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Autotask Execs: Driving Focus On Analytics, Integration Will Be 'Game-Changer' For MSPs

Autotask executives said they are shaking up the MSP market, integrating multiple acquisitions from recent months in a way that will be a "game-changer" for MSPs, and set the professional services automation company a step ahead of its competition.

Autotask executives said they are shaking up the MSP market, integrating multiple acquisitions from recent months in a way that will be a "game-changer" for MSPs, and set the professional services automation company a step ahead of its competition.

Within the last year, Autotask has acquired two companies, adding in-house remote monitoring and management (RMM) capabilities with the September 2014 acquisition of CentraStage and acquiring file storage and sharing facilities through its more recent purchase of Soonr this summer.

While some competitors, such as ConnectWise, have taken a "tactical integration" approach to extending their PSA platform into RMM and other areas, Vice President of Product Management Pat Burns said Autotask will differentiate itself by integrating the new technologies in a way that uses analytics and new tools to drive additional value behind each and every endpoint.

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[Related: Opportunity Blooms for MSPs Around File Sync and Sharing Technology]

"We think of Autotask as the operating system, the foundational tool that does everything. The RMM tool lets us get right onto the hardware ... and then the [file storage and sharing] as a managed service is like a software application, and there could be a lot more of those," Burns said. "It fits together in a strategic narrative and is vertically oriented around the endpoint. It's going to be a device-centric world, and we want to be part of that."

The East Greenbush, N.Y.-based company is integrating RMM tool CentraStage -- now known as Autotask Endpoint Management -- in a way that will leverage combined analytics and reporting to build a more powerful solution together than apart. For example, MSPs will be able to use data from the RMM tool to demonstrate performance on SLAs in the Autotask platform, he said. That will be a differentiator for Autotask over its competition, most of which already have their own RMM tools, CEO Mark Cattini said.

"We're not a 'me-too' RMM organization," Cattini said. "We really are able to offer differentiated innovation, and that's what we're in the process of doing."

The technical RMM integration will be complete by the end of the fall and will ship in January, Burns said.

That same approach will be applied to the integration of Autotask's latest acquisition, Soonr, Cattini said. The Soonr solution opens the door for MSPs to gain a foothold in a multibillion market for file storage and sharing, a recurring revenue opportunity that both Cattini and Burns agreed has only begun to be tapped by most MSPs. Soonr is particularly suited to address that opportunity, Burns said, as competitors such and Box and Dropbox weren't built from the ground up to serve businesses.

The result of both acquisitions has been "rapid growth" for Autotask over the past year, Cattini said, with the company expected to grow by four times over the past five years as of December, and almost doubling in the past two years.

With the recent acquisitions included, Autotask has nearly tripled in size, increasing head count dramatically and expanding its headquarters in East Greenbush, N.Y. by 4,200 square feet.

Autotask also is adding new MSP customers, including those both new to the PSA market and those coming over from its competitors. While Burns declined to give specifics on numbers, he said that MSPs are primarily making the switch because of Autotask's new user interface, as well as its new focus on additive integrations.

"We feel very, very positive about the addressable market," Burns said. "We're still seeing plenty of growth."

Cattini said Autotask will continue driving this momentum forward by further developing its RMM integration, and educating MSPs on the importance of file storage and sharing. Further acquisitions aren't off the table, he said, if Autotask finds additional "mission-critical" solutions that it could add differentiated value to.

PUBLISHED SEPT. 21, 2015

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