cloud computing

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Augmentt has launched a platform that makes it simpler for managed service providers (MSPs) to manage software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications on behalf of multiple customers.

The Augmentt Engage platform provides MSPs with a single console through which they can identify, manage and secure all the SaaS applications strewn across an IT environment, says Augmentt CEO Derk Belair.

Designed to be integrated with existing professional service automation (PSA) platforms and remote management and monitoring (RMM) tools, Belair says Augmentt Engage in its initial iteration supports Microsoft 365 applications. Support for additional applications will be added in the weeks and months ahead, adds Belair. “The opportunity for MSPs will be a mile wide,” he says.

Previously, Augmentt has made available a SaaS application discovery tool for MSPs along with an online learning platform through which it provides training for MSPs. The company also provides white-labeled supplemental services for MSPs that require additional assistance setting up their SaaS Services practice or SaaS Operation Center. There’s also an Augmentt Accelerator program that provides MSPs with an unlimited number of Essential licenses to perform SaaS audits and upsell services.

SaaS Ops Help

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, reliance on SaaS application platforms has increased dramatically. Many organizations, however, lack SaaS operations expertise required to manage all these applications, Augmentt Engage is designed to enable MSPs to build a practice around managing SaaS applications on behalf of those customers, notes Belair.

It’s not clear to what degree organizations are willing to rely on MSPs for help here, but with many employees continuing to work from home more often even after the pandemic subsides, many organizations have come to realize they don’t need to necessarily expand, or in some cases even have, an internal IT team as more workloads move to the cloud.

About 20% of IT is Managed by MSPs

It makes little difference if the IT personnel managing cloud applications on their behalf are working remotely for them or for an external service provider. Historically, the percentage of IT that has been managed by MSPs never got much beyond the 20% mark. However, in the post COVID-19 era that percentage could be considerably higher.

It’s also worth noting that with each passing day, those SaaS application environments are becoming more complex. Organizations now routinely make use of no-code tools to build custom applications that extend the core SaaS application provided by an IT vendor. As the number of applications deployed on a SaaS platform increases, so too does the management challenge.

In fact, Belair notes that it’s now only a matter of time before organizations that have embraced SaaS platforms also find themselves running afoul of any number of compliance regulations that were overlooked in the rush to enable employees to work from home.

MSPs, of course, are no strangers to managing SaaS application environments. The real challenge is finding a way to centralize the management of a diverse range of SaaS applications in a way that ultimately drives the cost of managing all those platforms down to the point where the MSP can make a worthwhile profit.