Autotask and GFI Max are describing their integration efforts during a GFI user conference in New Orleans today. Admittedly, integrating PSA with RMM software is not a new managed services trend. But keep an eye on the Autotask-GFI relationship because it seems to be gaining worldwide momentum.
First, the basics for new readers. Most managed services providers (MSPs) are running PSA (professional services automation) and RMM (remote monitoring and management) software. Multiple PSA and RMM systems integrate with one another. Autotask and its rivals (ConnectWise, Tigerpaw Software, etc.) therefore work with multiple RMM companies.
For about the past year or two, the MSP software industry has witnessed increased coopetion -- cooperation and competition. A few examples:
- ConnectWise Capital invested in LabTech Software but maintained open APIs and partnerships with additional RMM software providers.
- Quest Software's PacketTrap MSP (soon to be owned by Dell) acquired a PSA platform.
- Kaseya has dabbled in PSA-type software.
- Each of those companies has continued to work with potential competitors in neighboring markets.
- GFI Software has been buying up multiple software and cloud companies, pushing beyond RMM into backup, security and cloud systems monitoring. GFI also has a global footprint, while many rivals are mostly North America based with grow international initiatives. Roughly 6,500 MSPs are now running GFI's software.
- Autotask localized its cloud platform for international use earlier this year. The company, based near Albany, N.Y., now has more than 40 employees in the UK and nearly 10 in Australia. Senior VP Len DiCostanzo drove home the fact that Autotask is 100 percent cloud-based, browser independent, and investing 50 percent of revenues back into the product.
Generally speaking, GFI attracts lots of small MSPs -- one- to five-man shops that want a low-cost, extendible platform to remotely manage customers' IT systems. Autotask, meanwhile, started out attracting small MSPs but the company has been working with larger and larger MSPs during its international expansion, CEO Mark Cattini told me a few months ago.
Mark Petrie, director of engineering, GFI Max, says the Autotask integration involves a one-time, wizard-based dashboard to get started. True believers include Eric Anthony, founder of Eric Anthony Group near Orlando, Fla. The integration -- which extends across ticket management, asset management and the ability to take control from within Autotask -- allows Anthony to manage nearly 30 servers and more than 200 desktops.
If I had to guess, I think about 50 of the 200 MSPs attending this conference have integrated GFI Max with Autotask. I don't have an estimate for other PSA integration rates.
So where will the Autotask and GFI relationship go next? Keep an eye on international markets...