A Quarterly Business Review (QBR) is a vital piece of any Managed Service Agreement. Scheduled with regular cadence, designed to provide specific insight into your computing environment and tell you about any trends that may be affecting your company’s productivity. A properly conducted QBR should inform a business owner about the health of their technology engine.
When you lift the hood on your QBR there should be some common parts that you will want to know are functioning properly. Let’s walk through 6 key components of a QBR and what they can do for you.
This is a seemingly obvious report to look at because you need to know that all your servers and workstations are covered and that your solution—whatever it may be—is installed properly on every machine in your environment. The second concern: have all machines downloaded current virus definitions or are any machines not properly updated? Last on this list would be the identification of any machines that may have been infected where remediation or quarantine was employed to keep your environment safe as well as any accompanying information on the circumstances around which remediation or quarantine was necessary.
Asset Summary/System Warranty Status
Another obvious necessity, but this report should give a business owner a look into their environment by detailing every machine that their Managed Service Provider (MSP) is monitoring. Perhaps this report details each machine’s age, its CPU/MEM/HD Utilization and whether it is currently under any type of hardware warranty. These reports are very important to support future decision making such as creating a budget for replacement. If you have Servers or Workstations that are showing high utilization for CPU/MEM/HD, then you can make decisions to replace or upgrade the components. This is critical to maintain top levels of productivity for your workforce.
While every provider is different, this is a service your provider should be performing to support your business. Not only can a properly configured network monitor tell you about bandwidth utilization and alerts on your network devices, it can also allow your provider to more quickly find and resolve issues. So, I hope we agree that this is an important service, and something you should consider reviewing with your provider to gain a better understanding of your environment.
With today’s security environment, it is more important than ever to ensure that patching is performed regularly, and every system is kept up to date. A typical report will detail the level of patching that has either been done or needs to be done. This is a great window for a business owner to see if their Managed Services Provider is doing the job they are being paid to do. An unpatched machine represents a security vulnerability that can be exploited, and this type of vulnerability is dangerous for any business.
Every quarter there is some number of trouble tickets created by users or your provider’s Remote Monitoring & Management (RMM) tool if they are doing proactive ticket work for your business. The shear number of tickets tells a story, and the lower the number, the better the story. If the ticket number is high, you and your provider need to ask, “why?”. Your provider should be able to answer this question and suggest what can be done to increase worker productivity and overall satisfaction with a business’ technology.
Ticket Sub Types
These details are the meat and potatoes of the above and will help you identify where your organization is having problems. Is it with simple things like password resets? Is it with productivity-halting items, or printers and scanners not functioning? The ticket sub types allow you to really see where you may need to apply resources or training.
Most Active Users
Every organization is full of users who need help. Some more than others. If you look at your most active users, you can quickly discover the internal stories that make up the challenges your organization faces. We’ve all heard the phrase you’re only as strong as your weakest link, so we should know repeatedly seeing the same names appear on this report can tell us a couple things:
One, you may be funneling all your tickets through one person who screens them before escalating anything to your Managed Service Provider. Seeing this name on the most active user list therefore means nothing because all tickets will come from one user. This individual user can most likely tell you what users are struggling and offer additional details that you cannot get from a report.
Two, you may have an employee who needs help. Help can look like additional training on how to use the software and hardware they’ve been given to do their job, or it can mean they need newer or different hardware to do their job. Most software packages can provide self-paced training for minimal per-user cost, and new software is constantly being upgraded with features and changes, so it is necessary to stay current on all software packages. It is easier to come by hardware today than at any past point in time. In today’s day and age, it is key to pay attention to these two factors because they are at the heart of productivity in the modern workplace.
Quarterly Business Reviews can directly relate to employee satisfaction when your business is running smoothly, and the people driving your business are properly supported. Your MSP should be scheduling and holding QBRs regularly, and including information listed above as part of their service delivery. If they are not providing this type of detail, remember, it’s good to lift the hood. Give us a call and schedule a test drive of PEI’s managed services. You deserve to understand how your business is running.
Darrin LeBlanc, PEI