Kaseya plans to release a major upgrade to its managed services platform by the end of the quarter, according to executives, an initiative that includes adding support for Intel's vPro technology and Apple's Mac OS, plus a new module that lets MSPs remotely manage a client's machine while preserving the user's "personalities" to better enforce corporate policies such as power and printer access.
"This is the most comprehensive set of enhancements to our IT automation framework to date. We've made enhancements to all of the modules. A lot of the features we put in are based feedback from our customers," said Dan Shapero, senior vice president of marketing at Kaseya. "Whether you're a channel partner or a customer like an IT person from the public or private sector, they'll all benefit from the enhancements. It not only extends the [MSP's] capability, but there's also some features we're incorporating for green computing capabilities."
Shapero said partners seeking vPro support may not have been the biggest in number, but they were the most vocal.
"Support for Intel's vPro is baked right into the framework. If the device is out of band, if it didn't get updated, or the script didn't execute, now we can enable the vPro technology for an out-of-band machine," Shapero said.
"One of the challenges for green computing is setting policies for powering down machines. That creates a dilemma for managed services. Now we can do it without compromise. We can wake up the machine, perform the upgrade, power it down and do so securely," he said.
Meanwhile, the support for Mac was also a highly-sought-after upgrade, he said. "[MSPs] like to go in with a value proposition for the client's entire IT population. Without Mac support, they can't do that. Now they can include it in the same SLA with rest of the PCs in the environment. It increases the opportunity to get more clients on managed services with the same level of monitoring and alerts across the board."
Wes Herschberger, CEO of MapleTronics Computers, a Goshen, Ind.-based MSP, said the vPro support will save his company visits to clients and reduce clients' down time.
"To make the [managed services] business model work, you have to continually try to reduce the truck rolls you have to do and the interruptions to a client's business processes," he said. "The third [benefit] is saving money for the client by monitoring them and turning the machines off at night. [Intel's] vPro gives us the ability to turn on the machine when they want to and do maintenance or whatever we need to for that machine. We can do off hours. We can also look at the machine no matter what state it's in -- even if it doesn't boot or there's a bad hard drive. When we do have to do a truck roll, we can do it with the right parts to fix a problem."
Kaseya also plans to include a new User State Management module in the framework upgrade that allows MSPs to remotely service a system while preserving user customizations and machine "personalities" that help maintain consistency across an organization and enforce corporate standards and policies, such as power and printer policy.
"Because we can backup a standard setting, the application level information, the printer information, we can easily configure a new machine," Shapero said. "You're not just recovering data. You recover the user profile for provisioning."