Using an RMM tool to increase revenue as a Break/Fix IT business

Richard Tubb

I recently had a conversation with an IT business who worked under the ad-hoc Break/Fix model. They were asking me what value using a Remote Monitoring & Management (RMM) tool would bring to their business, and how they would generate revenue with these tools.

Break-FixMy answer? Any RMM tool worth it’s salt should help you uncover a wealth of opportunities at client sites, opportunities which -- when consistently brought to clients attention -- can help to educate clients that IT is of most value to any business when it’s maintained and not left to break at all.

Here are two simple ways that deploying an RMM tool can help any IT business to increase revenue.

Monitor servers and reduce downtime across the entire business

To many small businesses, their server is still something of a mystery. It sits in the Comms Room -- or in many businesses, in the corner of the office -- and hums away. The only time they really pay it any thought is when the server has a problem, and then it’s typically the sort of problem that can bring the entire office to a grinding halt.

Network drives are unavailable. Printers don’t print. Applications won’t load. In fact, most of the functions that employees need to do their work are suddenly unavailable to them.

If you, as an IT company, can deploy RMM tools to your clients servers then you’re able to proactively notify the client of any impending issues. Disk space running low? You’ll be alerted and can take steps to avoid the server crashing. Email not working? You’ll know about it before the client does.

Once you start pro-actively highlighting to a customer the issues that, if left unresolved will take down their entire workforce, that customer will immediately see the value.

Monitor Workstations and keep mission critical tools running

An often overlooked use of an RMM tool is to monitor workstations within client environments.

While the Server is undoubtedly critical to any business, how many businesses have specific workstations that, if they were unavailable for any reason, would also bring the business grinding to a halt?

  • The HR department need the PC that runs the Payroll software, or staff won’t get paid.
  • The Finance department need their Workstations to invoice customers, otherwise no money comes into the business.
  • The Managing Director needs his laptop to create quotes for customers, or the business doesn’t find any new custom.

I’ve given just three examples of critical workstations within any typical business, and you can probably highlight a dozen more across your customer base too.

Using an RMM tool to monitor and maintain these critical workstations pays for itself. For any business, taking the chance of losing access to these critical workstations is probably a gamble they won’t be willing to take.

Conclusion - Pro-Active Maintenance generates revenue

I’ve given two examples of how an RMM tool can be used at customer sites, and the top reason I believe all IT businesses should deploy RMM tools across their entire client base is that it gives them the opportunity to pro-actively tackle issues before they cause significant damage to customers businesses.

Customers will see value in mitigating the risks to their most critical business systems, and be prepared to pay for this value.

You, as an IT company, can use RMM tools to proactively highlight maintenance work that needs to be undertaken to minimise downtime. This, in turn, generates revenue for your business.

And over time your client will start to realise that the critical IT within their business is not some “set and forget” tool, no more than their Motor Car is something that never needs topping up with Oil or a Tyre change. Once this lesson sinks in, your customers will start to ask you how they might pay a flat-fee for you to manage their systems.

It’s at this stage that you take the first step away from providing Break/Fix support to becoming a Managed Service Provider (MSP).