Personal Recommendation for MSP and/or RMM platforms or software

Lionel MM
Lionel MM used Ask the Experts™
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I am asking for recommendation on MSP and/or RMM platforms solutions or software--please provide your recommendations based on your personal experience and why you recommend it over any others--thanks.
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Based on my experience, I helped choose N-able (now owned by Solar Winds). I liked it, however, while they support N-able, it sounds like they are trying to push users to their Solar Windows MSP product. So, my advice if N-able is among the finalists, I would look at the MSP Solar Winds product because it may "get more development attention" down the road.

In general, I wouldn't let the features of the MSP product be your primary motivator. I would look at your other products, particularly what products you use to (1) track time and tickets, (2) AR and AP, (3) connect for remote access, (4) use for backup software and (5) support exceptions (i.e. AIX, AS/400s, etcetera; think of your "odd" systems but systems which *must* be monitored ... legacy OS/2 systems for transactional processing).

For example, lets say you use ConnectWise for tickets. My next question is, what remote access *and* MSP product integrates the *best* with ConnectWise? The answer for Remote Access is the rebranded ScreenConnect, which ConnectWise purchased and rebranded as their own. Then ask the same question regarding MSP products. Lets say you use AutoTask or TigerPaw ... same questions ... ideally, your remote access screen application would feed your "total screen time" into a ticket then you (or the engineer) can update the time to be accurate (i.e. start and end time as well as billable time).

Bottom line, first try to let your business and productivity applications answer that question ... not the MSP product itself. If you do proper due diligence, I think the MSP platform choice will become pretty obvious *unless* you have (1) budget constraints or (2) special monitoring requirements (i.e. monitoring AIX, AS/400s, etcetera) which change the choice to something initially less obvious. Something important to keep in mind through this whole process is ... if your MSP product can fully and accurately monitor backups, it will bode well for you and your time spent supporting the customers.

Once you pick an MSP Product:
1. Start small
2. Identify what the deliverables look like, the frequency and methods they will delivered then include samples in your contract
3. Initially (for your first customers) add a few "free features" (up to 5 or so) to their contracts over the first few months or so (you are learning and so are they; let them have input) after initial rollout, update the contracts with an addendum and customers will love you for your generosity (do not include this in your contracts; do it ad hoc or they will expect it; let this be your surprise to give)
4. Lastly, identify "add-on's" (and pricing) before rolling it out and as each major version is released
Lionel MMSmall Business IT Consultant

Author

Commented:
Thank you for that--I definitely was not looking at this like that, I was more trying to find a way to automate what I was doing manually--I clearly did not have a good grasp of what MSP's actually do. I will have to look at this afresh--thanks for that insight.
Do you have any other specific questions about what you are trying to automate?

I could go from there as well ... I was just trying to give you a good overview if you were in the "valley of decision."
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Lionel MMSmall Business IT Consultant

Author

Commented:
Well basically I logon to my customers daily, check the virus scan and backup reports, and then on a weekly check event logs for servers, and check software for updates on most systems (adobe reader, firefox, chrome, office, itunes) and then twice a month verify that all systems windows updates are current. On a weekly basis run QuickBooks Verify and Rebuild. Also remote onto any system that is reported as problematic via RDP and repair. Was trying to see if there was a way to automate most of this so I can add a few more clients.
Michael RojekDigital Marketing and WebDev

Commented:
You can try NetCrunch network monitoring. It's an all-in-one suite, where you can pick out the various functions you need. When compared against its Solarwinds and PRTG competitors, it's much more scalable with a much lower footprint, much more intuitive GUI and general usage, and supports tons of devices out of the box (over 800,000). Most importantly, it's got a very appealing price point and should be considered on networks from say 50 devices up to really anything.

Screenshot of our NC10 instance
Based on what you've said (Lionel), my advice would still stand, just add AV to the mix too. In addition, if you are not in a position to "push people in an AV brand's direction" then choose one who supports most of your existing clients plus more.

Also, I've never heard of NetCrunch but Michael's experience / recommendation should be considered ...
Lionel MMSmall Business IT Consultant

Author

Commented:
thanks--will read some more and get back to you
Lionel MMSmall Business IT Consultant

Author

Commented:
thanks for your time and my delay in resolving this is totally inexcusable. All these changes on EE recently has left me very frustrated and old communication from EE to remind me to close questions is what I relied on to remember to do this and without them I unfortunately forget, so very sorry.

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