Jamcracker's MSP LaunchPad: Ready for Liftoff?

Sometime this week, Jamcracker is expected to formally unveil its MSP LaunchPad strategy for managed service providers. Steve Crawford, Jamcracker's VP of marketing, walked me through the LaunchPad initiative on June 17.

MSP LaunchPad sounds like the best of both worlds: It strives to help VARs quickly move into the managed services space, and also includes a range of options to help MSPs manage all of their business operations.

But will MSP LaunchPad work as advertised? And how does it differ from so-called Master MSP offerings from Do IT Smarter, Ingram Micro Seismic and the like? I don't have all the answers, but here are some initial thoughts.

In some ways, MSP LaunchPad sounds like a massive, virtual Home Depot for VARs and MSPs. Walk up and down Jamcracker's virtual aisles, and select the MSP and SaaS (software as a service) components you want without ever having to go to another store or another vendor.

Instead of competing head-on with Master MSPs, Jamcracker seems committed to partnering with them. Through partnerships with MSP Warehouse and Do IT Smarter, Jamcracker allows MSPs to choose from third-party remote desktop and IT monitoring and management platforms.

According to Jamcracker's Crawford, MSP LaunchPad offers:

  • Hosted service delivery tools, including Kaseya and Level Platforms
  • A catalogue of on-demand applications for resale, from Microsoft, IBM, McAfee, Cisco and others
  • An integration toolkit for on-boarding and bundling existing services
  • Order management, service provisioning, customer administration and billing
  • Automated services-delivery workflow engine
  • 24x7 L1/L2 customer support

Cleared for Liftoff?

Will MSP LaunchPad work as advertised? I haven't tested the system, and Jamcracker's decision to offer all of those third-party services (coupled with Jamcracker's own back-office options) sounds like a monumental undertaking.

Still, Jamcracker isn't a naive start-up. The company survived the dot-com bust, and navigated its way through the ASP (application service provider) hype cycle a few years ago.

Before launching Jamcracker in 1999, founder and CEO K.B. Chandrasekhar launched Exodus Communications, an early leader in enterprise Web hosting. Exodus ultimately collapsed in 2001 during the dot-com implosion. But Chandrasekhar was already hard at work at Jamcracker by that time, and he is widely credited for laying the foundation for many of the managed services and hosting services we now take for granted.

As MSPs ramp up with Jamcracker MSP LaunchPad, we'll provide some progress reports to our readers.
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