In the business of remote monitoring and management (RMM), it seems like there are new options in the marketplace every year. Solutions, platforms, features, and integrations are released, re-named, re-aligned and re-branded to increase adoption in the channel. However, if you’re an MSP who’s in the market to choose an RMM provider (or switch to a new one), it can be overwhelming to sort through it all.

Choosing an RMM provider is a major business decision; it’s a cornerstone of managed IT services. So, how do you cut through the clutter to figure out what matters most when selecting an RMM provider? Here are a few things to think about before you get started.

1. Total Cost of Ownership

The true price of an RMM platform doesn’t end with the number at the bottom of the monthly bill. Everything including setup, daily maintenance, and updates requires the time of a trained technician, whose salary can easily add a significant amount to the bottom line.

How much time is your team spending updating the platform each week? How much time are they spending sifting through alerts to find actual issues? What level of technicians are you paying to do that?

Should you consider an RMM platform that requires a technician to manually sift through a seemingly endless stack of tickets each day? Or, should you choose an RMM provider that can offload this type of work through the use of technology and a network operations center (NOC)? Investing in an RMM provider that offers a fully-managed solution can be the difference between profitability over time or having to reactively hire more and more costly technicians just to keep up with demand. What is more important: having a lower monthly bill from your RMM provider or keeping your technicians focused on strategic, revenue-driving projects?

2. Scalability

Businesses must grow to survive, and an RMM platform needs to be able to not only support your existing business, but all the business you intend to add in the months and years to come. Before you run to sign on the dotted line, what kind of contract are you entering into? Will restrictive policies or lengthy contract terms constrain your ability to add more business? Nothing can be more frustrating than being locked into an arrangement you have outgrown, so it’s important to consider if your MSP business is better served with more flexible, month-to-month contracts.

An RMM provider and their platform should empower your growth by allowing you to scale profitably, so be sure you’re able to achieve greater profit margins now and more importantly--into the future. When you hit a period of rapid customer growth, it’s important to have a scalable solution that allows you to control your margins. Seek a provider that can integrate a NOC for a fully-managed RMM solution to keep costs down and margins high.

3. Is This a Partnership?

Last, but certainly not least, is the concept of partnership. Not all RMM providers are not equal in their approach—some RMM providers still act more like vendors/resellers in the IT channel, offering a software solution, technical support for that software, and not much else. Are you simply reselling RMM technology, or are you forming a partnership that will allow you to grow and scale your business?

When evaluating RMM providers, look to see if they value your business as a true partnership. Are they responsive in communicating with you? Do they have teams you can go to with questions? Do they provide supporting documentation, training, sales and marketing support and product experts? Are they invested in your success? The RMM provider that works to help you succeed believes in a true partnership; technology is only part of that equation.

Choosing a provider for RMM is not a simple decision; there’s a lot that goes into it. Use these three factors as a starting point, and make sure that the partnerships you make in your IT management platform are the right ones to scale, keep costs down, and provide excellent services to your end users.