Kaseya Goes Broad and Deep

Competition drives innovation. A case in point: Because the PC market is now wide-open to competition (Windows, Mac OS, Linux), managed service platform providers are working overtime to support customer choice. Kaseya's latest platform release, for instance, embraces Intel vPro technology and Mac OS X. Going broad with Intel support and deep with Mac OS X support creates some compelling opportunities for MSPs. Here's why.

You can read the complete list of feature and function enhancements in this Kaseya 2008 press release. But I'd like to zero in on the PC platform support. Lots of MSP platform providers -- Kaseya, Level Platforms, etc. -- are embracing Intel vPro to remotely discover and even trouble-shoot PCs even if they are powered off. By supporting vPro, platform providers are embracing what will become a very broadly adopted architecture.

In other words, supporting vPro is an easy decision for platform providers. And there's a nice "green computing" component to this effort, since MSPs can continue to manage PCs even when they are powered down.

But supporting Mac OS X isn't quite so easy a decision. After all, Apple's hardware only has about 5 percent to 8 percent market share, depending on whose figures you believe. When developing administration tools, most software companies focus entirely on Windows and ignore the Mac OS X niche because the potential revenue benefit may not justify the added R&D expenses.

Kuros to Kaseya for keeping an open mind. The company hinted to us in October that it was prepping Mac OS X support for early 2008 delivery, and Linux support for a longer-term delivery. Kaseya made good on its Mac OS X promise with this week's launch of the Kaseya 2008 platform. Watch for Linux support on the horizon.

Should Kaseya really be spending development time and resources on Mac OS X support? I'd argue "absolutely." As Kaseya Senior VP Dan Shapero pointed out to me: Few VARs are finding that their customers have standardized on Mac OS X, but nearly all VARs are now finding pockets of Macintoshes within their customer bases.

By some accounts, Apple's MacBook and MacBook Pro now control more than 10 percent of the laptop market. Entrepreneurs and small businesses in particular embrace the Mac because they want to look hip and stay productive. Instead of ignoring that growing user base, Kaseya is helping customers to fully support the Mac faithful -- which continuing to support the Windows masses and vPro technology. Those are smart moves across the board.

Please note: MSPmentor doesn't test these platforms, so I'm not here to "endorse" Kaseya 2008. However, I think it's fair to say I applaud the multi-platform operating system support that Kaseya and other companies are bringing to market. In the PC industry, we've waited more than a decade for true platform competition. Mac OS, Linux and Windows all are true choices now on the desktop. And it's great to see MSP platform providers supporting those choices.

TAGS: Technology
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