Technology evolves and changes so quickly in this industry, and it can be difficult for managed services providers (MSPs) to stay up to date on the latest tools, trends and best practices.
Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) software allows MSPs to deliver maintenance and repair work on servers, desktops, mobile devices and other endpoints via the Internet – freeing up valuable time and resources that were previously devoted to solving client problems on-site.
This article explores today’s dynamic RMM landscape, offers real-world insights, recommendations designed to help you find the perfect platform, problems plagued by MSPs in the past and six key modern RMM requirements you should keep in mind when shopping for an RMM platform – one that will set you up for success both today and in the future.
What exactly is RMM – And why should you care?
Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) software allows Managed IT Services Providers (MSPs) to deliver maintenance and repair work on servers, desktops, mobile devices and other endpoints via the Internet – freeing up valuable time and resources that were previously devoted to solving client problems on-site.
MSPs leverage RMM tools to keep their finger on the pulse of network and computer health for their clients. By installing a software agent on client systems, MSPs can offer proactive maintenance, troubleshooting and quick problem resolution when issues do arise. RMM functionality includes alerting and integrated ticketing, automated recommendations, remote control, patch management, antivirus updating, reporting and more.
Problems of the Past
Traditionally, RMM was offered as standalone software used to augment other products and services as part of a managed IT services package.
Unfortunately, this led many MSPs to adopt a mix-and-match approach when building out their portfolios, leveraging offerings from multiple providers and customizing packages they hoped reflected the best available value in terms of price point and functionality. Of course, things didn’t always work out as planned…
Modern RMM Requirements
Fortunately, RMM has evolved quite a bit over time.
Today, when shopping for an RMM solution, MSPs should insist on six essential components; these elements work together to create a superior experience for both solution providers and their customers. After all, RMM is designed to help MSPs improve monitoring and maintenance capabilities, boost reliability and provide proactive services to their clients – so why would you settle for a subpar solution?
When shopping for an RMM platform, keep these essentials in mind:
1. Centralized Leadership & Support
Changes in technology can occur at a moment’s notice. Before looking too closely at the specs of a given RMM platform, start by checking out the provider who’s behind it. By starting with the brains of the operation rather than the gadgetry, you can help ensure that your RMM provider’s goals align with yours, and that a real partnership is formed wherein both parties are moving in the same direction. Your relationship shouldn’t end once a contract is signed – a great provider will help support your business with training, education, and expertise surrounding reselling, pricing, packaging, service levels and more.
2. Cloud Support
As businesses continue to migrate to the cloud at varying speeds, both MSPs and RMM providers must be prepared to embrace the cloud and the unique requirements and challenges that come with it. Remote monitoring and management today involves much more than desktop and server care – the ability to keep tabs on virtual servers and cloud backup today is also essential. Make sure your RMM platform is flexible enough to support a variety of client environments – physical, virtual and hybrid.
To maintain success in the cloud era, it’s critical that your clients understand you’re offering much more than simply access to the cloud – you’re offering the education, expertise and technical support required to effectively onboard new clients and maintain a thriving MSP practice.
3. Single Pane of Glass
Perhaps the largest headache caused by the aforementioned mix-and-match approach is figuring out how to manage a slew of separate dashboards that aren’t compatible with one another.
An integrated RMM solution offers centralized monitoring and management, conducted from a single pane of glass, so you can streamline your daily operations and direct all traffic from one location.
Integrated dashboard access helps promote growth and stability, allowing for more effective use of your time and energy by concentrating your focus in one place – rather than pointing in several different directions all at once.
Patch management, antivirus definition updates, script scheduling and other maintenance tasks are all essential in daily MSP operations today. And while it’s vital to stay on top of these tasks, addressing each of them manually is both tedious and time consuming. With an automated RMM platform, technicians can focus their attention toward core operations and business growth while the software takes care of the rest. This helps MSPs save time while also improving scalability.
5. A Strong Network Operations Center (NOC)
Your software is only as strong as the technicians behind it. Even the most feature-rich and robust RMM solutions remain vulnerable and incomplete without the support of highly-skilled NOC technicians. A well-staffed NOC can provide full-problem resolution and help MSPs re-direct their most valuable inhouse staff and resources toward business growth and revenue-producing projects.
6. Integrated Help Desk
In the world of IT, downtime is inevitable. Systems crash, passwords are lost, viruses sneak through firewalls, and the list goes on. To remediate these issues, MSPs require a help desk. A help desk is a single point of contact designed to help connect end users with IT administrators, and ensure that incidents and service requests are handled appropriately and in a timely manner.
However, rather than spend the money required to hire, train and maintain technicians on an in-house help desk, MSPs can benefit by finding an RMM provider with an integrated help desk offering. Such a partnership allows service providers to offload labor and tasking to a trusted, reliable and scalable partner. A third-party help desk partner likely has a far greater ability to scale, support more technologies, add capacity and ensure uninterrupted operations than an individual MSP.
Offered Free by: Continuum