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N-able Technologies’ new N-Compass reporting tool delivers customizable reports, so managed service providers can demonstrate why they no longer feel the pain of downtime or service calls.

The reporting tool and similar means from N-able’s competitors are crucial to MSPs trying to remind clients who no longer see their VAR’s engineers tinkering in the server closet or volumes of break-fix responses to demonstrate the service provider’s value.

“It’s ironic. Before when you were doing it break-fix, they saw engineers fixing things, they knew they had called you for this or that, it was clear what they were paying for,” said Mike Semel, vice president of Business Continuity and Compliance Services at Connecting Point Technology Center, Las Vegas, a VAR with about 15 MSP customers.

“Now with the ability to do remotely, they don’t see us,” he said. “And with the ability to be proactive, they never even notice something was done. They don’t see you until it comes time to renew the contract and they ask, ‘Where’s the value? Where’s the love?’”

Reporting tools and a constant, thorough approach to reporting the MSP service provided, gives VARs the chance to demonstrate that value long before the issue comes up, said Semel and Ron Cook, Connecting Point’s chairman and CEO.

“At the end of the day, customers want to know what you’ve done for them and why they are paying you,” Cook said.

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“That’s why it’s critical to constantly communicate with your client and explain the financial benefits your services bring to the table. N-compass will make it easier for us to show how our proactive services far exceed the reactive services customers were paying for in the past. It’s a measurable point of ROI that will help us address the individual hot buttons of our clients.”

Built on Microsoft Server and the Microsoft Reporting Services engine, N-Compass makes it simpler for MSPs to log and present network events and services provided, according to N-able product specifications.

But demonstrating the ROI is more than just pulling numbers from a report, Semel said.

At Connecting Point, the staff assembles a report, typically 40 pages of network events and services, customized using N-able’s current reporting capability and other means, but the message is always delivered by a sales representative, he said.

“It’s more than just understanding what the numbers mean, it’s understanding what they mean for the business,” he said.

“It’s one thing to say, we blocked this and that because we updated the [anti-virus] patch, it’s another thing to explain that under the old system that might have cost a company with 100 users earning $10 an hour…$8,000 if they were down all day. Not to mention a law firm that bills at $200 to $300 an hour or an architect that misses a deadline. That’s the kind of message that must be delivered in person.”