NAP: The Better Way for MSPs to Manage Customers

February 2nd, 2017
Vadim VladimirskiyFounder & CEO, Nerdio

As Managed Service Providers, your success depends on many factors– delivering superior service, acting quickly without error, an in-depth knowledge of the customer environment, predicting future customer needs – the list could go on. ITaaS platforms with administrative portals can help you get ahead by managing your customers better. Such portals manage the environment, users, and service catalog while automating the provisioning, monitoring, event logging, and documentation of the customers’ virtual deployment.

But with so many ITaaS options competing in the market, what option stands apart from the others? Which one’s going to give you more and help you succeed? Enter Nerdio. It comes with core technologies fully-integrated – VDI, virtual servers, backup and disaster recovery (BDR), SECaas, and the Office 365 suite. MSPs then add their value-added services like migration, strategy, monitoring, tech support, and line of business app support.

Then, the icing on the cake is the Nerdio Admin Portal (NAP) – enabling swift and easy management of your customers’ hosted IT environments. Think of it as your management Swiss Army Knife, condensing all your tools into a single location and giving you a leg up in your ability and knowledge as the broker of services.

NAP doesn’t just take the headache out of IT, it actually makes it a breeze. Clumsy, awkward, and incomplete portals are frighteningly common in this industry, and they can lead to a whole mess of problems– provisioning errors, confusion, lost time due to correction, and sometimes discrepancies in billing. But the NAP is a simple (and oh so elegant) interface, taming the complexity of provisioning and utilizing a consistent interface layout. It’s easy to learn and administer, while providing all the detailed and focused information that you need.

Breaking Down NAP

Let’s take a moment to look at the primary elements of the Nerdio Admin Portal. Within just a few minutes, you’ll see both its simplicity and its power.

There are two levels to the portal for MSPs. First, the Account Homepage, which lets you look quickly at all the customer accounts under your management. And by simply clicking “Login” on a specific account, you’ll reach the second level, where you’ll find the ability to edit and manage the details for any customer.

Account Homepage

The homepage synopsis displays your accounts in active, trial, and expired status, and it also highlights any that are due for renewal within the next 60 days. It’s a handy reminder, serving to trigger you to make contact on those accounts well ahead of their renewal dates.

This module also allows you to choose a customer account to edit, audit, or login to. With one click, you can edit customer info, see which and how many resources a customer is consuming (including overages), and have the ability to login as the administrator.

NAP homepage

Login

Just as easily, you can choose the Login level and access any specific customer account. The following modules provide for quick and complete management of your customer’s environment, along with specific details contained within the log history and audit features.

Within the NAP, you have a three-click ability to quickly access your customer’s environment, ready to perform the common day-to-day management functions with the easiest of interfaces.

Users

The user module (like all parts of the interface) has full search support for easy lookup of any single user. It’s your port into a single user active directory based on parameters like group membership. It brings together Active Directory, VMWare and Office 365, while alleviating issues of shuffling between multiple management systems. One location to manage the user desktop and Office 365 licenses – it just couldn’t be simpler.

Groups

Here you’ll find a hierarchy of users within active directory groups and a simple way to control larger number of users in an organized and easy way. Categorized user management is just a click away, giving you simple and comprehensive management of users and groups – from addition, to retrieval, to deletion.

Servers

With a simple summary at page top, provisioning and server control screens are all within three clicks of the main page, letting you quickly control your users’ environments.

Documentation

A picture is worth a thousand words, right? This module holds a pictorial system architecture diagram of the customers’ Nerdio environment. It’s a great tool for the times when a simple picture can help with understanding.

NAP Documentation

Admin Tools

Here you’ll keep with the spirit of auto provisioning. There’s no need to leave NAP, just click and complete your tasks. Admin contains shortcuts to all the other sites you may need to manage your customers’ IT environment, including:

  • Office 365
  • Firewalls
  • SSL
  • VPN

Billing

Finally, billing can be stress-free! You’re given a clear and transparent invoicing structure with the same simple interface.

The look, feel, and actions within the customer account screens are consistent and logically expanded from the main MSP home screen.  The features not only give you the advantage of fast environment auto-provisioning, but also provide you with the valuable information that helps you better serve your customers.

Logs

You’re easily able to see all activity within any specific customer account you login to. Logs provide all the details needed for quick and easy understanding of what’s going on within the environment.

It’s Really That Easy

In its definition of cloud computing, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) calls the ability to provide “on-demand self-service” an essential characteristic. Basically, the automatic provisioning of computing resources should happen without the need for human interaction with the provider.

With Nerdio, auto-provisioning goes way beyond what the NIST envisioned– automatic provisioning is the very foundation of NAP. And when combined with informational elements of logging history and audit capability, you have a super powerful tool with IT admin responsibilities that are shareable within your organization.

Based on your customers’ industry and certification, they likely have very specific requirements for audit and often have to provide proof of that data – which NAP’s DR module provides.  While NAP’s primary purpose is provisioning and management, the logs and audit functions provide necessary evidence and history of portal activity. So, not only does it help to support your customers’ internal and external audit needs, it also gives you time stamped proof of action.

Stay on Top of It

With Server and user management across all ITaaS components, information on infrastructure, user, and license usage is just a couple clicks away.  Overages are highlighted to bring your attention to both opportunity and issue – all in one convenient simple interface.

Are You Confident?

When it comes to backup and disaster recovery, you should feel confident in execution and result. By using NAP, you’ll know when backups happen, when DR tests are performed, and their final status. The DR testing can be done in one click – and the best part? Completion is under two hours, so it really couldn’t be simpler. All the data is logged automatically, so history is easily accessible.

NAP superhero

Tips on the Fly

To help prevent errors, alert you to critical impact decisions, and remind you of elements and events during provisioning, Nerdio includes video tutorials full of “Superhero Tips.” These bits of advice are just the beginning of NAP’s comprehensive help features, which also include phone, live chat, email, and remote support.

From the central management console to the easy-to-use and easy-to-learn user interface, the Nerdio Admin Portal is about controlling complex customer accounts and environments in a simple way.

NAP is best experienced in either a live demo or through one of our quick video tutorials. Give us a ring today and experience it for yourself.