MSP Software: Shifting to Integrated On-Premises and Cloud Suites?

The list of MSP-oriented software companies offering integrated suites (some on premises, many in the cloud)continues to grow. In addition to the MyOfficeBundle (from ConnectWise, LabTech Software and Quosal), it's safe to expect companies like Citrix Systems (NASDAQ: CTXS) GFI MaxLogMeIn (NASDAQ: LOGM), ManageEngine and PacketTrap (now owned by Dell) to increasingly promote integrated solutions and -- in some cases -- full-blown suites. Here's a sampling of how this trend may unfold.

Software markets always start out with customers choosing best of breed solutions (WordPerfect, Lotus 1-2-3, Novell NetWare). But over time integrated solutions typically become the norm (Microsoft Office desktops tied to Windows Server).

In the MSP market, we've seen this integration occur in several ways. Often, it involves integrated modules -- such as third-party software that plugs into a PSA (professional services automation) or RMM (remote monitoring and management) platform.

No doubt, best-of-breed solutions can enjoy success over the long haul -- if they emerge as "center of the universe" options for customers. For instance, has become the center of the cloud CRM universe, thanks to extensions like

Other Routes

But single-vendor suites, invariably, pop up in maturing markets. In the virtualization market, the current chatter involves VMware's vCloud Suite -- which helps partners and customers to develop software-defined datacenters.

Back here in the MSP market, the suite trend includes several players. Among the examples:
  • Citrix Systems: The GoToAssist line already supports remote support, service desk and monitoring. I think it's safe to expect Citrix to potentially tuck some more acquisitions into this product line. One key guy to watch: Brian de Haaff; he joined Citrix through the Paglo acquisition back in 2010.
  • GFI Max: Part of the larger GFI Software. For the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2012, overall billings were $200.2 million -- up from $143.5 million in the corresponding nine months of 2011, according to an SEC filing that describes potential IPO plans. The company had a $35.3 million net loss for the first nine months of 2012, but cash flow from operations was $26.2 million during the period. GFI Max is well-known for its remote management, security, online backup and anti-virus technology. But keep an eye on Monitis, a closely related, cloud-based monitoring platform.
  • LogMeIn: Thirty-six percent of MSPs leverage LogMeIn's cloud-based tools, according to the sixth-annual MSPmentor 100 survey (complete results coming Feb. 14). The question is: Which tools? Few people realize it but LogMeIn's portfolio now includes roughly a dozen options. Also of note: Intronis veteran Ted Roller recently joined LogMeIn. From his new VP post, I suspect Roller will help MSPs to more clearly see LogMeIn's complete portfolio.
  • ManageEngine: Here's another company with too many IT management solutions to list in this short blog entry. Raj Sabhlok, president, sounds like he's preparing to make another round of announcements.
  • MyOfficeBundle: Business management, RMM and sales quoting and proposal software all under one roof. ConnectWise Capital has investment stakes in both LabTech and Quosal. And yes, the uptake of all three among MSPs has grown. Today, 9,400 partners are a part of the My Office Bundle community.  Of that community, 30% are using multiple products within My Office, according to Director of Community Jeannine Edwards.
  • PacketTrap: Now part of Dell's Quest Software business, PacketTrap started out in RMM then extended into PSA through an acquisition. The latest PacketTrap RMM release surfaced yesterday. But a cloud suite featuring both RMM and PSA is on the way. In the meantime, 30 percent of new PacketTrap sales involve partners selecting both products in tandem, MSPmentor has heard.

Integrations Continue

Meanwhile, the best-of-breed market continues to grow as well. Generally speaking, I believe most of the major RMM and PSA software providers grew their 2012 revenues vs. 2011, and each ecosystem member has been delivering integrations to partner software platforms.

I don't know what percentage of MSPs have shifted to more of a suite approach listed further above. But I get the sense a few thousand MSPs, at least, have made the move...
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