GFI Max Adds Service Management Tool for Ticketing, Tracking, Reporting

GFI Max has acquired help desk technology from LogicNow and plans to expand into the service management business, General Manager Alistair Forbes announced at GFI Max's U.S. Customer Conference 2013 in Las Vegas. MSPmentor caught up with Forbes to learn more about the company's plans and how GFI Max's service management ticketing and reporting capabilities will fit into the managed services tool market.

CJ Arlotta, Associate Editor

September 25, 2013

3 Min Read
GFI Max Business Unit General Manager Alistair Forbes says the company is not competing with ConnectWise and Autotask
GFI Max Business Unit General Manager Alistair Forbes says the company is not competing with ConnectWise and Autotask.

GFI Max is getting into the service management business, Business Unit General Manager Alistair Forbes announced during his keynote address at this week’s U.S. Customer Conference 2013 in Las Vegas. But Forbes was quick to point out in his address that GFI Max is not looking to compete with companies like ConnectWise and Autotask.

MSPmentor caught up with Forbes during the conference this week to learn more about the expansion announcement, why the move isn’t competitive with those established professional services automation (PSA) providers, and what it would mean to MSPs. Here are the details.

Forbes told us, “We are not setting out to compete with those guys,” adding that the company has outstanding partnerships with both ConnectWise and Autotask.

According to Forbes, GFI Max sees two key areas for MSPs: remote monitoring and management (RMM) and service management tools. To satisfy the latter, the company decided to offer a new solution focused on the service management side of things. GFI acquired help-desk technology provider LogicNow in May and is leveraging that company’s platform for the GFI Max service management offering, which is now in beta. GFI Max is positioning its tool as a stand-alone help desk, referring to Zendesk as a possible competitor. It offers features such as ticket management, engineer time tracking and detailed reporting.  

Unlike Zendesk, however, GFI Max’s product integrates with its RMM platform, which is what the company believes will appeal to its MSP customers, Forbes said.

However, the GFI service management technology targets smaller MSPs looking for entry-level service management tools. Forbes noted that PSA tools include customer relationship management (CRM), project management and financial features. GFI Max’s service support focuses more on core service management, service level agreements (SLAs) and ticketing.

“The scope is very tightly confined for people who are not ready, or who may never be ready, for an Autotask or ConnectWise product,” he said.

Forbes said GFI Max is expanding to service management because less than half of its MSP customers currently leverage PSA tools such as ConnectWise or Autotask.

When asked how large of a percentage of its customer base will scoop up this new service solution, Forbes said: “It’s hard to predict, to be honest, because it’s a new service offering for us, but we would certainly be looking to see good double-digit percentages of customers over time,” a prediction he based off of the speedy adoption rate of other solutions in the GFI Max portfolio.

Forbes said the company spoke with AutoTask about its plans, and got its blessing for the service management move. AutoTask still sponsored the conference, and GFI Max still plans to sponsor AutoTask’s upcoming conference in Barcelona, Spain. 

He did mention that the company hasn’t had any discussion with ConnectWise on the move, but GFI Max’s intentions are not to compete with those in the PSA space.

Forbes said the company has no plans to expand the product into the PSA space. “To be brutally honest, it would take us a very long time to build what they’ve built, and that’s not really the best use of our development resources.”

He added that the company will add more product features over the course of time, but they will not interfere with vendors in the PSA market.

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About the Author(s)

CJ Arlotta

Associate Editor, Nine Lives Media, a division of Penton Media

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