How Do You Know When You’ve Met “the One?”

It’s February, and love is in the air. Or maybe not? We all know managed services providers (MSPs) like to periodically shop around to see if the “one” partner is out there, to provide their remote monitoring solution. What are the key things to look for to help you decide if the grass is truly greener? Or if you really have found “the one?”

Reddit’s comparison chart lists key RMM features and providers. Here are some additional relationship goals to consider. If you have these, you know you’ve found the right partner.

  1. They make you feel secure. Cybercriminals are targeting MSPs. A multi-layered security stack will help protect your customers. At a minimum your software provider should provide antivirus, disk encryption, backup, patch management, two factor-authentication, web filtering, and encryption protocols like FIPS and PCI. If they provide advanced security features like endpoint detection and response, mail protection, and password management, you’ll know they are totally into you.
  2. You share common interests. Sometimes relationships fall apart because you are not at the same stage in your life. If you’re purchasing your first RMM, you’ll want something easy to use with built-in automation options. If you’re working to scale your business, a provider with more customization options, network management, onboarding assistance, and experience with larger MSPs may be the one for you.
  3. They’re easy to talk to. While every relationship has its ups and downs, the successful ones realize the importance of communication. When issues arise, you want to address them quickly so they don’t fester. Look for a provider that offers 24/7 live support. For less pressing questions, office hours or daily demos can also provide an opportunity for intimate—or at least valuable—conversations.
  4. They listen to your needs. Attentive listening can go a long way toward building a stronger connection. Are you able to talk with your software provider on a regular basis to provide feedback on features you like or the ones you feel are lacking? For example, SolarWinds THWACK connects 150,000 IT professionals and community members to share and vote on future product features.
  5. You enjoy spending time with each other. Quality time is one of the five love languages identified by Dr. Gary Chapman. Whether attending user groups, trainings and conferences, or reading blogs like this one, your software provider can sit down and talk with you about anything, from sales and marketing to customer retention—and everything in between.
  6. Your friends like them too. If you’re happy, it shouldn’t matter what anyone else thinks – but if you aren’t happy, it may be time to move on. If it is time, your peers can help. While you’ll find plenty of complaints on crowdsourcing sites, make sure you look at awards, reviews, customer case studies, and testimonials to help you figure out your perfect match.

Whether you’ve lost that spark with your current vendor or you’re on the hunt for your first long-term RMM relationship, follow these tips to find that perfect match. Remember, no relationship is perfect. What matters is you find the perfect RMM solution for you. Don’t settle—once you find “the one,” you’ll start to see improvements in nearly all areas of your business. Just follow these tips to make February the month you fall in love with the RMM solution of your dreams.


Shelley O’Brien is senior product marketing manager for N-central at SolarWinds MSP

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