Autotask Integrates With OnForce Marketplace

It's official. Autotask and OnForce have integrated their online platforms, allowing managed service providers and solutions providers to more easily outsource IT projects to one another. The integration work debuted at Everything Channel's Xchange '08 Summit, held this week in Dallas, Texas. Here's why MSPs should care.


The Autotask-OnForce relationship reinforces a broader trend in the managed services market. In recent months, MSP platform providers have been introducing APIs (application programming interfaces) that allow their systems to work with one another. Ideally, MSPs will wind up with a single dashboard for managing and coordinating multiple back-end systems.

The Autotask-OnForce partnership connects Autotask customers with a fast-growing marketplace for IT service providers. OnForce has emerged as an eBay of sorts, allowing MSPs and solutions providers to bid on IT engagements across the United States. More recently, OnForce has introduced a marketplace in Canada and the company is now evaluating similar approaches in Europe.

More than 5,000 "service buyers" and over 12,000 technicians participate in the OnForce marketplace.

While promising, the Autotask-OnForce relationship also faces some challenges. Generally speaking, some MSPs are reluctant to partner with peer MSPs and solutions providers. Old fears -- involving account control and customer face time -- still linger in some areas of the channel.

Still, the Autotask-OnForce integration can help solutions providers to overcome these concerns, because the system automation helps to more effective manage relationships between primary contractors and subcontractors.

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