The rules in the Australia managed services software market continue to evolve. As N-able CEO Gavin Garbutt heads to the land down under for a series of MSP events, rival Kaseya (in partnership with Ingram Micro) has launched a SaaS initiative for Australia and New Zealand solutions providers. Two years ago, I don't think the Australia market was ready for SaaS-centric managed services offerings. Apparently, that's changed.
Over the past year or two, a lengthy list of executives -- representing Autotask, Level Platforms, Paglo (now owned by Citrix) and PacketTrap (now owned by Quest Software), to name a few -- told me they had global reach because of their SaaS offerings. More recently, companies like ConnectWise have been launching hosted offerings in specific regions (Europe, Australia) to join the global SaaS movement.
But I've been skeptical. During a visit to Australia in 2008, I heard from numerous MSPs who expressed two key concerns:
- The country's broadband infrastructure wasn't good enough (in certain regions) for SaaS-oriented managed services tools.
- Many of those MSPs told me they wanted North American software providers to open local offices in Australia, to provide feet on the street and local training to channel partners.
Recent MomentumFast forward to 2010, and the issues above seem to be sorting themselves out.
Kaseya, in partnership with Ingram Micro's Australia-New Zealand team, is the latest in a long list of companies to introduce a SaaS push in Australia. To address SaaS latency and performance issues worldwide, Kaseya's SaaS efforts leverage Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud.
Will SaaS work in all of Australia's regions? Only readers can tell me for sure (and I'll be listening for clues...)
Meanwhile, continued hands-on, executive focus seems to be winning over Austalia and New Zealand channel partners. Numerous MSP software industry CEOs have visited the country in recent months. Check N-able CEO Gavin Garbutt's calendar, and you'll learn he'll visit users and potential Australia partners March 8-12 for a series of company-hosted events.
There are even signs of local, Australia- and New Zealand-based SaaS software companies making MSP-centric moves. For instance: Keep an eye on Naverisk Ltd.
The big question: Will Australia's VARs continue to need extensive education about the managed services market? Or will low-end, SaaS centric starter tools provide just enough capabilities to get more VARs started on the road to remote management? One is a business question, one is a technology question. Both questions still need to be answered.