December 23, 2010

By samdizzy

Jeffrey Leventhal is using the cloud to jump back into the IT channel. The former CEO of OnForce has co-founded Work Market, a SaaS platform that will allow VARs, MSPs and integrators to more effectively manage internal staffs, contractors and IT projects, Leventhal says. There’s also a free PSA (professional services automation) component and an online marketplace component. But will channel companies embrace Work Market when the system shifts from beta to production in January 2011?

I had breakfast this morning with Leventhal, VP of Sales Glenn Nortman and VP of Client Services Bob Hausman this morning out on Long Island (see FastChat Video, left). During the meal, Leventhal described multiple customer engagements that Work Market is pursuing. Current discussions include some of Cisco’s key channel partners, one of the ERP industry’s key players, plus a range of hardware and software companies. Plenty of specific customer names were flying around the table this morning, but Work Market doesn’t want any specific names shared until the system shifts from beta to production around January, 2011.

Publicly, Work Market has kept its business description pretty generic. The company’s web site states:

Work Market is a platform for management of labor and human resource services. We give businesses access to an on-demand scalable work force along with tools to manage three categories of labor: employees, contractors and third parties. Our software is modular, flexible and highly customizable for use by sole proprietors all the way through multi-billion dollar global organizations.

A Closer Look

In some ways, Work Market resembles the established OnForce platform — an eBay of sorts designed for VARs and MSPs that want to bid on IT projects and service engagements. But Leventhal seems to be blending multiple SaaS services into Work Market, which runs on the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).

Sit down with Leventhal, and he discloses that Work Market will include some free PSA (professional services automation) capabilities. I doubt Work Market will ever match established PSA systems like ConnectWise, Autotask and Tigerpaw Software on a feature-by-feature basis. Plus, those PSA vendors have fiercely loyal user and partner communities. But Leventhal says Work Market will offer blended PSA, workforce management and project management capabilities, and therefore will become a single business management dashboard for VARs and MSPs.

Behind the Scenes

Some well-known investors are backing Leventhal’s vision for Work Market. They include Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures and Mo Koyfman of Spark Capital. Also, key advisors to the company apparently include:

Like any good entrepreneur, Leventhal sounds enthusiastic. But will Work Market work as promised? Obviously, TalkinCloud can’t say for sure until the system shifts from beta to production in a few weeks.

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