Top managed services providers (MSPs) rely on their remote monitoring and management (RMM) solutions. RMM tools give them the ability to monitor their clients’ IT environments, making sure they’re operating correctly and don’t need service. And, if the RMM tool discovers an issue, MSPs can use the tool to access their systems, troubleshoot and, often fix the problem remotely.
It’s easy to see how remote monitoring and management can lead to a proactive rather than a reactive approach to IT service, greater efficiency, happier customers, greater profitability and business growth. But, in 2020, during a global pandemic that forced many businesses to shutter and many employees to work from home, an MSP business without a solid RMM tool is more than just inefficient; it’s a nonstarter.
Brett Cheloff, VP of ConnectWise Automate, explains, “MSPs are using remote monitoring and management more than ever, and for the exact reasons they were made for. RMMs tools were specifically made for managing disparate networks all over the world from a single interface.”
He points out that before the pandemic, MSPs with 100 clients, had 100 networks to manage. “But now, with the work from home (WFH) movement, MSPs have to find a way to easily manage and secure those networks, well beyond regular demand. People are now using their own PCs or taking office equipment home. On top of that, they are using unmanaged (and in many cases unmanageable) network environments, which means the risk of something bad happening is much greater.”
Remote Monitoring and Management Features that Come in Handy in a Pandemic
Among all of RMM tools’ capabilities, Cheloff says two, automation and remote access, have been particularly vital to MSP businesses this year:
“First, one of MSPs’ biggest needs has been being able to easily set up VPN access for clients as they transition to WFH. Whether MSPs made this automatic or on-demand (still through automation), the ability to make dynamic scripts that can run for any of your clients and set up the VPN as needed was critical in the success of that transition,” he says.
“Second, MSPs needed to grant access to for WFH users to get into their stationary machines that were located at the office while on their personal machines,” Cheloff says. “Being able to use a product like ConnectWise Control in conjunction with ConnectWise Automate was able to dynamically allow certain users access into certain authorized machines enabling the WFH users to continue being productive in a secure environment.”
Never Take Your Eye Off the Ball
Under normal, pre-COVID-19 circumstances, competitive MSPs used remote monitoring and management to maximize their resources and provide the best possible service. In the “new normal,” MSPs learned that RMM also provided them with the agility they needed to keep their businesses operating.
Cheloff says, “The ability as an MSP to change and adapt quickly to client needs was clearly evident this year. I’ve talked to many MSPs that were really good with this transition — and some even built a much larger client base because other MSPs fell on their face trying to quickly move every one of their clients to work from home.”
“Staying on your toes, listening to your customers’ needs, and making automation to enable scale are the keys to success as an MSP,” he says. “Your clients expect you to be the expert and be on top of the ways to execute efficiently with reliability and security.”
Remote monitoring and management gives you the visibility, access, and functionality you need to make it work, wherever your clients’ teams set up shop.