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Autotask Continues Transformation Into MSP One-Stop Shop By Acquiring Soonr

Professional services automation provider Autotask expanded its cloud offerings by acquiring Soonr.

Professional services automation provider Autotask expanded its cloud offerings by acquiring Soonr on Wednesday. The deal moves Autotask further into the cloud and brings Soonr deeper into the channel.

Mark Cattini, CEO and president of the East Greenbush N.Y.-based Autotask, said that with the addition of Soonr's cloud-based file-storage-and-sharing solution, Autotask's management platform is taking another step toward fuller offerings for MSPs that began with Autotask's acquisition of CentraStage RMM.

Cattini said that he believes the addition of a cloud-based file-sharing solution specifically geared toward IT is something that MSPs are in need of.

[Related: Autotask CEO: We Plan To Triple Our IT Management Platform Business In Four Years]

"You cannot manage your customers' data infrastructure if you do not have a meaningful technology that allows you to back up data from any device any time," he said. Cattini added that Soonr's solution not only allows MSPs to do just that, but it does it better than other solutions.

Soonr conditioned its solution to fit the MSP and IT market but found the channel expensive to reach, according to Ahmet Tuncay, CEO of the San Jose, Calif.-based vendor.

"You have to spend money to get access to MSPs," he said, "and that is a challenge for smaller companies. You have to decide where you spend your money ... With Autotask, we will have access to the channel."

Tuncay said for Autotask, Soonr's solution will grow because adoption of cloud for the MSP is still a young market that has the room for growth.

According to Pat Burns, vice president of product management at Autotask, when it comes down to file sharing and collaborating in the cloud, most businesses don’t have an offering that suits their needs. Employees usually either attempt to work by "stitching together" programs that are not purpose fit for IT or eventually end up buying their own consumer tool like Dropbox to use at work, he said.

He added, "Everyone is just now beginning to understand this [cloud-based file-sharing solution] is a superior approach to these legacy file servers and sort of Frankenstein monster solutions." Burns said that with Soonr's solution, Autotask now has an answer that few other managed solution providers do. With this solution, he said, Autotask will continue moving in the direction it set out in when it acquired CentraStage.

Kim Weinberger, director of operations at Computer Troubleshooters/Geeks On Call, said she is surprised but excited that Autotask is moving in that direction.

"I didn’t know they were moving into that market," she said. Weinberger added she believes Soonr's solution is a perfect fit for SMB clients because it is easy to integrate. She added she found the training and support helpful.

Weinberger said a number of the companies she works with already utilize Soonr's solution. "To see Autotask wrapped together with a product we know and trust is exciting," she said.

Tuncay said that the acquisition is "great for both sides," because Soonr is the perfect fit for the MSP and IT market.

Tuncay explained that in the file-synch market, basic solutions are becoming available from many large companies like EMC, Citrix and Amazon. So smaller companies like Soonr have found niche markets in which to specialize.

He said companies are leaving their servers for the cloud and the money they would normally spend on servers will be spent in the cloud instead. So as companies like Autotask begin to add more cloud-based solutions like Soonr's, there is room to grow.

"Not many MSPs are doing this today," he said, "but they all know that this is the growth market if they wish to be in one."

Cattini said he believes this market-specific solution has a big future.

"In the space we operate, I think we will dominate," he said. "I think the MSPs delivering this product integrated with Autotask will dominate, even against the Box and Dropboxes of the world."


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