Ask an MSP ExpertQ: My existing contract with my RMM vendor is coming up and I am contemplating on switching vendors. I want to make sure that I am using the best tool for my budget and needs. I manage roughly 500 endpoints and I have good days and bad days with it. I am not confident that I can grow my business with it. What are the considerations to keep in mind when you are investigating RMM tools?

This may sound like an exaggeration, but it seems like MSPs are constantly researching for a better, more cost-effective remote monitoring and management (RMM) tool. There is no one-size-fit-all RMM tool for every MSPs in the market. It depends on the MSP’s business requirements, customer needs, and resources.

As an RMM is a fundamental tool for MSPs, careful consideration and selection is required. Any inefficiencies with the RMM can cost you valuable time, or worse — it can bring downtime to your customers. This can damage your relationship with customers and harm the business’ reputation.

There are many good RMM products but evaluating an RMM product requires a lot of time and effort. The process should not be taken lightly, especially if you are an MSP looking to grow and expand your service offerings.

Evaluating an RMM for your MSP

Before you start the evaluation process, list all the desired features of your ‘dream RMM’ and weigh it against how these features can benefit your business’ growth strategy. MSPs often begin their search because they believe the existing RMM tool is not optimal. It could be that their existing RMM doesn’t integrate as deeply with a Professional Services Automation (PSA) product as they want, or the RMM doesn’t provide reliable patch management, or their existing RMM creates a high amount of ticket noise.

While these are all very valid reasons to switch an RMM, they primarily impact operational efficiencies. Switching your RMM tool may help you gain margin, but it won’t be long before you feel the need to switch to another RMM that can help you drive business growth. Consider adding the following criterion in your search or evaluate the impact these can add or will be able to add to your managed service business.

Vendor support

A key to an MSP’s success is how well they are supported by their vendors. It’s hard enough to manage your customers — you do not need to manage your vendors as well.

A vendor who is committed to making you successful should be one of the top considerations when evaluating a solution. This can come from the technical perspective, as well as the partner relationship. Do you have to jump through hoops to get in contact with your sales rep? Do you have to pay to get your RMM set up? Do they offer ongoing training? A vendor who is willing to invest in your success, is true partnership.

RMM’s features

Most RMMs have similar features, done differently. However, some may have features that can help you accelerate your business and create a differentiation against your competition.

For instance, cybersecurity is a major concern for small-and-medium sized businesses. Does your RMM have the required capabilities to ensure you can protect your customers? Can your RMM easily detect anomalies in your customers’ networks that may raise a red flag? Better yet, does your RMM give you the ability to detect potential vulnerabilities prior to a cyberthreat event occurring? Cybersecurity is an ongoing process and having the ability to proactively address vulnerabilities will help set you apart from your competition.

Ease of use

While we all wish there are more than 24 hours in a day, that’s just not the reality. As your business grows, you have more to manage. You need a vendor who’s committed to delivering solutions that are easy to manage, automate, and onboard new customers. This will free up your technicians’ time to work on strategic projects that can benefit your business.

Whether your ‘dream RMM’ exists or not, make sure your selection criterion are based on what can benefit your business and not just based on gaining a few points of margin.

Ready Set Managed

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Doris Au

Posted by Doris Au

Doris is a product marketing manager at Barracuda MSP. In this position, she is responsible for connecting managed service providers with multi-layered security and data protection products that can protect their customers from today’s advanced cyber threats.

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    I think almost all modern RMM’s tools are about 90% the same. Some require more investment in money, some more of a time investment, or both. Unfortunately the process to trial a RMM tool is broken – 30 days to decide if the one thing that can drive profits or losses – and some tasks are monthly tasks like patch management. Opinions of experts or MSP professionals require a large grain of salt – i may think product X is the best, but that opinion is probably formed with my familiarity of the product and knowing where it’s not so good and have figured ways around the negatives, or learned to live with them. My thing that isn’t so good may not be a hot button for me, but for someone else it may be a huge deal. All this to say alot is in the eye of the beholder.
    I wonder if there isn’t a business opportunity for a MSP to run the 5 or 6 major RMM tools day to day and charge for access to those evaluation results, maybe even let prospects run the tool in a guided, live environment tied in w/ a PSA tool and integrated w/ some plug ins like VMware and AV, so they can live with it in a real, not test environment.

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  2. Doris Au

    Thank you Todd, for this valuable input. Your comments are helpful for us to keep in mind as we continue to optimize our trial processes here at Barracuda MSP.

    Reply

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