As we close out 2022, we wish our SkyKick Partners the happiest of holidays!
“MSP’s, System Integrators, resellers, consultants, hosters and telcos of all shapes and sizes form the backbone supporting this massive SMB Economy. You are the unsung heroes of this global economic engine – We should take a moment to recognize and be proud of the work you have done.” –
SkyKick Co-CEO, Todd Schwartz
Security Manager Launch Event 2022
We continue to be impressed by the resiliency and tenacity of Partners everywhere in navigating one of the most volatile and challenging operating environments of our lifetime. Although SMB’s employ nearly 90% of the total global workforce and power over half of global GDP, it ultimately comes down to the trust that customers place in their partners that gives you the competitive advantage to help customers adapt and succeed in an evolving business world. Our commitment to helping you strengthen these trusted relationships inspires us every day to deliver best in class technology that increases customer value at each interaction.
As the technology industry continued to evolve this year, our Partners have had to rapidly adapt their businesses to these changes (including updates in vendor licensing & channel programs). This was in addition to the rampant increase of cybersecurity threats that plagued many SMBs. As part of our mission to help partners be more successful in the cloud, in 2022, SkyKick focused on product innovations that help improve your operational efficiency, strengthen the security-related offerings, and increase revenue-generating services. We look to continue this forward-thinking approach for a strong and successful partnership in 2023 as well!
Helping Partners Be More Successful in the Cloud
SkyKick Cloud Backup
Expanding protection of Microsoft Teams
One of the biggest spikes in Partner support workload has been due to Microsoft Teams adoption and continued data growth concerns with customers. In 2022, Microsoft announced that Teams was used by 270 million users, making it by far the most popular business communication platform. As a result, partners need help with reducing support costs while improving customer satisfaction.
To help partners manage Teams usage boom, SkyKick doubled down and released one of the most complete Backup tools for Teams. In 2022, Microsoft Teams was expanded to include standard and private channel posts and files. This ensures that as more business data moves from traditional collaboration applications into the various components of Microsoft Teams, partners can provide the data protection their customers need and can find and restore that data quickly and easily if deleted, removed, corrupted, or otherwise lost.
To complete the coverage of Microsoft Teams, SkyKick is preparing to launch support for Teams chat in January 2023.
For more information, see SkyKick Cloud Backup enhances protection of Microsoft Teams and Channels content.
Microsoft Teams expanded data protection includes: (A) Microsoft Teams, (B&D) standard and private channels, files (C), posts (E), and private channel membership, Teams Chat (F)
In addition to larger releases like support for Microsoft Teams, Cloud Backup product and engineering teams continued to deliver incremental improvements, resulting in cumulative value to partners.
- Ability to support backup and restore of SharePoint sites as domains change
- Expanded Cloud Backup storage locations to address country and regional requirements. blog link
- Ongoing investment, research, and engineering that has improved overall backup performance.
Security is front and center for our partners and their customers. As we know, remote and hybrid work really took off with the pandemic. Number of users in Microsoft Teams is up 10X in the last 2 years. In a recent study by the US Small Business Association, 88% of small business owners feel their business is vulnerable to a cyber-attack. Partners tell us that security tickets are 21% of the workload on the reactive support desk. And that number is only increasing.
Many of partners are already involved with M365 security. According to Microsoft in 2022, they “processed more than 43 trillion security signals per day, including upwards of 1,200 password attacks per second.” In fact, research indicates that a small 10-person ITSP primarily focused on SMB-relevant workloads like Microsoft 365 could be spending 2,500 hours a year servicing security tickets.
In addition to the customer pressure of delivering reactive security support, ITSPs also see considerable business opportunity in delivering robust security services proactively. These IT Partners can generate as much as 30-50% more recurring revenue from each Microsoft 365 user under management, while creating more differentiation and higher customer satisfaction.
Yet, many partners are frustrated – if not frozen – by the inefficiencies, cost, and complexity in managing their customer’s security in a unified, consistent, and profitable way. With help desk and delivery teams often stretched to a breaking point, many are hamstrung by capacity constraints, re-skilling bottlenecks and technical readiness that is often necessary to offer security services. And most partners lament the economics and margin implications of the reliance on specialized security talent that is expensive and in short supply.
In October 2022, SkyKick expanded our platform with a 4th product, SkyKick Security Manager – a powerful, easy-to-use application to Find, Fix and Automate Microsoft 365 security – purpose-built for MSPs.
With Security Manager, partners can easily discover security risks, vulnerabilities, and opportunities across all customers under management. It transforms millions of security signals into actionable insights through a single pane of glass. The application enables frontline ITSP support staff to easily remediate security issues across all their customers, or to specific customers or users. Security Manager provides out-of-the-box automation and workflows for security alert remediation and data security. The powerful but simple user experience enables this can be accomplished by mainstream staff – with no new hiring, re-skilling or PowerShell expertise required. After issues are fixed, Security Manager provides advanced automation capabilities for partners to monitor, automate and scale and build their security practices. The low-code and no-code customization tools allow partners to drag-and-drop easily and adapt and automate security workflows as they see fit.
To experience Security Manager capabilities firsthand try this self-guided tour and then be sure to schedule a follow-up with a SkyKick Security Expert to determine how best to adopt Security Manager into your technology portfolio and support your customers.
You can also learn more about the release by checking out our virtual on-demand Security Manager Launch Event. We were joined by over 1,000 global partners for an exciting discussion on current security trends and a demo of the new Security Manager!
In 2022 The Cloud Manager team built a ton of new features to make Cloud Manager even easier to use and to pave the way for Security Manager. Command Designer and Workflows were added to make customizing Cloud Manager a breeze and without requiring PowerShell expertise. We doubled down on creating sample commands and solutions to provide partners with even more value. In addition, we added a way to update solutions as needed to take advantage of all the great samples the team is building.
- Creating and editing Workflows in Cloud Manager
- Cloud Manger Solution Updates
- Cloud Manager Command Designer
Microsoft Partner Center Integration
In 2022, we launched the next generation of migration technology with vNext Data Only migrations.
vNext Migrations is a reimagined platform designed to deliver more transparency, control, and predictability. The result is a set of features and capabilities that will enable partners to more efficiently and effectively configure and manage migration projects, including:
- Full support for Modern Authentication on Google and Microsoft 365 tenants.
- Expanded import options with the Project Configuration Spreadsheet template.
- More control over sync schedules with Flights
- More flexibility, including ability to add users after activation, including after cutover
- On-demand, self-serve resyncs
For more information, see vNext Data Only migrations.
As we move into 2023, we will be expanding the features of vNext Migrations to deliver more of the capabilities that partners have valued in SMB and Enterprise Migrations, including provisioning, end-user communications, and the Outlook Assistant (see below).
Outlook Assistant 9.0
We are currently rolling out the next version of the Outlook Assistant. Outlook Assistant 9.0 will be available for SMB and Enterprise Migrations as well as vNext Migrations. It supports Modern Authentication and key improvements, including the fact that end-users:
- No longer need to be admins on their machine to install.
- No longer need to provide their credentials to SkyKick.
- Are guided through the Outlook authentication process.
- Can control the timing of their Outlook reconfiguration.
- Can start using their new mailbox immediately, while the migration of local data and settings is performed in the background.
Platform-wide notifications interface
Based on input from and in-depth interviews with partners, SkyKick built a new platform-wide notification interface to streamline project management and improve customer satisfaction.
1. The new notification bell experience includes advanced search, sorting, and filtering to quickly access the notifications you need to address. It enables you to drill down for each customer to see individual notifications and easily manage email preferences.
2. Granular control to automatically direct email notifications to the right people and support tools based on product, project, and notification category (e.g. critical, warning, etc.) reduces ‘notifications overload’ and accelerates resolution.
3. Improved troubleshooting streamlines issue resolution and new Action buttons enable you to immediately address revenue opportunities like adding a newly discovered user to a Cloud Backup subscription.
For more information, see Platform-wide notifications interface streamlines multi-project management and helps your bottom line.
Thank you for inspiring us with great contributions through your truly incredible work to move SMBs and society forward each and every day. We look forward to an even more exciting and fruitful partnership with you in 2023, as we further enable and empower you to enhance your customer relationships and portfolio of value-add services.