GSDSolutions was founded with the belief that outstanding IT services are not a commodity, but a rarity, and someone needed to change that. Since their founding, they have been focused on being a different kind of MSP – one that minimizes overhead, pushes everything to the cloud, and passes those savings on to clients. “When you have a lot of overhead, you have to constantly be adding new clients. If sales slowdown, you need to squeeze your existing customers for more revenue. Customers feel that pressure and resent it. We didn’t want to go down that path, so we run as lean as possible – no office space, no HR, outsourced accounting,” explains Mark Andres, Director of IT Services at GSD Solutions.
Lean operations and a focus on delivering value differently from other MSPs are core to how GSDSolutions does business. “I’ve worked at shops running Connectwise, Kaseya, and Solarwinds. Everybody follows that path and provides cookie cutter services. When you’re running one of these legacy RMMs, you need a dedicated technician whose only job it is to manage that tool. That’s cost that we just don’t want to pass on to clients,” says Mark.
When Mark joined co-founders Scott Davison and Danny Cota at GSDSolutions he took charge of the business’s technology stack, technicians, client onboardings, and large client business meetings. With such a breadth of responsibility, Mark wanted tools that would manage themselves so he could focus on higher-value activities.
At the time, GSD Solutions was using Atera as their RMM. “One of our founders already had his clients on Atera, but we knew from the start it wouldn’t meet our needs in the long run,” says Mark. GSD needed an RMM that offered fast, reliable remote control, consistent patch management, clear documentation and support, and tools to remotely manage clients without interrupting them. “Our biggest challenge with Atera was their remote-control integration – we ended up purchasing Splashtop directly, rolling it out with scripts, and managing it outside the platform. We use remote control all the time, so this wasn’t a tenable solution. Add to this their minimal documentation, poor support, and basic patching, and Atera just didn’t fit our needs,” says Mark.
Even though they were planning on switching RMMs, Mark did add IT Glue to their technology stack. “IT Glue really is the gold standard in documentation,” he says. “I was at the GlueX conference and had just begun my search for our permanent RMM when I learned about Ninja. I saw a demo on site and scheduled time for Ninja to walk my team through the platform.”
“I ultimately decided on Ninja for a few reasons,” says Mark. “Ninja gives us all the tools and functionality we need, its fast and easy to onboard new clients, the platform saves me time, and it helps us keep clients compliant.”
Patch management and remote control are two of the most important capabilities an RMM provides, according to Mark. “From a functionality perspective, patch management is really easy to setup and automate – and it really just works. Ninja’s remote-control integrations are fast and reliable. The remote tools – like the remote command line / PowerShell tool, file explorer, and task manger make fixing issues easy without interrupting end users.” While other features like monitoring and alerting are nice to have, patching and remote control are critical to GSDSolutions’ business outcomes.
When setting up a new client, the GSDSolutions team only has to fill out a couple of fields before they can start deploying agents. “It’s really important to me that we can completely setup a new client quickly,” says Mark. “With Ninja, I can create a new organization, make a few minor adjustments, assign a few policies, and be good to go. For a standard client, this could take as little as five minutes.” When clients have unique needs or requirements, Mark is able to create a new policy specific to the client just as quickly.
Saving time through automation is the ultimate promise of an RMM. GSDSolutions leverages Ninja’s automation to drive down recurring tickets, setup new client devices, and save time on repetitive tasks. One of Mark’s clients utilizes a line of business application that tracks printing so it can be charged back to their clients. If the program crashes, end-users cannot print, but also get no warning. This is a critical application for the business that was causing a lot of pain and tickets. “We setup a condition in Ninja that notifies us if the process stops then triggers an automation to restart the process. We were able to reduce printing-related tickets from that client by 90%. Once we had done that, we rolled out the same type of condition and trigger to our clients using Google File Stream, Egnyte, and other solutions.” Mark also works with clients to identify the common applications their users will need and adds software deployment bundles to client policies to automatically setup new computers when a new device is onboarded. “Ninja does a lot of work for us – from software deployment and patching to basic remediation – giving my technicians time to work on complex tasks for clients,” says Mark.
GSDSolutions manages IT for clients in the financial services and healthcare industries who have specific compliance requirements they need to meet. These clients have written security policies that Mark and his team operationalize and institute via Ninja. “Ninja makes it easy to implement our clients’ compliance policies, whether they are patching, password complexity, or security configuration requirements. Best of all, Ninja makes it easy to report on compliance levels to our clients,” says Mark.
“GSDSolutions has always been focused on providing a high level of service to our clients and their end users. The more we’re able to identify issues, fix them quickly, and avoid interrupting users, the more our clients are happy with our services. Ninja helps us provide exceptional service in our lean environment, without the need to hire an RMM manager.”