Cloud computing is the new normal, according to Autotask CEO Mark Cattini (pictured) and Senior VP Len DiCostanzo. You can ride the SaaS tsunami or drown in it, according to Cattini, who heard that statement from a customer last night. Cattini and DiCostanzo are now addressing managed services providers (MSPs) and VARs this morning at Autotask Community Live in Orlando, Fla. Here's a live blog.
First, a little background. This year's Autotask Community Live marks a new chapter for the PSA (professional services automation) company. Cattini joined as CEO in December 2010 and has put his stamp on the company over the past 18 months or so, pushing the company into international markets while expanding Autotask's cross-platform browser support and back-end integrations. This year's Autotask Community Live attracted roughly 700 attendees, and most (roughly 600) were Autotask users, according to the company.
Autotask's MSP Community...From DiCostanzo...
- Autotask now has customers in 53 countries, according to Senior VP Len DiCostanzo.
- Autotask Academy offers more than 25 live sessions per month, and the company has organized 20 user group meetings so far in 2012.
- Autotask launched N-able, Intronis and GFI advisory councils in recent days to ensure tight integrations.
The CEO PerspectiveFrom Cattini...
- SMBs will represent a growing share of the IT spend worldwide.
- MSPs expanded hiring by 15 percent in 2011.
- SaaS is a tsunami: You can ride the wave or drown in it
- What customers want are "edge" applications that really drive a business forward. He mentioned IBM acquiring DemandTec. IBM paid five time revenues for a flat-growth business. He mentioned Salesforce acquiring Radian6 for 11 times revenue.
- On the mobile front, Cattini mentioned the shift from email and BlackBerry to iPhones and Androids. They are "lifestyle" devices used for business. More mobile stats to come in video later today.
- The cloud is the new normal. "We are past the tipping point; it's too compelling."
- It's a hybrid world.
- MSPs are shifting from a "trusted advisor" role to the virtual CIO role.
- Fastest-growing opportunity for MSPs: Consulting on emerging technologies that SMBs should leverage.
- Change = confusion = expanded opportunity. "You are absolutely mission critical to these guys [SMB customers]."
Where MSPs are GoingThe opportunities ahead for MSPs, according to Cattini include:
- Infrastructure management
- Application development and integration
- Vendor and SLA management
- Outsourcing and managed staffing
- Vertically focused suites of SaaS
Cross-platform Efforts"We are open," said Cattini, describing Autotask's cross-browser commitment and back-end integration efforts. By Q3 Autotask will complete its cross-platform browser development. That cross-platform browser effort is 90 percent completed.
The product highlights for the past year include:
- Live Mobile Touch (version 1.0)
- New Reporting Engine
- Workflow Engine upgrade
- New Feature Request system
- Wall View for Tickets/Accounts/Contacts/Opps
- API Enhancements
- 50+ Pebbles and rapid response items
- 35+ new or improved integrations
What's NextNew efforts include...
- Major Projects Upgrade
- Taskfire & Client Portal Improvements
- More Workflow Engine Enhancements
- Inventory Upgrade and Procedure Workflow
- Email to Tick/Task upgrades
- Reducing phone support wait times from 10 minutes to five minutes or less by the end of the year.
- The 230 person company is expanding tech support by 50 percent.
- And more.
Certified ConsultantsCattini right now is announcing a Certified Consulting Partner Program for MSPs.
Cattini concluded by thanking partners for their trust and their business.