Q&A

Channel Transitions: Remote Monitoring And Management Is A Must For MSPs

John Oncea

By John Oncea, Digital Editorial Director

Remote Monitoring And Management

By John Oncea, Business Solutions magazine

A packed house listened intently as Business Solutions’ president Jim Roddy talked remote monitoring and management (RMM) with Jessica Schroder, community manager for MAXfocus and Chris Soutar, director of managed services for Entre Computer Solutions. The Q&A was part of BSM’s Channel Transitions VAR/MSP Executive Conference held September 24 at the DoubleTree Chicago Downers Grove.

Soutar spoke at length about the value Entre, a MAXfocus partner, derives from RMM: “The technology offers insight into everything. With it, we know what clients are using, as well as what their particular pain points and strengths are. With that knowledge, we can help find ways for them to move business forward. RMM provides us a competitive advantage, allowing us to be proactive and fix problems before they become big.”

Other benefits of RMM Soutar cited were the elimination of the need to pull engineers from other projects as a “mad-scramble reactionary move” and the ability to leverage monthly reports to build stronger client relationships. “We’re much more proactive now,” he said. “We’re calling customers because we know what’s happening before they do and are able to use our homegrown CRM solution to track tickets and provide accurate detail and billing.”

Schroder said MAXfocus sales engineers, former MSPs themselves, can help you with the process of setting rules and a schedule as well as providing additional support to maximize the benefits of RMM. “The RMM tool is big and there’s a lot you can miss if you don’t know what’s in there,” she commented.

Among the additional support MAXfocus provides is Connect.MAXfocus.com, an educational website with white papers, YouTube videos, blogs, and advice to anyone in the channel on how to effectively implement the managed services model. “We’ve also added LOGICcards, the world’s first RMM notification system to be driven by machine learning,” Schroder noted. “It’s kind of like having an additional tech in your office.” MAXfocus is also providing online training and certification through LOGICnow University.

“We use much of the support MAXfocus offers,” said Soutar. “I watch training videos on their YouTube channel frequently and at my own pace. I also forward important videos to people within the organization that I think would benefit from viewing them.”

RMM alone, however, doesn’t guarantee success for MSPs. As with all business, customer service is king.

“I really think developing a strong client relationship is critical,” Schroder said. “Sending reports generated with the RMM tool is a great way to stay in touch and it makes it harder for clients to leave you. It’s not difficult and helps you learn what’s important to them. It will save you when a competitor tries to undercut you.”

Soutar agreed, saying to think of it as being a consultant: “I play the in-between role, providing understanding and reporting. We get together every six months and talk and I provide data to help them make changes."