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December 2, 2019
Sponsored by Barracuda MSP
Remote monitoring and management (RMM) tools have proven to be invaluable for MSPs. These solutions help service providers shift from break-fix to proactive support structures, improve service and increase profitability. With the right RMM solution in place, MSPs can improve resource utilization, reduce service delivery costs and automate many routine tasks.
Because these solutions can play such a critical role in an MSP’s business, it is essential to evaluate both the RMM tool and the software provider carefully. Do your due diligence, find out what other services/tools the vendor offers, and make sure the solution can meet your business goals.
Below are a few key areas to pay close attention to when evaluating a potential RMM partner.
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.
Neal Bradbury is Vice President, MSP Strategic Partnerships, for Barracuda MSP, a provider of security and data protection solutions for managed services providers. There, he is is responsible for generating greater business value for the company’s MSP partner community and alliance partners.
This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.
Read more about:MSPs
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