RMM software (remote monitoring and management software)

Contributor(s): Spencer Smith

Remote monitoring and management (RMM) software is a type of application that IT service providers use to maintain their clients' IT infrastructure and systems.

RMM software products can offer various tools but have two main functions. Firstly, RMM software allows service companies to keep tabs on their clients' IT systems, including servers, desktops, applications and mobile devices, by supplying performance data and other reports that service technicians can review. Secondly, service providers can execute management tasks, such as patching, updates and service configurations, on the client's systems. Both of these functions can be done remotely (rather than on-site), which is an important benefit to service businesses.

To connect RMM software to a client's systems, a service provider must install an on-site manager on the client's server and/or workstations. Device managers are installed on remote servers, laptops, home office devices and other off-site or mobile equipment. The on-site manager and device managers then plug into the service provider's service center, where the company can observe and manage the client's systems. Typically, RMM software will automatically detect devices on a client's network. Once devices are discovered, the RMM software can automatically perform onboarding and configuration tasks for the new devices.

Many RMM software products provide a central dashboard, or single-pane-of-glass view, of the IT service company's portfolio of clients. This central dashboard can also display details like the number of client devices, cloud services, open help desk tickets and alert tickets for each customer.

RMM software is central to running a managed service provider (MSP) business, because it allows MSPs to keep labor costs down and operate efficiently. Furthermore, since MSPs can serve their clients remotely, they can reduce the amount of time they would otherwise spend visiting customer sites. MSPs can also acquire and manage clients that are located outside of their local markets.

A variety of vendors offer remote monitoring and management software, including Continuum Managed Services LLC, Labtech Software, SolarWinds N-able, AVG Technologies, Kaseya Ltd., CA Technologies (CA Nimsoft) and MSP Consortium. RMM software products can come with numerous features and typically integrate with a range of third-party products, including professional services automation (PSA) software, backup and disaster recovery software, and security products.

This was last updated in July 2015

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