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End the Firefighting: The benefits of Remote Monitoring for MSP's

NinjaMSPAugust 24, 2016

As a Managed Service Provider (MSP), your most valuable commodity isn't your expertise or your tools, it's your time. The more time you can devote to the core aspects of your business, the greater the monthly revenue you can achieve. However, if you are like a lot of MSPs, then you probably spend the majority of your time fixing customer problems like updating software, patching and network maintenance. The best way to move beyond this reactive method of IT is to migrate to a Remote Management and Monitoring (RMM) platform

An RMM solution usually has two components: a core module, which is accessed via a local server or a cloud interface, and a client agent. The client agent checks in on a predefined schedule, downloads the assigned tasks and then executes the instructions accordingly. This can be anything from a simple reboot to a patch for the latest Windows security hole.

Single Dashboard

An RMM solution provides a single, detailed interface for your company to see the status of the machines under your control. This is extremely helpful from the reporting side, and most RMM solutions can provide detailed reports about hardware usage, software inventory and the general network health. It can actually be a very profitable value-add for your client as a monthly health checkup.

Automation = More Time

The platforms work through an agent that is programmed to check in to receive its instructions; therefore, after the initial setup, the RMM software takes care of all routine maintenance and support you would normally have to be on site for. For example, the scheduling of your Windows patching for the second Tuesday of each month and a daily antivirus scan for 5 p.m. is all done through the interface.
You'll get reporting through email or text to let you know when the tasks are completed and if there are any issues. In addition, you can outsource your RMM needs to an IT specialist who can then provide the 24/7 support your business model needs. This leaves you time to focus on marketing, sales or administration.
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Most RMMs can integrate into a Professional Services Automation (PSA) solution. This means that, when the RMM software encounters an issue, it can automatically create a ticket for it, notify support technicians and, if it is a hardware problem, even provide vendor ordering templates. The ability to customize both the remote management software and the service automation software will, again, free up more time for you to focus on core business activities.

Preventing Fires

While a remote management and monitoring tool isn't a magic bullet that will guarantee business success, it is an absolutely vital tool for managed service providers. When MSPs are proactive, it allows them to show their value to the customer by preventing problems before they even happen. Additionally, by offloading the management of the reporting and notifications to an IT specialist, you can focus on value-adds and services to your clients. Imagine if you got a notification from a workstation that the available RAM was being used up on a consistent basis. Then, the next day, you showed up at the client site with a RAM upgrade and fixed the user issue before they even have a chance to complain.

The Transition

If you are currently in a break fix model with your clients, consider offering them a monthly monitoring package. While you can bill according to each end device, that can sometimes lead to the client controlling the revenue by getting rid of workstations. In most cases, a monthly package or a per user fee that includes up to a certain number of workstations, bundled with some backup solutions for business continuity, is the best way to solidify your revenue stream. Remote management and monitoring is the key to that success.

Posted in Remote Monitoring and Management, MSP