PSA VS RMM - Differences and Functionalities

PSA stands for Professional Services Automation and RMM for Remote Monitoring and Management. PSA includes ticketing, client, contract, and quote management while RMM includes asset, patch, alert, policy management and alerting.

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Remote monitoring and management software and professional services automation software have been the cornerstones of efficiency and productivity in the MSP industry for a few years now. Modern PSA and RMM solutions offer a wide range of features to make processes and operations seamless. So, how are they different? 

RMMs make sure that you offer the best managed IT services by allowing you to manage and monitor clients’ networks and endpoints smoothly from a remote location. On the other hand, PSAs fine-tune your business operations to make them more efficient and streamlined. Both tools offer a set of services that come in handy in two different facets of your business.

What is remote monitoring and management software?

Remote management & monitoring software is a solution that allows MSPs to monitor and manage all activities on the systems/network, workstations, servers, or endpoints of a client, remotely. In other words, RMMs allow MSPs to manage technical components of client support with the help of remote monitoring capabilities. 

These solutions allow technicians to solve problems with the systems from a remote location. In addition, gapless remote monitoring ensures detection and resolution of potential issues and vulnerabilities before system breakdowns and downtime. Furthermore, an RMM solution enables effective patch management that allows the automation and exclusion of patches. Therefore, MSPs help their clients steer clear of many security vulnerabilities and hidden threats with the help of RMM software.

Here’s a look at the primary functions that an RMM offers:

  • Remotely monitor clients’ hardware, networks, and software using the management console

  • Ensuring gapless patch management in clients’ systems and eliminating security vulnerabilities 

  • Collecting information about clients’ systems and generating customized reports on system activity and health

  • Generating ‘issue’ tickets when any problems arise like an IT help-desk

  • Analyzing the health of networks and devices and delivering customized performance reports

  • Leveraging robust automation and scripting tools to automate routine tasks

  • Allowing technicians to resolve issues remotely with a remote access management control

What is professional services automation software?

Professional services automation software replaces a wide array of tools that help MSPs manage various functions throughout the project lifecycle. It offers a one-stop solution for project management, time tracking, invoicing, resource planning, business intelligence, and collaboration. More sophisticated PSA for MSPs also includes advanced features like knowledge management, password management, documentation management, revenue forecasting, and time logging.

In other words, PSA software is instrumental in managing client engagements throughout the project lifecycle. Core client engagements like resource planning and invoicing operations are managed efficiently on PSA systems.

Enterprises are increasingly leveraging PSA software to unify business processes and data. It allows them to ensure efficient and organized project delivery. Mundane and repetitive operations are simplified, streamlined, and automated. Professional services automation solutions support every aspect of project delivery, from planning and managing to measuring the performance of the projects.

Here are some of the core business operations that a PSA solution streamlines and simplifies:

  • Accounting

  • Billing, invoicing

  • Resource management

  • Client access (e.g., through a client portal)

  • Team collaboration

  • Document management

  • Project management

  • Proposal generation

  • Software integrations (e.g., to a CRM)

  • Time and expense tracking

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Differences Between PSA and RMM 

Both PSA and RMM work towards the same goal: enhancing the service provider’s productivity and efficiency. But they do it very differently. While the RMM acts as the scope and wrench of the technicians and helps them solve issues remotely, PSA solutions simplify and streamline business processes for managed service providers. 

Naturally, the functions that both types of solutions cater to are different, which overlap sometimes. In addition, both the software prove to be instrumental in managing a successful MSP. Thus, listing their differences head-to-head isn’t right. Let us get to know about these solutions separately and find out how they are different. 





Integration capabilities 

The PSA-RMM should work hand-in-hand and should have integration capabilities to work seamlessly with other third-party apps. 

Network Monitoring

The RMM software should help you keep track of your client’s network services, routers, bandwidth and any IP-based devices. 

Asset management

Your PSA and RMM should work together to keep track of your assets and pump any issue into the PSA software. 

Billing and invoicing

Your PSA should keep tabs on all your client’s endpoints to raise invoices. 

Ticket Management

The PSA should automatically log tickets coming from your clients and RMM alerts. 


Your PSA and RMM should support automation capabilities to automate routine tasks. 

Mac&Windows support

PSA and RMM should support both operating systems. 

Time trackers

Your PSA should automatically track time for billing and better reporting. 


Performance report on both PSA and RMM is crucial to measure and improve your offerings. 

Alert Managemen

Your PSA should generate real-time alerts to resolve the incidents quickly. 

Patch Management

RMM should ​​deploy patches on laptops and desktops to protect your client systems from threats.

Client Management 

PSA should support efficient handling of your client records and communications for delivering great service.

Policy Management

PSA should offer a simplified way to manage policy management without any mixup

PSA vs RMM - which solution do you need?

Every MSP stumbles at this question at one stage of growth or the other. Both PSA and RMM impact and benefit a service provider’s operation very differently. A better question would be, “PSA, RMM, or both?” This question further requires you to answer four questions about your business operations and future plans.

  • Can you manage business functions in-house?

An MSP essentially needs only an RMM to offer managed IT services to its customers. But there are more operations to be taken care of for running a successful MSP. If you can handle HR, sales & marketing, finance, and other functions in-house for the time being, then you can continue with just an RMM. However, you will have to consider a PSA solution as you grow because efficient and streamlined operations become a necessity. A good PSA solution helps you achieve that.

  • How many clients do you presently support? More importantly, how many clients do you aim to get on board in the future?

The number of clients you support is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a solution for your MSP, be it PSA or RMM. In addition, you must also take into account the number of clients you aim to support in the near future. A reliable RMM solution allows you to manage clients efficiently, whereas a PSA ensures that your business functions run seamlessly.

  • What are your business goals?

Getting your head around your long-term and short-term business goals is essential for finding the solution you need. Both the software offer a wide range of benefits and allow you to achieve both your long-term and short-term goals more easily and quickly. The only difference is, an RMM prepares your technical landscape for growth, and a PSA builds the business infrastructure. 

  • How secure are your clients, and how secure is your business? 

A good RMM offers features like performance monitoring, automatic patching, multi-level security policies, and configurations. These features make your customers secure. But, focusing on the security of your business is as important as keeping your clients’ systems safe. Being a service provider, you are also at a threat of cyberattacks because of having sensitive customer information. A PSA streamlines your operations and helps you achieve business excellence. With all of this saved time, you can focus on the customer experience and security you are offering. 

  • How can MSPs make the best use of both? 

If you have the budget of getting only one solution, then only you should consider the factors given above. However, no matter what the answer to those questions is, your business needs both the RMM and the PSA to move forward. RMM and PSA tools perform functions in different landscapes which overlap sometimes, but all of those functions are essential to managing a successful MSP. So, the best way around the question, “Which solution is right for your MSP?”, is to use both solutions in conjunction. 

The only roadblock in using both the solutions is: How do you do it in a cost and resource-effective way? Separate solutions mean separate costs, which can impact your ROI negatively, opposite of why you’re considering buying these solutions. The solution is to use an integrated solution.

Modern RMM solutions are very flexible when it comes to integrating with PSA solutions. Using both the solutions in conjunction allows you to manage both the technical and business operations efficiently. Furthermore, an integrated PSA-RMM solution has a single interface for accessing the functions of both software. Thus, you get an all-in-one solution to help you deliver exemplary services with both RMM capabilities and project management, time tracking, invoicing, resource planning, and business intelligence features for phenomenal customer experiences.

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