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How MSPs Can Optimize Managed Services with RMM/PSA Integration

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When making platform choices, MSPs should look for flexibility and interoperability.

The integration of RMM (remote monitoring and management) with PSA (professional services automation) is becoming more commonplace in managed services, and some PSA vendors have even acquired RMM vendors to promote this approach. But while RMM/PSA integration makes eminent sense, by helping MSPs deliver new levels of automation and service quality, providers should take care not to be pushed into a specific integration. IT service providers are always at their best when they have the flexibility to choose the tools that best suit their and their customers’ needs.

So when making platform choices, MSPs should look for flexibility and interoperability. Remember, the ultimate goal is to manage customers’ IT resources through automation. The more automation you achieve, the more consistent, accurate and reliable your service will be. Customers get peace of mind knowing they don’t have to worry whether systems and applications are going to quit on them unexpectedly.

You are better able to deliver that peace of mind by combining your RMM platform, which keeps tabs on customer systems, with the tool that keeps your own operation tidy--PSA. The PSA system automates day-to-day business functions such as helpdesk and billing, and centralizes information about assets, customer histories, contracts and invoicing so you can keep accurate, timely records.

Without PSA, you’re likely handling these tasks manually, which costs you in time and money. But even if you use PSA but haven’t integrated it with RMM, you are still turning your back on savings and efficiency. For instance, you’re probably slowing down ticket resolution by manually entering information into the PSA that is already in your RMM platform.

Single Dashboard

With integrated RMM and PSA, in a best-in-class scenario, the management of service delivery and associated business functions is combined in a single dashboard, so you don’t have to keep changing screens to find or enter information. Device data in the RMM platform can be automatically populated in PSA. Device inventory is automated, and when a change occurs, the system updates the information without human intervention.

That alone saves valuable tech time, but consider what happens when a support ticket is created. When the RMM platform triggers an alert, the PSA system receives the alert and automatically creates a ticket, identifies the device associated with the ticket, and assigns it a severity level to trigger the proper response.

This accelerates the ticket creation process, vastly improves accuracy and ensures consistency in how tickets are handled. You don’t have to take time to log into the PSA dashboard to manually open a ticket, which slows down resolution and can cause interruptions, or type in notes about the case and how it was resolved. Instead, the system monitors the progress of each case through resolution to ensure nothing falls through the cracks.

When a ticket is created, there is a time stamp that can come in handy when a provider has to prove that a response took place within the amount of time required by the service-level agreement with the customer.

From a business insight perspective, RMM/PSA integration also serves a strategic role by making it easier to view the history of a device and review helpdesk and ticketing information. Providers can use this information to report to customers on past work and to create proposals for future updates and upgrades.

Choosing Wisely

Seamless integration between RMM and PSA tools enables MSPs to optimize efficiencies and deliver the highest levels of support to their customers. Having the freedom to choose which RMM tool to integrate with which PSA system is critical. If you partner with a vendor that gives you a single option, you may find in some cases it isn’t the best approach for your customers, which would defeat the purpose of integration to maximize service quality. That’s why MSPs should carefully weigh their integration options.

As channel sales manager for SolarWinds N-able, David Weeks works closely with the company's top tier partners and major accounts worldwide to understand their needs, provide insight into current market conditions, and offer strategic sales and marketing recommendations. A regular presenter at the company’s global and regional summits, David is passionate about ensuring the success of SolarWinds N-able's partner base.

 

 

Discuss this Blog Entry 1

on Jul 22, 2015

You make some excellent points David.

The latest in integration technology, "Web API" integration and before that REST web services, are now supported by many PSA/RMM vendors. This integration method provides integration capabilities/functionality that rivals anything that can be accomplished with a proprietary integration, as well as allowing PSA/RMM software vendors to offer additional integration capabilities faster as functionality is added to each platform, than is possible with the legacy proprietary integration approach.

Since the Web API or REST Web services integration approach is also based on a "standard", it also provides MSPs' and technology solution providers with the flexibility to move from one PSA/RMM combination to another much more easily (as well as take your data with you, since the Web API and REST Web Services can also be used to extract data).

The truth is the PSA or RMM or PSA/RMM combination that meets your needs today, may not meet your needs tomorrows as your company grows and matures. Locking yourself into a particular PSA/RMM combo may leave your company looking like the incredible hulk, wearing the remnants of a shirt and pants that used to fit pretty well, before your company grew substantially.

Web API and/or REST Web services based PSA's and RMM's provide the same, or in some cases better integration capabilities/functionality, than legacy proprietary integrations, while still providing the flexibility to move from one PSA/RMM combination to another as your company grows.

Regards, Jim Barnet
www.promys.com

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