APM, MSP, Content

Top 10 RMM Software Predictions for MSPs in 2017


Here are ChannelE2E's Top 10 Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) Software Predictions for 2017 -- and the potential implications for MSPs (managed services providers).

10. RMM Embraces APM: More than managing devices and servers, you'll see RMM software begin to counter so-called Application Performance Monitoring (APM) offerings from AppDynamics, Datadog and New Relic. Among the companies to watch as RMM potentially blends with APM: SolarWinds --both on the midmarket IT front and in the MSP sector...

9. RMM Goes Webscale for Cloud Services: It's not enough to monitor Windows Server, Linux or virtual machines running on Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and other public clouds. Going forward, RMM software will increasingly boast "web scale" capabilities -- meaning that the RMM offering automatically discovers and monitors new virtual machines each time a workload scales up or scales down.

8. The Network RMM Renaissance Will Continue: You may have heard about Auvik Networks and NinjaMSP monitoring network-level information. Now here comes Cisco FindIT... And plenty of additional options...

7. RMM Meets IoT: MSP-savvy cloud and SaaS offerings will build RMM systems specifically for the industrial Internet of things (IoT). A prime example: Swift Sensors.

6. Midmarket Service Desk Integrations: Watch for some RMM offerings to integrate with service desks like FinancialForce, ServiceNow and Zendesk, among others.

5. Microsoft Finally Gets It: After years of misunderstanding, Microsoft finally begins to understand MSPs and their core dashboards -- particularly RMM software. Some of the credit goes to ConnectWise CloudConsole, which was among the first to effectively connect the dots between MSP software suites, RMM software and Office 365. Sure, alternative Office 365 billing management tools have been around for years. But ConnectWise made it a priority -- and inspired Microsoft to take notice.

4. Asia Invasion: North American-based RMM companies have already invaded the United Kingdom, Germany, Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Next up? A potential springboard from Australia and New Zealand into Asia. The move will require relationships with big telcos, data center providers, and Asia-strong PC and server companies like Lenovo and Inspur.

3. The Race to Simplicity: At some point, Microsoft Office became bloated with features --and Google Apps became "good enough" to compete against the productivity suite. The same will occur in the RMM market, where simple but "good enough" solutions force entrenched products to focus on simplicity. Among those to watch: Atera.

2. RMM Meets Security: Generally speaking, the biggest players in RMM for MSPs are now Autotask, ConnectWise, Continuum, Kaseya and SolarWinds MSP. Yes, they all have alliances with various endpoint security technology companies. But watch for each of the RMM players to bolster their own security moves. Among the efforts to watch:

1. The Next Rollup: Of the five major RMM providers, four are private equity owned (Autotask, Continuum, Kaseya, SolarWinds MSP) and ConnectWise remains closely held by internal founders and internal shareholders. Will any of the PE firms put those businesses up for sale in 2017? Hmmm... As Yoda would say: "Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future." If one or more deals unfold, I don't think big software companies will be involved. Rather, I suspect the buyers will be more private equity firms or perhaps a distributor that finally understands the full value of MSPs that run their businesses on RMM and PSA....

Bonus: RMM Gains Artificial Intelligence?: Not quite yet. But machine learning and big data systems like SolarWinds MSP's LogicCards are worth watching...

Note: ChannelE2E is running 2017 technology predictions throughout the month of December 2016. Submit predictions for consideration to [email protected]. Read all daily predictions here.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.