I apologize -- in advance -- for once again positioning ConnectWise and Autotask against each other. It's not my mission in life. But the rival PSA (professional services automation) software providers continue to counter each other on a range of fronts. The latest move: ConnectWise announced a cloud-based platform today. Next up, Autotask is planning a cloud announcement on Oct. 5. Here are the details plus some perspectives.
Before I dive into the hard news, let's look at how the PSA market has been evolving. No doubt, ConnectWise and Autotask each claim to be the market leaders -- with additional players like Tigerpaw Software, Severa and CommitCRM carving out their own niches.
On-premise vs. CloudGenerally speaking, most ConnectWise deployments have occurred on-premise while Autotask bet and built its business on a SaaS model. But in the last two months or so, ConnectWise has gradually changed its marketing messaging and search engine optimization (SEO) tactics to emphasize SaaS and cloud efforts.
Is the effort more than marketing? ConnectWise appears to be increasing its R&D on SaaS and cloud offerings. In a press release issued earlier today, ConnectWise said the company had:
"developed a cloud-based platform for unified business process management systems to allow the seamless integration of third-party applications for IT service companies. The new platform provides tight integration between ConnectWise PSA software and other leading products for VARs, MSPs and IT service companies. The ConnectWise Cloud provides on-demand PSA and related business applications such as CRM, financial management, collaboration, sales and service ticketing, inventory, reports and analytics, and enables customers, partners and third-party developers to build and integrate their own hosted applications."I must concede: I haven't tested ConnectWise's software -- neither on premise nor in the cloud. Nor have I tried Autotask's software. So I'm hardly in a position to direct readers to the "better" solution.
To the best of my knowledge, Autotask started in the cloud. In recent months, ConnectWise has been climbing into the cloud. Ultimately, both companies are striving to grow the managed services market. And sometimes I'm guilty of comparing their strategies too much. But it's sort of like the old Windows vs. Mac OS debate. People are pretty passionate about the topic. And I'm happy to listen as customers (MSPs) choose sides.
Good to Go?One other thought: I hear Autotask plans to make a cloud-oriented announcement around Oct. 5. It sounds like it will involve some sort of single-user pricing option for Autotask Go!, which currently has a three-user pricing model. As you may recall, ConnectWise cut its hosted software prices back in July.
Am I the only guy spending too much time watching the competitive moves?
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