Remote management module (RMM) vendors frequently offer an integrated security solution with their core product. But how does the security featured in these integrated products compare? In a previous blog, I wrote about the five questions to ask your RMM vendor about integrated security offerings. Now, here are five more questions to make sure you know what’s covered and what isn’t in these solutions.
What is the process for acquiring licenses for an integrated security solution?
Sometimes you are required to make significant up-front purchases of security solution licenses in order to get specific pricing, or simply because they are sold in blocks and you don’t have the flexibility to increase and decrease your license count on-the-fly to match your business needs.
Separate from the pricing and any up-front costs, how do you obtain those licenses? Do you have to place an order through your RMM vendor and then wait a period of time until they can supply those licenses, because they – in turn – have to request them from the security solution vendor? What happens if you are doing a new roll-out on the weekend and you didn’t initiate that process in time? Can you get licenses on demand, 24x7x365?
What is the process for obtaining support for the integrated security solution?
RMM vendors aren’t the most qualified to support a security solution due to their lack of knowledge and expertise (which is expected since they didn’t build the security solutions). So how do you get support? Can you contact the security solution vendor directly? Or do you have to submit tickets/cases through your RMM vendor and wait for the escalation process to get to the security solution vendor? What is the average response time you can expect when you open a case? And more importantly, how long will your customers have to wait?
How long is your contract with the security solution vendor? And what happens when that contract expires?
Just like in your business, where you negotiate term-based contracts with your customers, RMM vendors negotiate contracts with security solution vendors that have a term associated with them. It’s important to be aware of the implications if that term happens to expire and the RMM vendor decides not to renew it, and switches to another security solution.
Will they renew the contract with no impact to you? Or will they decide to partner with another vendor? And what does that mean for you and your customers?
If you change the integrated security solution, how does that impact me?
Unfortunately for you, if your RMM vendor decides to switch security solutions, you will most likely be forced to follow suit. This means despite all the effort you spent deploying the security solution in the first place, you will have to do it again.
Don’t expect any help from the outgoing security solution vendor either, as they have no incentive or motivation to make that process easier for you. There’s also the challenge of re-training your entire staff on the new solution. How much time is that going to take? And what impact will that have on your bottom line? What will the RMM vendor do to mitigate that impact?
What happens if you get acquired, consolidate, or go out of business? Are my customers still protected?
The RMM market is extremely crowded, with at least 30 different companies offering a similar product with similar functionality. All are vying for a piece of the MSP market that is on a rapid upward trajectory. These are ripe conditions for consolidation, acquisition, and – in some cases – closing up shop.
If your RMM vendor is the victim of one of these events, the integrated security solution they offered may become a casualty. Contracts may not carry over or be honored by the acquiring entity, or the acquiring entity may have a relationship with a different security solution, forcing you to rip out and replace everything.
If your RMM vendor goes out of business, don’t expect the integrated security solution vendor to keep providing the security solution at the same price, or at all. What assurances does the RMM vendor have in place for this situation?
With these questions in hand, you should be prepared to learn all you need to know about the integrated security in RMM solutions. Have others that we should add to this list? Let us know in the comment section below!