IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

RMM Survey Results

I recently did a quick survey of RMM (remote monitoring and management) tools on my blog (here). My plan is to issue two reports on the results. This is the first, covering the basic responses.

RM Survey Results Part 2 is here.

Highlights:
- Most users love their RMM and wouldn't switch
- Most users have implemented most features of their RMM

Of course this is not a massive survey. But it's also not just the results from just one magazine readership or another. And it's not a vendor-sponsored survey. So it just represents the people who answered the survey.

Here's what we found among respondents:

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SolarWinds MSP (formerly LogicNow) is the #1 RM vendor with 28% of the market. After that, there's a gaggle of predictable tools with low double digit market share each. These include Continuum (13%), Kaseya (11%), LabTech (11%), and Autotask AEM (10%).

In all, that's about 73% of the market. Nine other brands make up the remaining 23% of the market. Only about 4% of readers had no RM tool at all. For vendors, there are two areas of growth. One is to broaden the market and sell into a growing sector. The other is to steal customers from other vendors. If 96% of the market is using something, then the growth has to come from displacing another vendor.

How easy is that? Let's see.

Note: When I ran the survey, I forgot that N-Able is now in the SolarWinds family. That makes the SolarWinds MSP share, which takes them to 35% of the market. And that means the five front-runners hold 84% of the market, leaving eight other brands with 15% altogether and 4% of the market with no RMM solution.

Overall, people love the tools they've chosen. Seventy-three percent (73%) rate their overall satisfaction with their RM tool as either Good (49%) or Very Good (29%). Only 4% of all respondents rated their tool as Poor or Very Poor.

Over half of all readers (54%) have had the same RM tool for three or more years. Almost half of that (24% of the total) have had the same tool for six or more years. About 18% have had their RM tool for one year or less.

This suggests not only that RM tools are almost universally used, but there's a strong tendency to stick with the tool you have. Additional research would have to tease out how often companies have changed tools or used two or more RM tools at the same time.

When respondents were asked, If you could go back in time with perfect knowledge, "Would you buy this RM Tool again?" Sixty-one percent (61%) said yes. But, a very significant 30% said they don't know. That's a huge swath of managed service providers who might be lured away by another tool. And of course there's the 9% who would not buy their current tool. They are clearly candidates for a switch.

One bit of common wisdom we often hear is that these tools do not get fully used or fully implemented. This survey suggests otherwise. By far, the largest share of respondents (42%) say that they have implemented 76% to 99% of all features. Another 8% claim to have implemented all features of their RM tool. Twenty-four percent (24%) placed themselves in the category of implementing 51% to 75% of features. In all, a whopping 76% of respondents with an RM tool say they have implemented more than half of all RM features.

Among respondents who have used the same RM tool for one year or less, 59% still report using more than half of all features. Thirty-seven percent (37%) say they've implemented three quarters or more of all features. It would be nice to see other surveys validate these numbers. They certainly dispel the myth that most users have not implemented most features of their RMM.

Our respondents also found implementation to be rather trouble-free. Twenty-seven percent (27%) said they did most of the implementation themselves while 55% said they did all of it themselves.

About 16% said the process was "Super Easy" while another 36% reported implementation to be "Pretty Easy." So, while implementation may not be the easiest thing a managed service provider takes on, it's certainly a manageable undertaking.

Feature, Feature, Feature

Overall, readers are happy with the specific features of their tools as well. Eighty-three percent (83%) ranked their overall feature set as good or very good.

One area that should make vendors very happy: Users like the interfaces! An impressive 79% of respondents rated their RM interface as either Good or Very Good. Only two percent rated their interface as Poor.

It's not all good news for manufacturers as 20% of respondents gave their remote control utility a rating of fair. While the Good and Very Good categories are impressive (26% and 47% respectively), the very large evaluation of "Fair" suggests that there's room for improvement with the remote control component.

Not every RM tool ships with a preferred anti-virus tool. Among respondents whose RM does have an AV tool, 47% rated the AV tool as very good and another 26% rated it as good.

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As for price, I suspect perception of price is about where vendors would like it to be. There's a pretty normal distribution, with 42% reporting the price to be middle of the road, 28% saying the price is Not Expensive, and 8% saying it's downright Cheap!

And while that's good news, it's not great news. A total of 22% say the product is expensive or too expensive. Again, some follow-up may be useful with regard to switching tools or considering switching tools.

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Demographics

The majority of respondents (67%) working in companies with five or fewer employees. Another 15% have six to ten employees, and 13% have eleven to twenty-five employees.

About 18% manage fewer than one hundred endpoints. The majority (53%) manage 100 to 500 endpoints. Twenty-seven percent (27%) support 501-5,000 endpoints. The chart below breaks this out a bit more.

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Our respondents have been in business awhile. Thirty-six percent (36%) have been in business at least sixteen years! Another 28% have been around 11-15 years, and 24% have been in business 6-10 years.

As for services offered, readers almost all provide a variety of options:

  • 80% sell hourly labor
  • 72% sell flat-fee project labor
  • 78% sell ongoing maintenance for a flat fee
  • 81% provide support to client who sign an ongoing monthly maintenance contract

This survey was conducted May 23rd to May 31st via the Small Biz Thoughts blog. There were 158 respondents total.

:-)

About the Author

Karl W. Palachuk, is a technology consultant, author, speaker, trainer, and coach. He is the author of fifteen books. He has built several successful businesses, including two managed services companies. His books include Managed Services in a Month and The Network Documentation Workbook. Karl is a frequent trainer and speaker in the SMB Community. His popular blog can be found at SmallBizThoughts.com. He has more than twenty years experience as an I.T. professional and serves on advisory panels for several hardware and software companies.

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