Today is an important moment: we proudly present Workspace 3.0 and our new corporate identity. Since 2010 we have been boosting people by simplifying work with an adaptive workspace. In the past year, our partner network has grown to nearly 100 global partners and the development of the digital workplace was accelerated. With the help of partners, we discovered people’s need to focus on their work through a workspace where they have all their applications, communication and information available at one glance. To meet these wishes, we are launching Workspace 3.0 today.

Simplify work with Workspace 365

With the Simplify package, we simplify the most used document solutions, access and management of applications and we increase the use of modern communication tools.

Office 365 and documents simplification

People often experience the use of Office 365 and SharePoint as difficult. The switch to OneDrive and SharePoint is a major transition for people who have been using the file explorer for twenty years. Besides that, people experience the online versions as confusing, because of the differences in visual representation. In our Documents App, we have brought both into one overview, so that it’s is clear and people can benefit from the modern functions such as working together in the same document or sharing documents as a shortcut.

Many companies are still committed to their file server. They can integrate this into the Documents App. This way, they can use the local and online Office editors and have secure access to their documents from everywhere. To simplify the use, we have merged the file server, OneDrive and SharePoint in the Workspace 365 Documents App, which makes it easy to copy or move files between solutions.

With the Email App (linked to Office 365 / Exchange) you integrate your emails in the digital workspace, send emails easily and mark emails with a flag quickly. Consequently, your emails are available from any device, without having to install an app first.

Collaboration and communication

It is important that you focus on your main activities, but for successful collaboration, communication with colleagues is important as well. That is why we have integrated many social and informative tiles into the workspace, to bring the strongest elements of an intranet to your workspace.

Within Simplify, your personal and organisational contacts are available through the Contact Book. Email, call or navigate easily to the person you need.

How often do you or your colleagues look for information in different locations? To prevent such searches, we bring all information from these sources together in the digital workspace. With the Web Content Live Tile, for instance, you have infinite possibilities to adapt the workspace to your wishes. You can easily integrate YouTube or Vimeo videos, weather widgets, external news or data sources and much more.

One of the tools for improving collaboration is Yammer, a social network for companies which is aimed at large groups. It allows you to post short messages to which colleagues (or invited external parties, such as partners, customers or freelancers) can respond. The messages are also visible to people you might not have thought could help you with your question. There is also a Microsoft Teams tile for smaller groups of people who work closely together and therefore have to communicate swiftly with each other.

      

User and App Management

How cool is it if you have all the applications and information you need on a first working day, with one login? With the Shared Tile Groups in Workspace 365, you (as a manager) offer preset applications to certain groups of people. You create a group, such as “Marketing”, and link applications to it. If a new person joins the Marketing group, he or she will automatically see these applications, without having to install anything. All applications are immediately available with Single Sign-On in the digital workplace. By synchronising with the Azure Active Directory, the management of all users and groups remains centrally in one location and they are all available in Workspace 365.

Single Sign-On

Imagine you work at a healthcare institution where they work with twelve different applications. You have to log in again for each application. Besides that, you have to remember multiple passwords, which means there is a big chance that you will forget one or more. This is of course time consuming and not efficient. With the Simplify package, you can use Single Sign-On, which allows you to log in once and get access to all your applications and information.

Adapt: always relevant information and applications

The Adapt licence contains everything from the Simplify package and in addition, a number of functionalities have been added. The workspace now automatically adapts to people’s role, location, device, browser and more. Because of this, you do not have everything everywhere, but all the relevant applications at the right time.

Remote applications via Clientless RDP or Citrix Virtual Apps

With the help of Clientless RDP you no longer have to install a client first, log in multiple times or endlessly search for your application in different locations. In Workspace 365 you only see the applications that are relevant to you and you open Remote Applications in the browser from any device, without having to install anything first and without an additional login. This saves you a lot of extra time and frustration.

Companies that have already invested in Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (formerly Citrix XenApp) can integrate this into the workspace from the Adapt licence. Workspace 365 is officially Citrix Ready and allows you to reach all applications with one login from any device. You have the choice between opening applications in the browser or via the Citrix client.

Premium User and App Management

Of course it is convenient to have access to many different applications, but it is messy and unclear to have all the applications of your organisation available on every device. This gives you so many options to work with, that it is difficult to find the right one. With Premium User and App Management, we ensure that people receive relevant information and applications at the right time.

Conditional Access makes it possible to adapt the workspace to a person’s role, location, device and browser. Admins can set conditions for reaching an application to prevent people from opening information and applications on specific devices, browsers, operating systems, or networks. With this, you can hide applications with sensitive information outside of the office network or you can help people by offering the right application for their device.

We also want to make work easier for admins. That is why you can delegate management by setting up different owners with rights for a specific group in the organisation. This way, you can give managers, team leaders or teachers more control over specific applications and shared tile groups by making them owner. Consequently, team leaders can add applications to shared tile groups for their colleagues without waiting for the lead admin.

Improve communication with the Announcement Center

Adapt has the Announcement Center as an addition to the social and informative tiles. Here you (as an administrator) can send pop-up messages that users see when they open the workspace. This is useful for sharing short (informative) messages, such as a reminder to communicate your working hours or just to say that there’s cake, ready to eat in the canteen.

Boost your people

Are you ready to boost your business? The Boost licence naturally includes everything from Simplify and Adapt, plus possibilities to integrate even more information and actions into Workspace 365.

Extended Live Tile Integrations

With Extended Live Tile Integrations, you integrate third-party applications into your digital workspace. For example, you can show support tickets from Connectwise or TOPdesk in the workspace and prevent people from having to log in and look for it in a separate system. Apart from that, we are constantly working on new integrations to show information from other systems in the workspace. It will become possible to perform actions in the workspace that directly link to the applications. For example, you can immediately create a support ticket from the workspace without first opening an additional program.

With Boost you can also use the Business Apps. Business Apps are available for every business process, such as projects, quotations, days off and much more. By linking this to other software packages within your company, everyone can easily enter and look up information from any device. Visualise the data from the Business Apps and see for example what the current turnover is, how many vacation days you have left and the number of completed activities.

Boost people by simplifying work with an adaptive workspace

Our goal is to help people by removing IT restrictions. Do you want more information about the prices and all functionalities of the digital workspace Workspace 365? Do not hesitate to contact us or view our price page.

Do you want to give Workspace 365 a try? Then try the free demo to see what your workspace can look like.

 

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Renate Geurtjens

Renate Geurtjens

Storyteller

Do you have questions about Workspace 365 or do you want to become partner? Contact us!

95% of Managed Service Provider (MSP) customers have switched MSPs when unhappy with the service they received. Meeting customer needs and expectations is therefore crucial to MSPs, though the expectations of IT leaders have changed. MSPs are no longer solely a vendor of IT products and services, but have become important business partners to organisations. The role of MSPs is changing. One of the reasons for this changing role, are their customers’ changing expectations.

The role of IT in organisations has changed as well – basically every organisation relies on it to some degree, and many of them heavily do. Organisations are transforming into digital businesses that move quickly and agilely, implementing technologies into all aspects of the organisation to deliver optimal value to their customers.

This changes what the IT leaders of these organisations need from their MSP, as they need to contribute to achieving organisational goals, realising growth and enabling innovation – thus, a critical role.

The extra mile has become the new standard

Many MSPs have already adapted to this, creating new expectations for others to uphold. What many MSPs have marketed before as ‘going the extra mile’-services, have now turned into expectations – the new standard. And meeting these needs is vital for the success of an MSP.

So, what do IT leaders expect from their Managed Service Provider?

  • In-depth expertise and skills
  • Extensive knowledge of the market & customer
  • Custom(ised) services and solutions
  • A transparent partnership
  • Great attention to security & compliance
  • Adaptive methodology and mindset
  • Around-the-clock availability
  • Adding additional resource management value

Expectation 1: In-depth expertise and skills

Let’s start with an obvious one, because one of the most important reasons to outsource anything is to utilise external expertise, or capacity you may not have internally.

But nowadays, this goes beyond purely the knowledge of the technological systems the MSP implements and manages. The workings of the partnership between an organisation and their MSP are changing and shifting more and more towards an extension of the own IT department, instead of an entire department that operates separately, externally. And just as you would want to hire the best people for your IT department, IT leaders are getting more critical about who they’re getting into bed with.

Having a fixed offering of services and products and being good at offering it is no longer enough. IT leaders expect expertise on multiple levels and multiple technologies, and for their MSP to be informed on the latest developments. More and more it’s expected that the skills are there to not only find and implement new solutions, but especially developed and customise them for the customer as well.

What does this mean for an MSP?

These high expectations regarding the knowledge and skillset, require a special kind of mindset from the MSP. They can’t rely on solely having and hiring people with knowledge of existing technologies anymore. They need to develop a culture that embraces learning, creation and innovation, and an open mind.

This could implicate that MSPs will expand their business externally as well, building networks and making more use of external knowledge and talent around the globe, to expand their learning capacity and “crowdsource” knowledge for their customers.

Expectation 2: Extensive knowledge of the market & customer

Each company has a different culture, challenges, internal technological skills, and a different way to operate. And the market in which the company operates, is different from all other markets as well.

Today, IT leaders expect MSPs to (get to) know all of these aspects that makes their market, and their company, unique. Before even partnering with an MSP, many require them to be experienced with the current state and developments in their industry. They need to know what’s going on; the state of IT in their specific market. As Sriram Thiagarajan, CIO of Ancestry said in an article by TechTarget:

“We need to keep up with things as they change, and we’re relying on [the MSP’s] knowledge and skills as the industry moves ahead”.

And during the partnership, the MSP should always stay informed on the goings-on in their customers’ organisation.

What does this mean for an MSP?

MSPs need to look outside their own organisation and market, and into those of their customers. This probably means that some investment in market research and acquiring market insights is required.

Furthermore, time needs to be invested in getting to know the organisation and needs of customers. Not just beforehand, but building a relationship to continually stay informed.

Another way to go about this, is by specialising in specific markets. You can see already see many MSPs reacting to this expectation in this manner. Some specialise departments, others their entire business, to completely focus on specific verticals and completely immerse themselves in their market, in order to cater to them as well as possible.

Expectation 3: Custom(ised) services and solutions

You know the technology and solutions. You know the customer, and the market it operates in. Now make sure that those elements are perfectly aligned.

MSP customers expect that their unique needs are a priority. A selection of standard product and service packages won’t cut it; the deep understanding we talked about earlier needs to be put into action. They do not only expect the best, but it should also be tailored to their organisation, their goals, their processes and their challenges. Whether that’s achieved by creating an ultimate mix of different technologies and services, customising them to align to the organisation perfectly, or developing something new – or all of the above.

What does this mean for an MSP?

You can’t just get by offering the same products and services to every customer. There should be a great focus on the possibility for customisation, and on a flexible mindset. Don’t just rely on what’s already there, but on what could be there as well. If a customer needs something you don’t currently offer, they expect you to find it for them (or even develop it), or they’ll take their business to someone who does.

In order to do so, we already see mergers between many MSPs to create a larger knowledge base over a greater variety of verticals and technologies, and expand their offerings. Though another way would be to get this expertise externally, and partner with other organisations to for instance obtain the developing power to build custom solutions or expand the product range.

Furthermore, it’s recommendable for MSPs to focus on offering highly adaptable solutions from vendors that constantly innovate and collaborate on their solution, such as Workspace 365.

Expectation 4: A transparent partnership

With IT being such a crucial part of any organisation, IT leaders are not going to just ‘let go’ of everything the MSP manages and just trust it will be fine. Not only do MSPs have to earn that trust, they have to prove it as well.

IT leaders don’t just want to hear everything is going great – they want to see it. They want to know what the MSP is doing, about the states of their systems, and what the results of their efforts are. That’s why more and more IT leaders are asking for tangible ‘evidence’ of the MSPs performance, most preferably though data.

What does this mean for an MSP?

MSPs have to have a good overview of what they’re doing for a specific customer – and why, in order to explain why they made certain decisions and do things a certain way, if asked. Systems must be in place to track the results of their efforts.

This requires both good internal and external communication. First of all, it’s best if the customer has one point of contact within the MSP, with whom they deal with every time and who keeps track of the customers’ projects, satisfaction, etcetera; an Account Manager, for example.

Secondly, efficient internal communication needs to happen at the MSP, to make sure that such an Account Manager is completely up to speed, and all this tracked information from different people and departments is collected, united, organised, accessible and ready to be shared with the customer.

Expectation 5: Great attention to security & compliance

You could call cybersecurity a ‘hot topic’, though the truth is that it’ll probably never cool down. In this digital age, technology is everywhere, hackers are getting smarter and privacy and data regulations are getting stricter. The security of an organisation’s systems is vital – often even to its survival, since data breaches and hacked systems can have dire consequences.

With more and more organisations integrating technology into every aspect of their business, this security has also become more complicated. Increased security concerns is one of the top reasons for IT budget increases in 2021. That’s why security demands are one of the leading reasons companies seek out MSPs, with Managed Security Services taking the number 4 spot in Managed Services spend. Companies expect MSPs to support them in creating an advanced cybersecurity strategy, effectively maintaining it, while giving clear insight into how and where their data is being stored.

What does this mean for an MSP?

Every MSP should have in-house expertise on cybersecurity. The expertise to seek out the right systems and solutions, the expertise to monitor them, and the expertise to advise their customer on how to keep their digital business safe.

Furthermore, as we discussed earlier, the MSP of today is a business partner, not just a supplier. This could mean that companies will increasingly expect them not to only provide and monitor systems, but to assist in coaching and training employees on cybersecurity as well. This entails that MSPs should not only have the in-house expertise to implement, monitor and advise, but also to transfer this knowledge to others.

Also, with security threats coming from around the globe and hackers not working nine to five, neither should you. If security threats of breaches to occur, MSPs can’t just wait until office hours start again to fix them. We’ll get further into this around-the-clock availability later on in this article.

Expectation 6: Adaptive methodology and mindset

The market and consumer expectations change rapidly. Organisations need to be more agile than ever to keep up or stay ahead. What works today, may not enable you to win tomorrow. In order for an MSP to become a long-term business partner, they need to do the same.

Therefore, there’s a growing need for continuous improvement and innovation. MSPs should both enable this, and embrace this in their own business as well. MSPs are now expected to continuously innovate, improve their products and services and search for the new and the best. They should proactively anticipate developments and contribute ideas, instead of just making changes when asked and lagging behind events. As Rajeev Ronanki, Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer of Anthem said in an article by TechTarget:

“Agility drives everything for us, and we work to ensure the MSPs fit into that model. They need to be adaptive”.

What does this mean for an MSP?

In order to cater to digital businesses, MSPs need to become digital businesses themselves. Contradictive to what some may think, being in the business of digital does not a digital business make; it’s so much more than that.

It’s about innovating and failing quickly, and learning from failures. It’s about letting everyone in the organisation contribute ideas, and encouraging learning and development. It’s about using technology in every possible aspect of the business, in order to improve all business processes, facilitating efficient collaboration and to stay ahead of the curve.

Want to know more about becoming a digital business? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Digital Transformation.

Workspace 365 Ultimate guide to digital transformation

Expectation 7: Around-the-clock availability

As mentioned before, hackers won’t wait for office hours. And neither will system failures, downtimes, crashes and other calamities.

Companies hire MSPs to make sure their systems are being taken care of. All the time. So when problems occur, they expect their MSP to be fully committed to resolving them and restoring systems – whether it’s 9 A.M. or 9 P.M.

What does this mean for an MSP?

“Not a nine to five mentality” just got a lot more meaningful. Leaving the office at the end of the day with nothing other than an answering machine for calls until the next morning is not done. As an MSP you hold a big responsibility to your customers and their business, and you’ve reassured them their IT was in good hands with you. Now make sure it is. There should always be an after-hours (emergency) service available, with people ready to fix any occurring problems.

Expectation 8: Adding additional resource management value

IT is more than just systems to help people do their work; the role of IT is so much bigger now. It’s there to streamline processes, increase productivity, improve information- and data sharing, you name it.

Something all those things have in common, is that they free up time, money and manpower to spend on important matters: the things that add value to the business, such as creation and innovation. In fact, a survey by Apps Associates showed that 86% of IT decision-makers said that an MSP partnership would permit IT to focus on critical corporate initiatives.

As a business partner, MSPs are expected to actively contribute to freeing up these resources. To spot processes that can be done more effectively, data that can flow more freely, and advise and implement IT to realise this.

What does this mean for an MSP?

MSPs need to get more involved with their customers’ business than ever before. You should no longer just be an expert in IT, but an expert on how IT can improve one’s business too. Besides technology, MSPs need to elaborate on strategy as well. Expanding the range of services and expertise, and offering a more holistic approach and partnership to their customer.

Final thoughts

Many Managed Service Providers need to drastically rethink the way they offer their products and services, in order to meet expectations. Their customer is no longer just that, but they’ve become long-term partners that expect a two-way street of collaboration and knowledge sharing. In order to accommodate this, MSPs need to transform and embrace the new way of doing business.

Are you an MSP and are you curious about how Workspace 365 can enhance your workspace proposition? Request a partnership program.

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