Choosing the right RMM solution that last
by Fleur Doidge, on August 26, 2021
As a managed service provider (MSP) today, there is no question as to whether or not you need remote monitoring and management (RMM) software. Your RMM is essential in allowing you to control the IT systems on devices in any location across your customers' estates. With more companies achieving digital transformation than ever before in a remote working environment, you depend on your RMM to keep your clients’ IT systems secure and running smoothly on servers, desktops, laptops and software.
The most obvious role that your RMM plays is to monitor your clients’ devices remotely and alerting you if issues occur. Real-time monitoring is an extension of your eyes and ears, freeing up your time to tend to more complex matters with clients or generate new business. Notifications tune you into what you need to know when you need to know it. As a whole, real-time monitoring and notifications is the prime foundation that allows your RMM to perform all of its activities. It’s important that your RMM forms solid connections between this function and all others. Your performance as an MSP depends not only on what your RMM observes and takes action on but also how it takes action.
Below are a few key areas to pay close attention to when evaluating a potential RMM solution.
PSA Integration. If you already have a professional services automation (PSA) tool, you’ll want the PSA and RMM to work in concert. Make sure the RMM provider has a proven integration with the PSA to help streamline operations and reduce business disruption during deployment. A streamlined integration can also help improve ticket resolution efficiency.
Automation. The RMM tool should help the MSP automate monitoring, maintenance and other support tasks to help improve efficiency. With standardized and automated operations, it is easier for MSPs to scale their ability to meet increasing customer demands while still maintaining margins. Evaluate the RMM tool’s automation capabilities for patch management, maintenance routines, software deployments, self-healing and other areas. Make sure the automation scripts are comprehensive and based on industry best practices. MSPs should also be able to develop custom automation tasks on the platform to meet their clients’ unique needs.
Security. Through the RMM tool, the MSP should be able to check to make sure all software updates are implemented so that the security features reflect the current threat environment and can take advantage of more advanced tools and functions.
Reporting. The RMM should have robust reporting capabilities so that MSPs can easily track and leverage the data available to them in the system and share that information with clients to demonstrate the value of the services they are providing.
Business transformation. For MSPs that are deploying their first RMM, the vendor should provide business transformation and support services to help ensure MSPs can develop profitable managed services that follow industry best practices. That should include sales and marketing training and materials, knowledge management and other development services. This will be critical for building out the managed services suite and creating effective remote support packages for new and existing clients.
Licensing. The client base of any given MSP is likely going to have a varying level of comfort with the idea of remote monitoring. Find an RMM platform with enough flexibility to accommodate a wide range of client preferences. The platform should also be dynamic enough to change and grow as your own business needs evolve.
Support. As with any new solution, you’ll want to ensure the vendor can provide sufficient post-implementation support. Evaluate vendors’ history of new software releases and feature schedules, as well as their help desk and on-site support capabilities, and their ability to provide patch management.
Finally, look for an RMM provider with a good reputation, that has experience in your specific markets, and that has established an active user community that can provide advice and support. With the right RMM solution in place, MSPs can grow their business, improve service and increase profitability.
As you evaluate RMMs, you will weigh power against complexity. There is a major cost to using the most powerful RMM you can find: complexity. The more complex your RMM is, the longer it will take to set up, and you may never be able to fully realize even a portion of the available features.
Some platforms are so difficult to painstakingly configure that they have paid onboarding you are required to attend just to learn the basics of the platform. You may even have to hire an external consultant to ramp up and manage your RMM.
Focus on how your future RMM can simplify common tasks and processes by integrating systems. Technology should always make your job easier and your business run more smoothly, saving you time, effort, and ultimately, money.
Your RMM and PSA solutions should be designed to help you achieve your goals by allowing you to run your business how you want, not how the platform forces you to. Most importantly, find an RMM that encourages your business to grow and scale, instead of penalizing you for doing so.
N-able™ RMM is built to help MSPs keep their customers safe from cyber threats. From a single solution, you can provide customers with multiple layers of security, including patch management, integrated backup and recovery, email protection, web protection, and even AI-driven endpoint protection to help defend against fileless attacks. Try it – simply.