It recently passed the 1 year mark of using the RMM Suite in our MSP business (Baroan Technologies - www.baroan.com). Instinct told us that things were operating better - fewer tickets, more customers, no increase in staff - but just how much better was a bit of a surprise.
We regularly run comparisons of current to prior quarter ticket levels, and sometimes run the comparison of current quarter against the last quarter of our old Kaseya platform, before we implemented the RMM Suite. By developing smart monitors to handle specific alerts, we have seen tremendous reduction in the number of tickets. To be clear, the reduction in tickets is noted at the help desk/PSA. We still get alerts, but the auto-remediation built into the Service Desk and Smart Monitors reduces the number of alerts that result in actual tickets seen by the help desk.
Looking at just the Antivirus Definitions Outdated alerts, the smart monitor initiates a definition update instead of immediately triggering an alert. This has reduced that alert from an average of 30 per day to less than 10 per week. This is an outstanding 95.5% reduction in this alert, which was one of the most time-wasting alerts we ever responded to. Alert – assign – connect – run AV definition update – update and close ticket – REPEAT! Our Antivirus Smart Monitor knows how to force an update for nine different AV products, and more can be added in just minutes.
Another time-consuming alert was the Low Disk Space monitor. Replacing the standard Kaseya monitors with smart monitors provided several advantages:
- The low space warning and alert threshold values are calculated automatically based on the disk volume size. This eliminates false alerts from a “one size fits all” monitor that alerts on 10% free. It also eliminates the need to create and deploy many custom monitors with unique thresholds to avoid the “one size” type of monitor. The calculated value is also adjusted across 10 distinct volume sizes, so thresholds for small drives are higher than for huge drives.
- Alerts are suppressed until the alert condition persists for a specific period of time – 3 days by default. This prevents firing the alert due to transient conditions like deploying applications or restoring a folder from backup to a temporary location.
- Crossing a space threshold can trigger a remediation process, invoking a cleanup task and requesting that it perform a more aggressive cleanup.
- Trend analysis monitors usage and predicts when the threshold might be crossed, providing a 30-day period in which to review utilization and possibly deploy additional storage.
While these two monitors contributed significantly to a reduction in alerts, overall, we have seen an average of 62% fewer alerts since moving from a Kaseya “default” configuration with minimal optimization to the highly optimized alert pack in the RMM Suite. We have seen a steady decline in the number of alerts by using the RMM Suite over the past year as well. As new remediation opportunities are identified and implemented, fewer alerts will make it to the help desk. Given the considerable research that we did and having a staff member dedicated to developing appropriate monitor sets, smart monitors, and the automation in our Service Desk, we expected this.
What really surprised us, however, was the reduction in man-hours allocated to responding to the alert tickets. We spent over 50% less time on alert tickets in the past 12 months compared the prior 12 months. This alone could be significant, but during that time we also added over 600 managed endpoints. All but sixteen of our current 2500 agents are fully managed, have AV and AM, perform application updates and patching, and run maintenance and audit tasks daily. The reduction in time needed to respond to alert tickets has translated directly into the ability to work on more projects and the billable time that it creates. It also allows us to manage the help desk – handling both alert tickets and real-time calls – with just 3 engineers.
The use of automation and quality alerting have had direct and substantial benefits to our bottom line.
- Elimination of false alerts reduces time to manually review;
- Use of Smart Monitors reduces alerts by eliminating transient events and use of inappropriate thresholds;
- Automation remediates common problems, eliminating the need for help-desk staff to get involved;
- Flat-rate monitoring revenue increases by reducing or eliminating manual actions;
- Project revenue can increase when less time is needed to respond to alerts.