Ask an MSP ExpertQ: We recently changed our RMM tool at my MSP. Our old tool was unreliable and had slow connectivity, and it seemed like it was costing more money than it was worth. With our new RMM set up and integrated with our other tools, we’re ready to make the most of it! How can I make sure our RMM tool is profitable for my MSP moving forward?

We’re excited to hear that you are one step closer to being more productive at your MSP, and we hope your new tool is a better fit for you. According to Kaseya’s 2016 Global MSP Pricing Survey, 90 percent of MSPs are already using an RMM tool, so just having one isn’t enough to differentiate your business. However, there are many things you can do to help your MSP leverage your new platform effectively.

To give you additional insight, we spoke to Gary Pica, who is a pioneer in the managed services field and was one of the first MSPs to use an RMM tool. His business, TruMethods, coaches MSPs on how to differentiate their services and convey value to SMBs. Gary shared his advice on how to position your remote monitoring services to get a great return on investment.

Illustrate business value

automationSelling RMM to SMBs can be tough because they will always try to compare you to other MSPs in the area. If you try to sell monitoring, no one wants it by itself; they expect it to be included in your basic service offering. Consider it table stakes. Many MSPs are defensive when it comes to their tools, though. They think that just because their RMM tool is up to date that their customers should pay more, but customers won’t feel the same way.

This is why you need to convey the value of reducing risk. SMBS aren’t looking for monitoring; they want the end result. They want you to find problems before they happen. Sooner or later, you’ll realize that your customers don’t care about patch management like you do.

Instead look at your current approach to delivering managed services and think about how automation can impact your business. If you review your tickets and alerts, what can you make more efficient? For example, could you write a script to clear a print queue instead of creating a ticket? More importantly, what can you do with the extra time and labor you just gained?

Minimize your tickets

You only have so much time in a day, so minimizing tickets can help you gain valuable time elsewhere. Examine the number tickets per user each. What can be simplified, and what processes can be put in place to decrease reactive ticket and time. If your automation handles a higher percentage of issues, you’ll have more recurring revenue to accomplish more tasks.

Some MSPs do the opposite to convey their value and create more tickets for their clients. Instead, convey your value with your expertise and show your customers what else you’re bringing to the table.

Always be looking to automate

As one of the first MSPs to have an RMM tool, we learned quickly that automation was a game changer for our business. Automation is critical factor in increasing profitability. Whether you manage 50 endpoints or 5,000 with your RMM the time to manage the process is about the same. Back when cloud backup came out, we automated it for over 100 clients. We got back a full time resource that had been managing back up alerts from the premise based back-up. We lowered our clients risk and improved our productivity.

Following Gary’s advice should help you leverage your RMM tool and set up your business to be more profitable. While your automation tool can’t do everything for you, it can help you focus your time on issues that matter.

Ask an MSP Expert is a weekly advice column answering common questions from MSPs and IT service providers. It covers topics ranging from pricing and selling to marketing and communications—and everything in between. 

Photo Credit: Pictures of Money via Flickr. Used under Creative Commons 2.0. 

Lauren Beliveau

Posted by Lauren Beliveau

Lauren is a Senior Content Marketing Specialist at Barracuda MSP. In this position, she creates and develops content that helps managed service providers grow their business. She also regularly writes The MSP’s Bookshelf and our Ask an MSP Expert column.

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