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We’re handing over the value this Black Friday, with an exciting promotion where new sign-ups get a whole month of Network Discovery absolutely free of charge. Want to know how this feature can make all the difference to your MSP business? Let’s get into the details!
What is network discovery?
In a dynamic and fast-paced IT environment, the one constant you can rely on is that nothing stays the same for long! Manually tracking every piece of hardware and software is an impossible task, which is where Network Discovery comes in. By automatically scanning and monitoring all Workgroup and Domain Controller networks, Network Discovery can find, identify and list all assets of any IT environment.
This feature is especially valuable in a remote environment, where end users are working in a disparate way. In today’s remote working world, most businesses have this challenge. How can you monitor and control what you can’t see? For admins and IT staff, a single view of all of their customer networks, continually updated so they don’t miss a thing, is invaluable.
What can I use network discovery for?
Network Discovery automatically finds all devices connected to the network. That starts with endpoints and mobile devices, but also includes all devices which manage traffic, and non-user-attached devices such as storage disks, routers, printers, switches, and more. There is so much that you can do with Network Discovery, but here are some of our favorite use cases:
Onboarding new customers and environments
Many IT professionals take on new customers by asking “what do you have in your environment that you want us to monitor?” This is an imprecise and error-prone way of starting out with a new customer and can lead to shadow IT, security risks, performance issues, and more. This is an issue for more than just MSPs. Think about an IT pro who is working in a company that has merged or taken over another small business. Knowing what systems and assets are in place is critical.
As the system admin, you can use Network Discovery to get an accurate list of everything in an environment. From day one, this helps you to provide a more precise quote to a new customer, or start strong when taking on a new network or office.
If security isn’t top of your list of concerns in today’s threat-heavy environment, you’d better recheck that list. Network intrusion is a serious risk to today’s organizations, and if you don’t know who is legitimately meant to have access, how can you block those who do not? Today, many employees and customers are used to BYOD, where they bring their own devices and use them for work, whether that’s mobile phones, tablets, laptops, or home computers. Network Discovery is an important tool for intrusion prevention and detection.
If the worst happens, Network Discovery is also essential for incident response. As the technology automatically logs all network connections, you can easily see what devices were connected when the attack occurred, narrowing down your list of suspects and creating a more forensic picture of what has happened in your network.
Understanding the health of devices
As well as discovering everything on your network, Atera’s Network Discovery also provides status reports. These give greater insight into each asset, showing you the manufacturer, the model, the serial number, and the age of the device. You can search using filters to get exactly the view that you need. This feature makes it really easy to see what devices need sunsetting or replacing, or to forecast costs for the customer or business ahead of time.
For example, you might realize that you need to replace hard disks or servers, a costly project. By giving the business warning ahead of time, you can work out a roadmap to new installations that don’t overwhelm the organization and show that you’re adding value where it matters most. On a day-to-day level, Network Discovery also identifies problems with performance, such as devices that are running slowly and need some support.
How do you plan your Technology Business Reviews with customers or those strategic conversations with the executive board? We guarantee that Network Discovery will make it 10x easier. By accessing real-time data about your networks, you can come to any meeting super-prepared with the agenda items that will move the needle for the customer at hand.
Talk site continuity planning by suggesting backup machines and systems which complement the existing tech stack. Explain exactly what assets will need replacing over the next 6, 12, or 18 months, and draw up a roadmap to show the board how you’ve mapped it out. Plan out the infrastructure requirements to support new digitization initiatives like cloud or hybrid, and use the data from your scans to show a network topology map of dependencies and connections.
What could you be charging for that you’ve left untapped on the table? That’s another great question that Network Discovery helps you answer. For MSPs, we’re talking physical dollars on the invoice each month, while for IT admins and professionals working in-house, we’re talking about how you can prove value to get a promotion, a raise, or just the kudos you’ve been waiting for.
If new assets appear on your scan that are unmonitored, add an agent and start monitoring performance, security, and device health. If storage disks are aging, open the conversation about replacements. If you spot “tool sprawl”, where multiple software solutions are doing the same thing, consolidate and save on the subscription fees. It’s all part of the Network Discovery value.
How do I start using network discovery?
Now that you know how awesome Network Discovery is, and how much impact it could have on your business, you probably want to get started right away! We’re here to help, and if you’re already signed up with Atera, these knowledge base articles are a great way to learn how to activate Network Discovery, set up scans across your environment, and read and monitor the results and actions that you uncover by device type, security issues, or wider reporting and analytics.
If you’re new to Atera, and you want to take advantage of all the awesome features of Network Discovery, and so much more, it’s the perfect time to make it happen!
Ready to see value in your own environment? Sign up here!