Channel technologies, IT management

RMM Software Meets IoT


History looks like it may repeat itself. More than a decade ago, numerous RMM (remote monitoring and management) software platforms emerged from Canada, helping IT experts to remotely maintain PCs and servers. Fast forward to the present, and a Canadian startup could connect the dots between RMM and the Internet of Things.

Admittedly, RMM is a niche of sorts -- a solid market both for enterprise customers and the IT experts who support them. The two big challenges:

  1. As workloads shifted from on-premises servers and PCs to cloud systems, RMM has had to evolve too -- especially as cloud monitoring startups rapidly moved into the market.
  2. At the same time, RMM software companies need to push beyond a device mindset (PCs, tablets, smartphones, servers) to embrace a "sensor" mindset.

Indeed, hardware and software sensors are now everywhere. Sensors track products as they move through supply chains. Sensors -- in the form of beacon networks -- track you as you move about malls and retail stores. Sensors gather data from machines on farms, in factories, across oceans, and plenty more. Sensors therefore are a key building block for the Internet of Things (IoT).

The New RMM Need

In a sensor-driven world, IT experts, data scientists and business analysts need new ways to monitor, manage and optimize sensor-driven endpoints. Even better: Businesses want to gather and monetize data from all those sensor networks.

Some existing RMM platforms will evolve to meet the sensor need. Still, I suspect most of the software companies in the market remain overly focused on traditional on-premises and cloud workloads. To fill the sensor gap, a new generation of RMM software may enter the picture.

Who Does That (Today)?

A prime example involves SensorSuite -- A Toronto-based startup that blends remote monitoring, data collection and the Internet of Things. The company received funding in May or s0, though the sum was not disclosed.

SensorSuite's platform has three components:

  1. First, you establish wireless sensors on the "things" you want to monitor and control -- such as your mobile fleet of trucks, building gas meters, water meters and more.
  2. Second, a hardware gateway captures, processes and visualizes that sensor data.
  3. Third, a cloud dashboard gives you insights and alerts from all that sensor information.

So what's next? Some sort of deeper analytics story -- allowing you to better monetize all of those "things" in your sensor grid -- spanning multiple buildings or mobile entities (cars, trucks, ships, etc.). But that's a blog entry for another time...

Fact or Fiction?

PS: There's no guarantee SensorSuite will succeed. And I might be underestimating the established RMM platforms in the market -- especially since I haven't really interviewed anyone in that market in more than a year...
PS Part II: I seem to recall that Level Platforms actually got its start as a building management platform, before evolving toward an IT management platform that AVG Technologies later acquired. Though my memory on the topic is a bit fuzzy...

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.