There is one familiar scenario that a company’s IT and Managed Service Providers (MSP) would like to permanently disappear: various members of the team scurrying from one office to another to assess and repair problems suddenly called in by clients. Disruptions are addressed only when they happen, often without warning. IT evaluates the extent of the problem only in that instant, and it takes time before they recommend lasting solutions. In the meantime, work stops, and IT itself finds its resources strained, as its best people are on the lookout to prevent future fires.
This all-too-often workplace situation is still around, but the number of incidents is decreasing. The credit can be attributed to the Remote Monitoring and Management solution (RMM) which IT and MSP’s are beginning to notice and adopt. RMM minimizes these sudden disruptions, allows MSPs to act on them instantly, and helps both clients and MSPs to move past the day-to-day grind and start planning for the future.
Automation continually does routine inspection of the status of the IT infrastructure, and alerts the MSP about impending risks and potential breakdowns. RMM also provides the MSP with detailed information about the system which he can use in coming up with ways to address the issues that had been pointed out. The MSP learns of all this in the security of his workplace. He is appraised by RMM of the situation and deploys automated situations right where he is. No staff member of his team would have to step out of the room and visit the troubled office area to check on the malfunctioning IT component. Through RMM, the MSP remains on top of it all.
This image of a masterful MSP overseeing and preventing IT-related fires in his system is one of the main draws that attract organizations to buy an RMM. Not surprisingly, they are on the lookout for the specific RMM features that make that image very real in their own workplaces.
The most important features that RMM buyers are looking for include:
Unified Dashboard – If the MSP is the captain of the entire IT system, the unified dashboard enhances his power as his command center. The unified dashboard is the window that allows the MSP to see everything that is happening in the overall infrastructure. It shows him in real time the level of network performance, the number of employees logged in, the resources that are being utilized, and the strength of the applications, just to name a few. The unified dashboard is the MSP’s eyes and ears into the system.
Managed IT Security – Multiple clients means multiple endpoints. Multiple endpoints can also mean multiple entryways that can put the business at risk. RMM tools must be able to provide some serious IT security and antivirus layers that will protect all endpoints against viruses, malware, phishing, DDOS, and other threats.
Intelligent Reporting – In order to properly manage networks, MSPs need honest data. A robust RMM tool also needs to be smart in order to provide businesses with valuable reports that can help in shaping decisions. Key RMM reports must include:
Executive summary report
Device inventory report
Backup integrity report
Hardware and software health report
Other customized reports that your business may need
Compatibility – RMM tools are most effective when it blends well with the existing environments. MSPs need to find an RMM solution that supports at least the major platforms such as Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Automation – Who has time to do scripting? RMM tools should be able to automate routine tasks and take this load off your back. RMM solutions such as Solarwinds MSP even takes this up a notch with their script library that users can just copy or customize through a drag-and-drop editor. They also have an active community of IT professionals who work together and share scripts of their own.
Which of these features made it to your checklist? Share it with us in the comments section below.