Quest Software's PacketTrap PSA Enters Crowded Field


Is there room for another PSA (professional services automation) platform for managed service providers in the market? PacketTrap thinks so.

Last month, Quest Software (PacketTrap's parent company) purchased Blue Folder and this week released the first fruit borne from that acquisition: PacketTrap PSA, a services platform to compete against the likes of ConnectWise, Autotask and TigerPaw Software.

"We do compete head to head with those guys and we have no problem getting into a bakeoff. But our goal is not to go to all existing MSPs and get them off ConnectWise and onto [PacketTrap] PSA. We believe MSPs deserve a choice," said Matt Bolton, divisional vice president of product management for the Network Management Division at Quest Software, based in San Francisco.

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Like many MSP software tools, PacketTrap has several competitors with whom it must also play nice. The company's PacketTrap MSP 6.2 remote monitoring and management solution, released Friday, also integrates with ConnectWise, Autotask, Tiger Paw, et al. So while the company seeks tighter integration with those PSA platforms, it's looking to carve a niche into a pretty crowded field already.

Where PacketTrap PSA looks to differentiate itself is in its ease of use, Bolton said. The solution can be deployed in less than two hours and it offers a simpler package without the "bells and whistles" of the competition, he said.

"We were constantly interviewing customers before acquiring BlueFolder and they kept saying 'Give me something easy that helps me run by business. Don't make me configure it for my business,'" Bolton said. "There's a balance between being feature rich but also having too many little bells and whistles."

Other PSA solutions have matured to the point that they have become cumbersome and too complex for many users, loaded with features that most MSPs never use, Bolton said.

"It's 'feature creep.' You start off saying we'll give you Mr. MSP software you can customize. The problem with customization is it takes an expert to set it up and if that person leaves you're screwed," Bolton said. "You survey 20 [MSPs] that have an existing PSA and probably 15 to 17 of those folks will say they have a dedicated person on staff to run them and it took a minimum of six to nine months to see the value of those solutions. We take a different approach."

After registering for SaaS-based PacketTrap PSA, MSPs see a screen with about 10 checklisted items that include things like uploading their company logo and importing the customer list, Bolton said.

"Then they're instantly ready to go. It takes maybe an hour. We offer a 21-day trial. We don't need to offer more than that. People see the advantage," he said.

Meanwhile, PacketTrap MSP 6.2 delivers new, tighter integration with its PSA cousin, much the same ConnectWise has done with the LabTech RMM solution.

Also new in MSP 6.2 is deeper VoIP monitoring support for Avaya, Bolton said.

Next: MSP 6.2 Adds VoIP, Applications Support