How to Find the Best RMM Software for My Business?
Navigating the large number of RMM software solutions can be daunting. Here’s how to find the best RMM software for your business.
Navigating the large number of RMM (Remote Monitoring and Management) software solutions can be a daunting task, especially if you are new to this field. The market is full of options, each with unique capabilities, features, and price ranges. This complexity can leave buyers feeling unsure about which solution best fits their needs.
In our interactions with potential customers, it is not uncommon for us to collectively discover that our RMM software platform, Canopy, might not be the ideal match for them. Given Canopy is focused on a very specific segment of the remote device management market, we understand that our value proposition does not align with every buyer's needs.
To address this, we use a simple set of questions to better understand the specific needs of a prospective buyer’s business. Through these conversations, we’ve learned there are four core aspects of an organization that most influence which type of RMM software platform is right for them. In this blog post, we delve into these key topics, to help you begin to understand which kind of RMM tools are best for your business.
Size of Your Deployment
The first and most foundational aspect that will influence your RMM decision is the total number of devices you need to support remotely. Deployment size is the largest driver of complexity, and with more complexity, the relative value an RMM platform can drive inside your business goes up.
While there are no hard-and-fast rules on what constitutes a “small” deployment, we rarely see businesses with less than 100 devices needing a robust RMM platform. Issues across such a small base of devices can typically be handled by one support team member, who will sometimes have other responsibilities inside the business. If this describes your business, then investing in a larger-scale RMM platform is likely overkill for your needs. In these cases, a lightweight RMM platform (e.g., LogMeIn Central or Splashtop Remote Support) or even a basic remote desktop tool, like TeamViewer or AnyDesk, is likely good enough to meet your needs and will be a less expensive solution.
However, if your business is responsible for supporting many devices (typically 500 or more) or requires a larger remote support team (typically three or more members), then it may make sense for you to evaluate more robust RMM platforms. The reasoning is that while these more robust platforms will be more expensive, the incremental performance improvements they can drive across a larger fleet can justify their costs. For example, investing in an RMM platform with automated issue detection and self-healing, like Canopy, could enable your business to add more devices without needing to add another support team member. In that case, the cost of a new RMM software platform would be well below the average L1 help desk technician salary cost of USD 55k.
Type of Devices
The second factor that must be considered alongside the size of a deployment, is the type(s) of devices that your business needs to monitor and manage. The device type is the second largest driver of complexity and can require businesses to invest in more robust RMM platforms at lower deployment numbers to manage the entire solution. Let's look at a few of the common device archetypes and how they can influence which type of remote monitoring solution is right for your business.
- Basic workstation PCs, laptops, or servers -- These are the classic device types that most RMM platforms are built to support. Basic IT management RMM software which focuses mostly on Windows PCs are: Kaseya, ConnectWise, N-Able, and NinjaOne.
- Mobile devices -- Mobile devices are relatively straightforward devices to manage, and there are several MDM-focused providers on the market. A few of the top players are Hexnode, Esper, and Scalefusion.
- Devices with peripherals or "IoT devices" -- These kinds of mixed-device type hardware solutions (like a POS system, self-checkout kiosk, or camera security system) are complex use cases where a flexible RMM like Canopy is helpful.
Other factors that can increase device complexity are if you have a mix of different device types (i.e., some mobile devices and some IoT devices) or a mix of different operating systems (e.g., Windows, Linux, and Android). In such cases you will still want to manage your entire fleet with a single RMM platform, so choosing an RMM, like Canopy, that allows you to manage different device types (e.g., mobile devices and servers) as well as different OSs inside the same pane of glass will be a key value proposition.
A third factor that impacts which kind of RMM software is best for your business is the physical or operational environment in which the devices are deployed.
In deployment scenarios that are highly divergent, remote, or unattended, a more robust RMM is likely the best decision for your business where you can record and measure the different environmental factors that can impact uptime and device performance. For example, if your devices are in locations with different firewall restrictions, IP configurations, or uncertain power and connectivity performance, then you will need an RMM that can help your remote support team understand if the cause of downtime is being caused by device or environmental issues. Closely related, in scenarios where devices are unattended (like security cameras) having a proactive monitoring solution that flags issues before customers do can help your team stay one step ahead of customer calls.
However, if your business is managing devices that are in uniform, attended, or non-complex environments such as PCs sitting on office networks then the likelihood that environmental factors are influencing downtime is relatively low. In these scenarios, the more traditional RMMs (i.e., Kaseya, ConnectWise, N-Able, NinjaOne, etc.) are great fits given they rarely need to take environmental factors into account.
Remote Management Needs
The last factor to consider when selecting which kind of RMM is the best fit for your business is the types of remote management capabilities your team needs or wants to provide. Depending on the business model or industry, the range of remote management responsibilities can vary widely for businesses. This ultimately comes down to the team composition and mandate for your business. If your business is responsible for maintaining and supporting the entire fleet of devices and ensuring their uptime, then you will need to invest in a full-scale RMM platform. In this case, your team will likely have a technical support function (L1-L3) as well as a product or engineering function responsible for the deployment of software updates to the device to maintain security and performance over time. Both the technical support and engineering teams will need a robust platform they can leverage to do things like remote desktop sessions, bulk actions, smart alerts, performance dashboarding, and integrations into other management or ticketing systems.
However, if your team just needs to provide reactive troubleshooting or is not responsible for the technical maintenance and support of the device then a remote desktop or a lightweight RMM platform should be the right level of investment for your business.
Other factors to consider are if your business is providing remote support as a managed service or if it is an internal maintenance/management function. In cases where you are offering remote support as a Managed Service Provider (MSP), then platforms that offer features like multi-tenancy, robust user and role permissions, and white labeling are more important to be able to provide the right level of service to different clients. If your team is just managing their own devices internally then these factors may become less important.
RMM is a complex space with a plethora of great solution providers on the market. The key to successfully navigating this provider space is to understand the drivers of complexity in your business and see whether a lightweight, traditional out-of-the-box or enterprise-level RMM solution is the best fit for your needs.
Canopy is a robust RMM platform designed for large and complex deployments of smart devices. It's a highly configurable platform to address the unique needs of enterprises looking for a scalable way to manage their hardware solutions. As a result, the setup and cost for this kind of RMM solution can be longer and more expensive than other RMM software on the market. If we are talking to the right kind of customer, then often these trade-offs relative to the increased capabilities can make sense -- but getting to that point requires understanding the customer's business and what kind of RMM is the best fit for their operation.
If you are part of a team overseeing a large network of smart devices and feel uncertain about where to start with Remote Device Management, we would love to help provide guidance. Just reach out to us at info@goCanopy.com with the subject line “Free Strategy Session” to schedule a call with one of our technical subject matter experts. During these sessions we take an unbiased approach, focusing on better understanding your specific business requirements to be able to provide the most relevant advice. We will provide you with clear, actionable insights on the best starting point for your Remote Device Management journey, including suggesting alternative RDM software platforms if they are more suited to your needs.