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The introduction of game-changing IT tools, like Atera’s AI-powered remote monitoring and management (RMM) software could not have come at a better time. Workforces are becoming more and more decentralized, increasing the need for your IT team to keep your network healthy and secure — no matter where your end users are located. 

Whether you’re a managed service provider (MSP) or a technician working for an in-house IT department, choosing the right remote monitoring and management tool is crucial to scalable, consistent success — including safety and efficiency considerations. 

In this guide, we will dive deep into everything you need to think about as you select the ideal RMM tool for your organization. 

The importance of choosing the best RMM tool

As a reminder, remote monitoring and management software allows IT professionals to manage endpoints and network infrastructure from any place with an internet connection. 

So what are the RMM benefit? Now, technicians can identify, report, and resolve any IT issues that arise no matter where end users are working from. This is crucially important as the popularity of remote workforces continues to increase. 

But that’s not all that RMM tools facilitate. IT teams are also able to update software and security processes and automate numerous network processes, building workflows that can operate asynchronously and without the immediate need for technician manpower. 

Ultimately, RMM solutions have streamlined IT workflows immensely, allowing teams to direct their attention to more complex problems while the automated systems of a strong RMM tool handle mundane tasks. 

That said, not all RMM software are created equal. It’s important to understand the diverse offerings on the market so that you can choose one that meets the unique needs of your organization, delivering all of the capabilities to set you up for success. Let’s talk about the steps you should take as you evaluate the RMM solutions on the market. 

How to choose the right RMM in 6 simple steps

Here are our 6 key steps to follow when you’re searching for the best RMM solution for your organization. 

Step #1: Define your use cases carefully

Managing an IT environment is all about being proactive rather than reactive. In order to make the best decision possible when choosing the right RMM for your organization, you need to think critically about your use cases. 

A strong RMM tool will offer intuitive dashboards that allow you to access a wide range of information at a glance. No matter what your use cases are, it’s crucial to get a bird’s eye view of your network so that you can address problems before they become impediments to your company’s or client’s productivity. 

You’ll also want to think about what kinds of integrations you will need. For instance, some RMM solutions will have PSA and helpdesk integrations (like Atera’s does) while others do not. You’ll want to consider what kind of billing and reporting capabilities you need as well as what level of intelligent automation you would like to see in your product. 

Step #2: Conduct market research

Next up, it’s important to conduct robust market research. Once you have a clear understanding of what you’re looking for, you will want to examine the options available to you. Gain more information on what RMM software solutions are available, and then you will be able to compare them side by side. This bleeds into the next step… 

Step #3: Source peer feedback

Ask around, read reviews, and gain a better picture of other people’s experiences with each product. Talking to your peers in the IT space can be an excellent way to get a behind-the-scenes look at a product without having to test-drive it yourself. You will get a better sense of the product’s learning curve, ease of use, and intuitiveness. 

When you speak with other IT professionals about a certain product, you will get a chance to learn information that may not be readily available in the sales jargon on the product’s website. 

But it’s also important to keep in mind that someone else’s use cases might be different from yours — one product may not be the right fit for one organization, but it could be perfect for yours. 

Step #4: Define your decision criteria

After you know what options are available to you on the market, you will want to make an informed and objective decision based on stated criteria. Make a list of the factors you will be considering. For instance, you might be looking at capabilities, overall cost, number of end users supported, price per technician, learning curve, etc. 

Understanding how you weigh these factors in relation to each other is the key to making a strong decision that you will feel confident in — and ensuring that you get a product that meets the majority of your needs for a price that you can afford. 

Step #5: Set up demo calls

At this stage, you have probably narrowed down your RMM solution options to a few different products. It’s time to set up some demo calls so that you can take a better look at the user interfaces of each product you are considering. 

When you schedule a demo, you will be introduced to the tool’s primary capabilities and features, and you will have the chance to ask detailed, in-depth questions to a real person whose objective is to help you make the best decision possible. Engaging in these demo calls will give you more clarity on which RMM product best fits your needs and priorities. 

Step #6: Try it out

After engaging in your demo calls, it’s time to decide which product will best help your organization achieve its goals. Many RMM products will offer a trial period, for free or at a reduced cost, so that you can test out a product before fully committing. For instance, Atera’s award-winning RMM tool comes with a 30-day free trial!

This can be a great opportunity to learn the ins and outs of a product and ensure that it has all of the capabilities you are looking for before you put down any money. Following the steps above will help you make an informed decision the first time so that you don’t have to repeat this process.

11 key considerations for selecting the best RMM tool

As you conduct market research and decide on the best remote monitoring and management software for you, you’ll want to ask yourself some key questions. Here are some of our suggestions to guide you as you do this research and examine what providers have to offer.

#1: What are the product’s real-time monitoring capabilities? 

Any strong RMM tool should be able to provide a wide range of information from one intuitive dashboard. So what will you want to see? It’s important to look for system resources, user tracking (which users are logged in at a given time as well as their activity), simple network management protocol (SNMP) monitoring, network and IP monitoring, and more. 

#2: What types of alerts, if any, are built into the tool? 

Having an intuitive dashboard is great, but you don’t want your technicians sitting around watching a screen all day. The best RMM tools will allow you to set up smart alerts to ping your team if something unusual comes up. That way, you can live by one of our favorite IT mottos: Be proactive rather than reactive. 

When you have intelligent alerts set up based on given thresholds for the data you’re monitoring, you will be able to fix problems before they get in the way of company productivity. We think of this shift as the foundation of taking your IT department into the modern age. It will allow you to move away from being the “fix-it guy” at the office and into a strategic role.  

#3: Does the RMM software have intelligent automation? 

In this day and age, there’s no time for repetitive busy work when your IT manpower should be focused on complex problems and strategic activities. You want to look for an RMM tool that will eliminate the need for you to focus on repetitive and manual tasks — for instance, rebooting and creating system restore points, shutting down, checking for updates, etc. 

When you choose an RMM that can handle these tasks through smart automation, your technicians and their critical-thinking brains can be reallocated to focus on higher-value offerings. 

It’s also worth looking for an RMM tool that offers artificial intelligence (AI) integrations. AI-powered IT solutions open up a world of infinite possibilities, boosting efficiency by up to 10X and slashing time to resolution. With these new-age capabilities, RMM software that is built with the power of AI is sure to transform your department’s productivity. 

#4: How well does the RMM tool handle patch management? 

Speaking of manual work… we all know that patching is one of those tedious tasks that can suddenly eat up hours of your day. The best RMM solutions out there will be able to automate patch management tasks. Again, this will free up brainpower and human resources to focus on strategic development tasks and increase the value of your IT department as a whole. 

You might see some RMM solutions with limited patch management options, but let’s be honest: you don’t need separate systems for different kinds of updates. Ensure that the option you are choosing allows everything to run from a single dashboard and addresses all of your use cases in one fell swoop. 

#5: Does the RMM solution meet your remote access needs? 

Even in the days before COVID-19, managed service providers (MSPs) needed to harness the ability to remotely access client devices and assets. Today, that is an essential capability for both MSPs and corporate IT departments. The best RMM solutions will allow you to seamlessly support colleagues and customers instantly and remotely. 

#6: What are the RMM software’s network discovery abilities? 

Having a robust view of everything happening within your IT environment is crucial for success. Any strong RMM will need network discovery capabilities. This is important for many reasons, including:

  • Spotting gaps in infrastructure
  • Hardware auditing
  • Cybersecurity
  • Warranty checks
  • And more. 

#7: What level of reporting and analytics do you need? 

To truly get the most value out of your RMM solutions, you want powerful reporting and analytics tools. This will add legitimacy to the way you do business and help show the value of your IT department to your organization’s executive team. 

The best RMMs on the market will allow you to set data-driven goals and key performance metrics, measuring change over time with the health of reports such as inventory audits, system health, profitability, and more. You will also want a system that easily allows you to export these reports so they can be shared with others outside your team. 

#8: Does your RMM integrate with PSA and Helpdesk software? 

Any feature-rich RMM will save you numerous hours every single day by cutting down on manual monitoring and management time. But the real game-changer is remote monitoring and management tools that integrate with helpdesk and PSA software. You can make ticket resolution faster, easier, and more efficient — on both the customer and technician side of the equation. 

At Atera, for example, we use the power of AI with our RMM software to revolutionize the IT ticketing game. The capabilities of our AI-powered all-in-one system make it easy to address end-user concerns without endless back and forth, frustration, and wasted time. 

#9: Are invoicing and billing part of the RMM tool’s capabilities? 

This is especially important for MSPs: If you are running your own IT consultancy business, you will want an RMM that will also help you stay attuned to invoicing and billing. For instance, RMM tools with features like timesheet generation, one-click invoice generation, and more can free up your time for more complex and rewarding tasks. 

#10: What is your budget for the best RMM software?

When you’re looking for an RMM tool with this level of functionality, you’re probably starting to get a little bit worried about the state of your wallet. It’s important to set a budget and evaluate the viability of each RMM option before you settle on one and make a purchase. 

For instance, Atera’s disruptive pricing model uses per-technician pricing to allow businesses to scale and grow with RMM pricing based on the number of technicians rather than the number of end users. This makes Atera a strong, budget-conscious choice for startups and large, more established corporations alike. 

#11: Does the RMM account for security concerns? 

If you want a truly comprehensive RMM, you will need one that addresses cybersecurity concerns and sets your organization up for success in terms of compliance. With automation in place, the best RMM tools can help minimize the risks present in your IT environment and apply updates quickly and reliably from anywhere in the world. 

RMM for IT departments

If you think of RMM solutions as primarily made for managed service providers (MSPs), times have changed. As the IT landscape has evolved, RMM tools have become necessary for internal IT departments to adapt to new needs — no matter how big or small your organization might be. 

From proactive monitoring and patch management to remote access and asset management, RMM tools for internal IT teams help to enhance efficiency, reduce manual workload, and streamline overall operations. 

You will want to ensure that you have a scalable, flexible RMM model for your in-house IT department so that you can grow with your organization and adapt to changing needs over time. 

How to choose the best RMM for MSPs

When you’re choosing the best RMM for your MSP, you will want to ensure that you get the full functionality available to you. For large and small MSPs, you want a complete collection of tools that enables off-site technicians to maintain an IT system. These systems remove the need for time-consuming site visits and allow you to work remotely with various clients. 

With a strong RMM platform, you will be able to serve multiple clients asynchronously and provide access tools to a variety of technicians at the same time. Automated IT processes will help you fulfill routine monitoring tasks – for instance, gathering network performance status.

Choosing the best RMM for small MSPs

For small managed service providers, it’s especially important to choose an RMM that offers competitive pricing and a model that can scale and grow with you. Atera’s RMM capabilities can do just that. 

A disruptive pricing model with per-technician pricing makes it possible for a single technician to monitor limitless end users – so you can make the most of your resources. The best RMM for small MSPs is one that you can afford, after all. 

How to choose the best RMM for your IT team

As an IT department, you need an RMM tool that can effectively meet your needs in your current company stage, as well as future growth needs. That is why it’s crucial to invest in a platform with full functionality — but when it comes to a complete suite of capabilities, you also want to ensure you’re not spending too much so that you get in over your head. 

Instead, choose an RMM solution that gives you the functionality you need at a price you can afford. Atera specializes in scalable solutions that can grow and change with you — making the most of your resources at every stage of your growth. For startups and large corporations alike, our product is renowned in the IT space. Try Atera for free today. 

Invest in an all-in-one RMM 

Choosing the right RMM for your organization’s needs is crucial. There’s no reason to spend hours flipping through different (and redundant) software or pay for multiple memberships. Instead, opt for an all-in-one software that will cover your robust RMM needs as well as your other needs, like ticketing and reporting. 

If that sounds like what you’re looking for, don’t wait. Try Atera today! With our 30-day free trial, you can give our best-in-class RMM solutions a try at no cost. 

Want a demo? Talk to our sales team here. 

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