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July 24, 2015

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How Remote Monitoring and Management Keeps your Network Healthy

One of biggest reasons why organizations turn to managed service providers (MSPs) to help manage the company network is that MSPs have sophisticated technology that in-house IT teams don’t have, as well as the expertise to use them. Remote monitoring and management (RMM) tools are a prime example.


RMM is an IT solution that gathers information from client workstations and servers about applications and hardware, and then generates reports about that activity. All RMM tools are managed through a single interface. An MSP uses RMM to proactively monitor and maintain the health of an organization’s systems and network, including desktop and mobile devices, and address most issues before the end-user even knows they exist. RMM tools are capable of uncovering subtle problems that can result in dire consequences to IT systems if these problems aren’t resolved right away.


Using agent tools, an MSP can take remote control of various network systems, devices and applications so problems can be fixed quickly to maintain optimal productivity. This can be done when the user is offline without the MSP signing into the device. Issues are detected by RMM tools, which report these issues to the MSP and enable technicians to correct these issues remotely. Customized thresholds based on business requirements are created for events that will automatically trigger email or text alerts to the MSP and the customer’s designated contact.


RMM also makes it possible for the MSP to automate scheduled maintenance tasks and take care of proactive maintenance such as operating system and security software updates, patch management, hard disk defragment, and router configurations. Detailed performance reports can be customized and used to evaluate current network health, ensure security and regulatory compliance, and identify long-term trends. In other words, RMM shows you how your systems are working and helps you determine the best way to keep them working smoothly in the future.


RMM solutions are now commonly integrated with professional services automation (PSA) tools to further increase automation, service quality, support and efficiency. As a result, issues are addressed more quickly and with greater accuracy and consistency, which means more peace of mind for you and minimal disruption to business operations.


Could an in-house IT technician do all this manually? Perhaps, if the environment is relatively small. But poring over system log files all day probably isn’t the best use of the technician’s time and won’t provide the rapid, proactive response that helps minimize downtime.


If you’re evaluating MSPs, ask if they use an RMM platform. Find out if their platform supports multiple operating systems so all user devices can be monitored. Does their RMM platform offer the flexibility to use certain tools and functionality and add others if necessary? Find out about its monitoring capabilities, the level of automation, and how much reporting they provide. An MSP should be able to provide you with reports that show what work has been done behind the scenes.


At ICG, our core offering is our managed IT services. Let us show you how we use RMM to keep your network and devices healthy so you can achieve your business goals.

October 9, 2014

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How Managed Services and the Cloud Improve Branch Office IT

In a previous post, we discussed the importance of providing branch offices with the same end-user experience, the same access to applications and data, and the same level of security as the main office. The lack of onsite IT staff and the complexity of applications, networking and management systems at branch offices make this a tall order, resulting in lower productivity and increased risk.


More and more organizations are turning to managed services and the cloud to overcome these challenges and manage branch office IT more effectively. Managed services turns over branch office IT management to an outside team of experts, while Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and other cloud services shift the responsibility of implementing and maintaining core infrastructure to a service provider.