Some of the best advice you’ll ever receive as an MSP is to incorporate remote monitoring and management (RMM) into your operation. RMM allows you to remotely monitor your clients’ networking, servers, and endpoints so you can troubleshoot and repair many issues before they result in downtime – and often without sending a technician on-site. There is little debate that automating with RMM opens the door to greater revenue. It allows you to take on more clients without increasing technical staff. In addition, RMM shifts your organization’s perspective from reacting when things go wrong to taking a proactive approach. This method of delivering IT services means fewer disruptions for clients while enabling you to minimize the costs necessary to maintain their IT systems.
RMM has become table stakes if you want to run a competitive MSP business with a respectable bottom line. MSPs soon find out, however, that to achieve the greatest efficiency and profitability, you need to use the right RMM tool.
Advice for Choosing the Right RMM
Jason Harless, president of My Computing RX, says most RMM tools available to MSPs provide the same basic features, like generating tickets when problems are identified, centralized management of multiple systems, and communicating with customers in real time. However, not all integrate with your other business tools, reducing the admin burden. “The more tools it works in conjunction with, the better,” says Harless.
Stephen Monk, CEO of Noverus Innovation, agrees: “Make sure you look at which integrations your RMM has. Do they play nice with other vendors?” Monk adds, however, “More than anything, an RMM should make an MSP’s job easier.” He says to focus on the tool’s automation, how much oversight it needs, and whether it can take away the majority of routine tasks a technician does. He adds that different MSPs have unique processes, so not every RMM suits every business. “There’s not a specific formula that fits every MSP,” he comments.
The Biggest RMM Pitfalls to Avoid
Harless advises not falling into the trap of looking only at price but instead choosing the RMM tool that will work best for your business. “Get a live demo of the RMM tool. If you can’t demo a product, ask another MSP to give you a tour,” he says.
Monk says it’s also essential to take your time with the decision. “Vendors will try to razzle-dazzle you with how much better they are than anyone else – or how they will give you a deal of a lifetime if you just sign up now. Don’t fall for it. Do your research. Play with the products. Make sure you truly know what you are getting.”
Monk adds that it’s important to read the contract closely before signing to understand precisely what you are agreeing to. “Try to minimize price hikes or long-term commitments, especially if you are just starting out. This is more like a marriage, and you don’t want to have to get a divorce. It can cost you a lot of money and time,” he says.
RMM from Day One
If you are just getting started in managed services, Monk advises using RMM from the outset. “Having been around the block a few times, I have learned that getting your tools in place is best before you start taking that first client. You don’t have to have every feature installed, but building your business processes around a product helps to ensure you can manage clients efficiently to grow. Not having this figured out can lead to upset clients, longer than needed work hours, and a struggle to get enough resources to grow,” he says. Harless says, “RMM is the ‘managed’ in managed services.”