It’s no secret that standardization is a core principle of a successful Managed Service Provider (MSP) business — it’s especially critical for security. In meeting with our partners, I’ve seen many approaches to this problem in other solutions, from libraries of config files that are painful to manage, to checklists and even well-documented standard operating procedures (SOP) documents for manual processes. All of these approaches work… technically. However, you need a better way of defining security settings and managing them in long term if you want to be truly efficient, and profitable.

To solve this problem, we built Centralized Settings — a new feature, designed with our MSP partners in mind and created with their direct input at every stage of development. Partners wanted an efficient way to manage customer settings in groups and as repeatable processes. They also highlighted that while they focus on defining standardized deployments, they occasionally need to set up a one-off customer in an efficient manner. They also wanted to be able to reuse customizations, but without the headaches associated with traditional configuration or template file approaches. Centralized Settings accommodates all of these use cases, and more.

These new features allow you to create multiple settings and apply them to some, many or all of your customers. Since the settings are truly linked, any future changes to a setting are instantly applied to every customer using that setting. You can also set up a default policy, so that when you onboard a new customer they’ll automatically be set up with your custom tailored settings from day one — without any additional work.

We made sure that Centralized Settings not only saves time, but is also flexible enough to cover the needs of fast-growing and efficient MSPs. A key to this flexiblility is the ability to define multiple settings as your own standards and apply them to specific customers. Here are some example use cases where having multiple standard settings can speed your deployments and decrease the time you spend managing customer accounts:

  • Create vertical specific content filtering categories: a doctor’s office will have different needs than a law firm or school.
  • Brand the service with your MSP logo and support information on the block page and then apply those changes to all customers. Need to change a phone number or update the logo? No problem! This change now takes seconds and is instantly applied to all customers.
  • Reuse standardized settings, even when customizations are needed. Even if a customer needs highly customized content filtering settings, you can create that setting as a one-off while still using your standardized security setting and block page appearance.

With Centralized Settings from OpenDNS, managing security for your customers becomes easier, quicker and more scalable. Bringing on a new customer now takes only seconds — including all the customizations that are part of your process. With an easy setup and intuitive workflow, there’s no need to waste time on additional training about configuration files or manage an over-complicated system.  Why spend excess time and resources managing one-off settings for each individual customer? By managing standards instead, you’ll keep customers happy and improve your bottom line.

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