MSPs: Do You Need an RMM Solution, a PSA Solution—or Both?

MSPs: Do You Need an RMM Solution, a PSA Solution—or Both?

September 17

Late last year fellow blogger Contel Bradford asked MSPs, What’s On Your Hardware: RMM or PSA Software? In this article, he described the differences between an RMM (Remote Monitoring & Management) solution and a PSA (Professional Services Automation) one. If you’re unsure of the differences, Contel’s article is a great place to start.

At the end of his post, Contel suggested that for at least some MSPs having both and integrating the two using a vendor like StorageCraft partner LabTech might be the best way to go:

Thanks to the integration of these concepts, LabTech clients enjoy benefits such as synchronized IT assets, streamlined workflows, and better reporting across key network resources. Integrating RMM and PSA tools can provide MSPs with the visibility, scalability, and reliability needed to maintain an edge in this fiercely competitive market. By going the unified route, you can neutralize two birds with one stone, simplify management overhead, increase productivity, and possibly enjoy a better return on your investment.

But you may be asking if you need either, let alone both solutions. Contel lists the primary deciding factors as:

  • IT budget
  • Management resources
  • Cloud vs. on-premise solutions

For all the talk about how both types of software can potentially streamline your IT resources and lower your operations costs going forward, you have to take those realities into consideration. But the benefits to your MSP business’s effectiveness and growth may outweigh some of the initial pains or belt tightening.

You may need an RMM solution if…

You are supporting a hybrid IT environment that is a mix of cloud, virtualized, and legacy parts. You want something that can provide visibility across all the silos in your infrastructure in a centralized and unified fashion. It’s much easier and cost-effective in the long run to know what the elephant is than to trust your various silos to somehow figure out what that overall problem may be.

Of course, finding IT professionals to manage this solution can be daunting and very expensive and time-consuming. A company like StorageCraft partner Continuum can integrate NOC (Network Operations Center) services into its RMM solution so that you don’t have to hire a bunch of new techs to manage it.

You may need a PSA solution if…

You want a platform that can centrally manage all the business processes and workflows in your MSP business. MSP consultant Richard Tubb describes PSA as more than a help desk application:

  • A Professional Services Automation tool could be described as an operating system for your MSP business. For many MSP’s, their PSA tool is the central repository for all information – about their processes, about their clients, about assets and inventory, about billable time, and much more. It can help an MSP with customer management, service delivery, contracts and billing, and more.

According to Tubb, the “big two” PSA vendors to check out are Autotask and ConnectWise, both StorageCraft Alliance Partners. If you have additional questions about how a PSA solution could help your MSP, both companies are good places to start.

Photo credit: Dantetg via Pixabay

You may need an integrated RMM and PSA solution if…

Your MSP would run better deploying both types of solutions, as Contel described in his post. Although it may seem too pricey or unnecessary to have both solutions, integrating an RMM and PSA solution into your MSP infrastructure may cut costs down the road, streamline efficiencies, and limit human error using the automation capabilities each solution offers.

LabTech has posted a PDF called 5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your PSA and RMM Integration, if you’d like to read more about this topic.