In an effort to stay competitive, small businesses today are turning to managed service providers (MSPs) to help them improve their efficiency, profitability, and expand their business goals through advanced, cloud-based IT security, remote management, and licensing services.
Located on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, Shoshin Technologies is an MSP that works with municipalities and small businesses in the region, including attorney offices, police departments, engineering firms, and vacation rentals. Founded in 2000, Shoshin provides technology-as-a-service for both hardware and software support.
A Trend Micro partner since 2007, Shoshin initially used Trend Micro™ Worry-Free Business Security to protect its customers’ IT environments. In 2013, Shoshin upgraded to Trend Micro’s cloud-based Trend Micro™ Worry-Free Business Security Services along with Licensing Management Platform and Trend Micro™ Worry-Free Remote Manager to accommodate the needs of their growing customer base.
Shoshin provides proactive remote monitoring, 24-hour maintenance and live help desk support to Outer Banks and eastern North Carolina businesses, so it’s important that the services it provides can be delivered and managed remotely. Shoshin was, however, experiencing several issues involving the delivery and management of its security licensing process.
Shoshin’s original licensing method required its customers to purchase a minimum of two annual licenses at a time, even though many only needed a single license. “We service lots of small businesses who typically add one employee at a time, so we couldn’t expect our customers to pay for a license they didn’t need,” said Mica White, Technical manager, Shoshin Technologies.
Another challenge was the lack of integration between licensing and ConnectWise PSA, the professional services automation platform Shoshin uses for help desk and service management. With 70 businesses on the ConnectWise platform, Shoshin had no central management for their licensing renewal process. “Manual licensing management was complicated and time consuming,” said White. “We needed to automate the process and provide a better licensing service.”
Without central licensing management, Shoshin struggled to keep an accurate count of licenses and track renewals. This made it difficult for their sales team to understand a customer’s current licensing status, which might include expired or unused licenses.
“If a client’s device died, and we replaced it – one of our processes was for our technician to remove the license from the Trend Micro Console and install it on the new device to ensure the clients wouldn’t be billed for unnecessary licenses,” said White.
“Customer retention is a big deal for us because we work solely with local businesses. By automating our licensing services, we’ve improved customer satisfaction and strengthened our relationships.”
Technical manager, Shoshin Technologies
To solve their licensing issues, Shoshin turned to Trend Micro’s Licensing Management Platform and Worry-Free Remote Manager, which integrate seamlessly with Worry-Free Business Security Services. With the Licensing Management Platform, Shoshin operates an automated licensing management console with flexible renewal capabilities, so clients can purchase a single license and choose monthly billing options.
Trend Micro’s Licensing Management Platform also integrates with licensing agreements in ConnectWise PSA to automate the billing process for customers. “We now have the luxury to offer a range of licensing contracts, which gives our customers the freedom to choose a plan that best fits their needs,” says White.
In addition to the new licensing solution, Shoshin uses Worry-Free Remote Manager’s cloud-based management capabilities to remotely monitor customer security and provide detailed activity reports. The solution integrates with ConnectWise and the Licensing Management Platform to provide a fully integrated solution for licensing, managing, and monitoring their clients’ security status. “The time savings we’ve experienced by switching from manual to cloud-based management have been exceptional,” says White. “Our ability to monitor our customers from a single console has driven down costs as well.”
The upgrade to the cloud-based Worry-Free Business Security Services now allows Shoshin to easily protect its customers from zero day attacks, spyware, spam, virus, and phishing threats. Shoshin uses the solution’s reporting capabilities to gain a greater understanding of the threat landscape, and uses its content and URL filtering to provide another layer of protection. “Moving our security services to the cloud allows us to provide our customers with advanced security that we can monitor and manage with the push of a button,” says White.
“Trend Micro’s Licensing Management Platform has helped us to simplify the security license process. It’s a thousand times better than our prior method.”
Technical manager, Shoshin Technologies