Ah, the great debate in the SMB Managed Services realm:  what is the better Remote Monitoring & Management (RMM) solution?  I don’t know how many times I’ve been asked this question by SMB providers, so I decided it would be beneficial for a no-holds-barred comparison of the products I know.  Obviously, it will not be a comprehensive comparison of every available solution, since I am only going to compare the products I know and have worked with first hand:  IT Control Suite, Level Platforms’ Managed Workplace, and Kaseya.

This will be a multi-part series, with each entry focusing on one aspect of RMM functionality (monitoring, patching, scripting, remote access, etc.) and providing a comparison of how each of the three solutions approaches the functionality and how well they deliver, noting gotchas to be aware of.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with me, I have been involved with providing managed services in the SMB space since mid-2003.  In mid-2004 we were one of Level Platforms’ earliest customers.  In early 2006 we added Kaseya and started running it side-by-side with Managed Workplace.  Finally, in mid 2008 we began working with IT Control Suite as well.  I spent two years as CTO of MSPSN, and during that time MSPSN offered vendor-agnostic NOC services, allowing SMB MSPs to use whatever RMM product they wanted.  Part of my duties included administering multiple RMM installations to keep them in sync with MSPSN’s standardized monitoring and ticketing configuration, but also training NOC staff on these products as well.  As a result, I have in-depth first-hand experience with these products.  I know each one’s killer features, what they do well, what they could do better, and in some cases what they flat-out don’t do.

Before we dive in with the series, it is important to note that if you are providing Managed Services, and do not have any RMM solution in place, any one of these is a viable choice that will enhance your offering(s) and help streamline your service delivery.  There is no wrong answer – just a potentially better answer depending on your needs and priorities in an RMM solution.  Just be aware that no RMM is truly “set it and forget it” – they all require on-going administrative effort to keep doing their job well, although some do require less admin overhead than others.