CRN Exclusive: Kaseya's New Automation Exchange Lets MSPs Jump-Start Efficiency

Kaseya launched a platform that allows its users to buy and sell scripts, reports, templates and agent procedures to boost productivity and jump-start efficiency.

The New York-based remote monitoring and management company already has 700 users and 250 listings on its Automation Exchange tool, which was pre-released roughly two months ago and is being formally unveiled Tuesday, according to Frank Tisellano, Kaseya's senior director of product management.

"Automation is critical to success at scale," Tisellano told CRN exclusively. "You just can't keep up with the volume. If you want to be a big-time MSP, you have to be automated."

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Increased competition among MSPs has driven down margins, Tisellano said, meaning they must automate to maintain their current margin levels. But many smaller MSPs lack the time or expertise to write a script or create the procedures for automation, Tisellano said.

Most larger MSPs, though, already use automation in-house all the time, and Automation Exchange will provide a vehicle to share what they've already built with other Kaseya users.

"I think the opportunity is ripe for customers to make a lot of money," Tisellano said. "There's massive value to be had in automating."

Mature MSPs can use Kaseya's Automation Exchange to solve specific problems they haven't yet run into, Tisellano said, while less mature MSPs can use it to automate the response for the most frequent sources of tickets, boosting margins by reducing their reliance on manual labor.

Kaseya's best customers today make an automated attempt to remediate any reported issues using best practices before ever creating a ticket for their help desk, Tisellano said. This keeps the excess noise down, Tisellano said, and ensures MSPs are using their staff to do things that automated procedures can't handle on their own.

Fees currently range from $10 for basic scripts to more than $4,000 for solution suites. Tisellano said he expects to see more sellers charging upward of $50 or $100 as the return on investment for buyers becomes more apparent.

"If you can save them [buyers] a couple of hours per week, it's easily worth $100," Tisellano said. "It's not even close."

More than 90 percent of the content on the Exchange today, though, is being offered at no charge, Tisellano said.

Kaseya's Automation Exchange allows for both content reviews – where customers can rate scripts and discuss them with other users – as well as a space where users can request code or a script they want to see developed by Kaseya or the community.

For solution providers wary of sharing proprietary information with competitors through the Automation Exchange, Tisellano said an MSP's workforce – and not its automation – is a company's secret sauce. Scripts won't make another MSP's business run like yours, Tisellano said.

Baroan Technologies has enhanced Kaseya's tools over the past two years to meet its specific monitoring requirements, reducing tickets that had been occurring more than 30 times per day to happening just five or six times per week, said Glenn Barnas, NOC manager for the Elmwood, N.J.-based Kaseya customer.

Barnas said Baroan realized that the enhancement to Kaseya's core tools was something other MSPs could benefit from. The company therefore made its SmartMonitor, which can carry out more than 50 unique IT service desk functions without writing any code, available to other MSPs through Automation Exchange for $299, Barnas said.

"Putting a fair value on your products will give you some return on your investments," Barnas told CRN.

Since putting tools on the Exchange, the level of interface and support Baroan has received from key players within Kaseya has increased, Barnas said. He isn't concerned that providing these tools to other MSPs will result in the loss of customers since Baroan differentiates itself through how it delivers its services rather than just the services it delivers.

"Just because someone has the ability to do the things we do doesn't mean they're going to do it in the same way," Barnas said.