RMM Essentials—What is it and why do you need one?

RMM stands for Remote Monitoring and Management and is a software platform used to remotely manage desktops, servers, and mobile devices within your networks.

Install a small piece of software called an Agent onto each device on a network and it will gather a whole range of information about any hardware and software being used on that device. The agent then uploads to the cloud portal where it can be accessed remotely by helpdesk technicians.

An RMM platform is crucial for professionally maintaining a healthy network, allowing technicians to securely connect to PCs and servers at the click of a button. They are also essential for IT support businesses looking to move to Managed Service Provider (MSP) status.

Features of RMM Systems

Good RMM solutions have a wide range of features, which will allow you to better manage your networks. These include:

  • remoteaccess.jpgRemote Access / Screen SharingAllow technicians to remotely connect to Windows®, Mac®, and Unix®-based systems at the click of a button without any input from the end user. Giving engineers quick access to devices allows for faster response times and making life easier for non-technical end users.
  •  Patch Management Roll out patches automatically based on policy settings. Want critical updates and service packs to install every Friday even for new devices added to the network? Set the policy and it will apply to the whole network.Don’t leave it to chance and hope they install correctly. A solid RMM tool will automatically log a support ticket with your helpdesk via email alerting them if any issues arise that need resolving.
  •  Antimalware / Antivirus Central management of antimalware software is essential in this world of increasing cyberattacks. If a device detects an issue with updates not loading correctly or it detects a possible virus, the agent will log a ticket to get it resolved quickly.
  • Remote Software InstallationNo longer will you always need to connect to each device to install software. Simply setup a script and deploy software silently to one device or one thousand with ease.
  • hardware_failure.jpgHardware FailureDon’t wait for your next onsite visit to discover a server hard drive has failed or a UPS battery needs replacing. These issues need dealing with quickly before they cause you real problems. The RMM agent will constantly monitor the health of all hardware to detect failures and automatically alert your engineers.
  • Unattended Scheduled Reboots Setup a server or desktop reboot during office hours and have that device reboot overnight automatically. You no longer need to connect to the device to setup a scheduled task or even manually reboot them during now business hours. Configure an unattended reboot from the RMM portal with a few clicks and have no more late nights doing little jobs like this.
  • Hardware and Software Auditing Auditing hardware and software is such a chore, but having an RMM agent deployed to all devices on your network means it’s already gathered the part and serial numbers of servers and workstations for you.Want to run out a list of all devices?Want to check the warranty status of all devices?Want to know how many copies of Office 2016 are deployed to the network?You can easily run an auditing report and collate all this information and more with ease.

Scaling Your Business

tools.jpgMost young IT support businesses start out offering break/fix to quickly grow a client base. Once you start to grow and take on engineers you need tools to help everyone in the team manage

At this stage, efficiency starts to become an issue. If you are using a remote connection tool which requires the end user to initiate the connection by going to a website and downloading a connection tool, it wastes time and clients don’t like doing it.

With a professional RMM tool you can instantly connect to any desktop or server in any of your networks without any interaction from the end user. This allows engineers to cut a 20-minute call down to 10 minutes or less. The time saving starts to mount up quickly meaning engineers can close out more tickets each day holding off the need for you to employ new staff.

Once you hit a certain size you can no longer keep all the information about your clients and their networks in your head, so you need a tool that allows engineers to quickly find the information about the systems they support. An RMM tool helps by standardizing where information is stored and the policies and settings used across your client base. Configuring standard antivirus and patch management policies that can be applied globally to endpoints allows for rapid adjustments to settings without having to touch the systems themselves. Now, it’s all done remotely from a single portal.

Using an RMM tool allows you to standardize on antivirus systems. You will no longer have to manage several different vendors because any client you manage from your RMM tool can be configured to use its own antivirus. This reduces the amount of training engineers require and new ones can more quickly get up to speed. You can now concentrate your time on becoming an expert in one system rather than knowing a little about each.

Conclusion

largeNetwork.jpgYou can only properly manage large numbers of devices using a professional RMM tool. If you’re not using one now and you want to scale your business or get more insights into your network, start now and you will soon wonder how you coped without one.

Giving your engineers the best tools available will also allow them to deliver a superior level of support to your customers. Detect issues before they occur, perform more work remotely, and save you time.

If you’re serious about professionally managing your networks or scaling your IT service business, an RMM tool is your next step.

Ian Waters is a senior partner at MSP Southern IT Networks Ltd and works as the technical director. Ian has been working in IT for over 15 years since finishing his degree in computer science and artificial intelligence. An Office 365 expert and author of the book, Microsoft® Office 365®—Exchange Online Implementation and Migration—Second Edition. You can follow Ian on his personal blog here.

To find out how the SolarWinds RMM can help hour business, click here

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