stable and secure. We wouldn’t have experienced the success that we’ve had without these reporting capabilities. In fact, there’s a joke we share in our offices when we’re exploring an issue. We ask, ‘Is it in the RapidFire Tools report? If it’s not, then it didn’t happen.’”