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5 Ways to Improve Your MSP Service Level Agreement (SLA)

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5 Ways to Improve Your MSP Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

SLAs are the foundation of your MSP business. They are essential to building strong client relationships and must be clear, reasonable and well-constructed.

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5 Signs an SMB is Ready for RMM

Posted March 24, 2016by Jaq Baldwin

Convincing prospects to first conclude that they need a managed services provider (MSP) to help fight the good fight means you have shown them the value you provide as an IT solutions provider. They know they need to outsource support to a capable team. But in your conversations with clients, you should be discussing the importance of your remote monitoring and management (RMM) platform and how leveraging this preventative technology will provide them with much-needed peace of mind.

So here are five signs business owners of the small- and medium-sized businesses you're engaged with may be ready for your remote monitoring and management solution. 


1) They Don't Have Round the Clock IT Support

Not every business has 24x7x365 operations but discussing how 24x7x365 monitoring and maintenance benefits them is a good conversation to have. Many SMBs have servers that run all day and all night and need to be protected and monitored in the wee small hours of the morning just as much as the hustle and bustle of 9am on a Tuesday. Talk to your SMB clients about how your RMM solution monitors their networks, keeping an eye on business operations, and provides desktop support and remediation all day and all night.

And if you don't currently receive this kind of support from your RMM platform, it may be time to switch solutions. Check out our eBook linked below for more offering!

2) Fighting Security Challenges is Not Their Job

Through RMM support, you as an MSP can maintain security for your clients as well. The right RMM agent supplies an avenue through which antivirus (AV) and anti-malware can be installed and updated on desktops and servers. If an SMB business owner you're talking to isn't sure they're ready for this type of support and management, ask them how much time and money they spend managing AV software licensing, updates and installation. Then ask what it would cost them if their organization were hit with a security breach. If that decision maker's honest with themselves and you, they'll soon realize that ensuring their company is safe and secure from viruses, malware and other attacks is too important of a duty to handle on their own.

3) Their Servers Could Go Offline at Inconvenient Times

At Southern Data Solutions, I like to talk to my clients about a scenario in which they arrive to work on Monday morning and find out that one of their servers running key applications has been down since Saturday night. This means they are going to be without any productivity for possibly an entire day if it's not brought back online quickly. What could have been done if the server was being monitored during the weekend and after hours? In this case our managed services team would have received a critical event notification, remediated the issue right then and there and had everything back up and running by Monday morning. That's right, the client would have been none the wiser. So if a client or prospect is on the fence about whether they need your RMM support, ask how prepared they are for a server outage that could occur at any point in time. They may or may not have a backup and disaster recovery (BDR) plan (which you should be talking to them about regardless), but production servers still need to be monitored for these types of critical events and taken care of as quickly as possible.

4) They Don't Track Network and Device Health

If your clients don't know the current health of their servers, network, and endpoint devices they don't know how vulnerable they may be or where they are in lifecycle management. Without proper health tracking, clients won't know what their utilization looks like, when they need to update or upgrade software and hardware, or even if they have security flaws that are going overlooked. When you provide your clients tracking and updates on the health of their networks and devices through an RMM tool, you assume a critical management responsibility that many SMBs don't have the time or skills to manage.

5) They Don't Automate

Automation touches a little on the other key points I spoke about earlier but let's take a closer look at what kind of automation can be valuable to an SMB and why it should matter to them. I mentioned AV and why offloading security tasks from the client to the MSP is helpful, but automation plays a role in keeping clients safe. By automating the virus definition updates you can ensure the latest attacks are prepared for in a manner that is as up-to-date as possible. Patch management, script scheduling and other maintenance automation also allows you to offload the tasks that many clients may not realize are taking up so much of their time to maintain, or leaving them vulnerable if not properly managed. Automating AV definitions, service pack updates, patches and other daily tasks frees the client, but also frees you the MSP to be ready to respond to real support requests or core operations processes that require more attention.

RMM 101: Must-haves for Your IT Management Solution

Jaq Baldwin is a Sales Professional at Southern Data Solutions in Alpharetta, Georgia. He loves working with his customers to provide IT solutions that reduce risk, cost, and liability while increasing productivity and better use of technology in the business world. He loves running, blogging, and watching terrible Sci-Fi movies late at night. Follow him @JaqTech, visit his blog Marathon Sales, or his company Southern Data Solutions to stay in touch.

RMM 101: Must-haves for Your IT Management Solution
MSP Guide to Managed Services SLAs  [white paper]
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