2 Steps to Confirm It’s NOT Time to Change Your RMM 

Change, choices, credit: olaser via Getty stock photos

In my first two blogs in this series, I looked at some of the obvious signs and not-so-obvious signs that it might be time to change your RMM. However, the reality is that most MSPs don’t want to change unless they really have to, and in many of the cases I’ve seen they’re prepared to let things be bad for way too long. This can get to the point where they eventually just think, “Oh hell, I just don’t care anymore,” and total confidence has been lost in their chosen platform, and they’re left with no option but to rip and replace.

One of the things we’re focused on with our Partner Success Program is getting ahead of any potential bad situation and trying to ensure that things don’t get to that point for our MSPs. So, in this blog, I’m going to look at when changing your RMM probably isn’t the best solution, and also some of the things you need to be doing, both in your company and with your vendor, to ensure you’re regularly validating your situation.

Think you want to change your RMM? Proceed with caution

For me, there are two pretty straightforward examples here. Although for MSPs, they’re anything but straightforward, which is why they present such a challenge. 

Firstly, if your RMM is tightly integrated into your technology stack—which, let’s be honest, it should be—your RMM, your PSA, your ticketing system, your backup, and your security tools should all be working in unison to provide comprehensive protection and monitoring for your customers. In this situation, ripping out and replacing any one of those elements is a major undertaking. 

Secondly, I want to shift the conversation back to automation. If you’ve hit the magic marker of automating 60% to 70% of the things that you do inside your RMM, your technicians are going to be heavily reliant on them to get their jobs done efficiently. While you may be able to suck a lot of those policies out, getting your processes streamlined inside another RMM platform again is going to take a lot of effort. 

In my opinion, if you’re checking both—or either—of these boxes, it could pose a significant organizational and operational challenge to change RMMs. So, you’d probably want to exhaust all other options before being tempted to jump ship. 

This brings us nicely to the second area for discussion…

What should you be doing regularly to validate your RMM?

For the purpose of this blog, I’ve broken this down into three topics: usage assessment, platform health check, and peer validation.

  1. RMM Product Usage Assessment 
    You need to be monitoring how you’re using your RMM, particularly in common use cases like onboarding new customers, proactively monitoring environments, remediation alerts, and patch management. Make sure you find out whether your techs are confident in the results they are getting in these areas and happy with the processes they’ve created. Doing this regularly will give you the opportunity to spot problems early and go back to your vendor for help before things get too far down the line.
  2. RMM Platform Health Check
    This is going to be the logical next step if you find product usage issues but is also worth periodically checking as a standalone issue. A full health check will help you identify areas for improvement to align with best practices and operational efficiency within the platform. This is where you’re going to need your vendor’s support. Someone from their organization should be able and willing to work with you to make sure that you are using the product correctly, or at least to its optimum capacity for your particular organization. I know that across our partner base, there are people that use our products in a simple way and others that use them in an advanced way. So, optimum usage is dependent on the individual MSP, but your vendor can still help you ensure you’re using all the features and functions you need or have properly integrated the product into the different parts of your business.
  3. Peer Validation
    Finally, use the communities that are out there to talk to other like-minded businesses. Having insight from other people can potentially help you understand and see the value of your RMM and recognize places where it might be underutilized in your company.

Ultimately, it’s on you as the MSP to identify areas where you might need support. But it is absolutely on the vendor to be able to offer that help. And to be able to say, “Here's where you are today. Here's what you're doing well and here's some of the areas where we would recommend you make some changes.” It's up to you whether you do that; the vendor can’t tell you how to work with your customers, but they can make recommendations based on what others are doing and knowing how their products work. 

Your RMM is a core part of your critical business infrastructure. I’m sure you would say to a customer that it’s always better to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to managing critical business systems. So taking your own advice, you should always be confident you can go to your vendor to help and ensure everything is going how it should be in your RMM. Don’t let things get to the point where can’t go on anymore.

MSPs can face some obvious challenges in knowing what the right RMM tools are for their business. The N-able N-central team helps mitigate these concerns by offering customers with existing RMM contracts with certain N-able competitors the opportunity to switch to N-central for just $1/month for up to 12 months*, as well as providing onboarding services for one-on-one training of techs, and migration services for hassle-free client migration. For existing N-central partners, N-able also provides health checks to ensure you’re getting the optimum value from N-central. To find out more, contact your Partner Success Manager.

* Terms and conditions apply.

Guest blog courtesy of N-able and authored by Chris Massey, Senior Manager of Partner Growth, N-able. Read more N-able guest blogs here. Regularly contributed guest blogs are part of ChannelE2E’s sponsorship program