IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Trifecta of Freebies Lowers Bar to Entry for RMM

Three vendors are letting MSPs sample the low-hanging fruit of remote monitoring and management services. By Frank J. Ohlhorst

MANAGED SERVICE PROVIDERS are constantly on the lookout for ways to garner more revenue, especially if that revenue is recurring and the service creates “stickier” customers. However, offering new services often comes at a cost, and in many cases requires a significant investment in technology, platforms, or software. Three vendors, however, seek to change that equation by offering no-cost versions of their RMM and PSA platforms, in the hopes of building lasting relationships with partners that will lead to upgrades and growth.

This trifecta of free offerings—Comodo One from Comodo Group Inc., Pulseway Free from MMSOFT Design Ltd., and Spiceworks MSP and Managed Services Software—have much in common, but all take a different approach to “free.” For example, Comodo aims to sell additional capabilities (in the form of endpoint and network security) through its Comodo One App Store and partners. MMSOFT seeks to upgrade partners to its full-fledged Pulseway platform, and Spiceworks hopes partners will add “for cost” services via its community of vendors.

Each of these platforms is a no-risk way to test the RMM/PSA waters for your MSP business. Bear in mind, though, that leading MSP management platforms, such as those available from Kaseya, SolarWinds MSP, ConnectWise, and numerous others may offer more robust feature sets and support, as well as security software and services.

Comodo One

Clifton, N.J.-based Comodo Group offers MSPs, VARs, resellers, MSSPs, as well as other businesses the Comodo One management platform, referred to as C1 (pictured above). The centralized IT management solution includes an IT help desk tuned for MSPs to use with multiple customers, as well as patch management, remote monitoring and management, service desk, remote access, mobile device management, website security tools, and access to a growing community of advice-sharing MSP peers. Comodo One also includes unlimited training and support.

Of course, any sensible MSP will wonder, what’s the catch?”

Comodo’s Senior Product Marketing Manager Adam Curran says there is none, adding, “Once you see results, you can then choose to buy our advanced endpoint protection that protects you against all malware. This has the advantage of also running seamlessly on our platform.”

The vendor’s advanced endpoint protection and other third-party offerings (such as Acronis Cloud Backup) are available for purchase through the Comodo One App Store and can be download onto the Comodo One platform. There are also free apps in the store such as Quote Manager and CRM.

For MSPs transitioning into the managed security services market, Comodo’s offer makes a great deal of sense. The company’s security suite provides endpoint and server protection, and is fully integrated into the C1 platform.

Pulseway Free

Dublin-based MMSOFT Design offers the Pulseway line of RMM, PSA, and anti-virus solutions for MSPs supporting multiple customers. Last year, the company reintroduced Pulseway Free, which lets MSPs get hands-on experience with the Pulseway products and potentially acquaint customers with the benefits of RMM. Access to the free offering requires partners to set up an account, after which they can onboard systems (Mac or PC desktops, Windows and Linux servers) for monitoring and management.

While Pulseway Free is a great way to experience all that the company has to offer, there is one serious limitation: It only includes support for two endpoints, which severely limits an MSP seeking to expose a customer to the full benefits offered by the platform.

That said, the overall capabilities of the free suite are significant and include real-time monitoring, remote desktop, alerting, inventory, patching, and many other features an MSP would expect to find in a full-featured IT management product. What’s more, Pulseway offers add-ons for scripting, anti-virus, backup, and other features critical for success.

Designed to help MSPs and corporate IT departments test Pulseway’s capabilities in real-world settings, Pulseway Free comes with a complimentary 14-day trial subscription to Pulseway Pro, a paid product with more extensive management features. Pulseway Pro is a “mobile-first, cloud-first” platform with both RMM and PSA components.

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