As the managed services industry prepares for 2011, some software companies are striving to become more transparent -- offering more frequent disclosures about product roadmaps and cloud system status updates. The most recent example involves Kaseya, which has published a near-term product schedule. What prompted the disclosure? Here are some thoughts.
The world is no longer willing to wait five years for the next monolithic Windows release. In the age of SaaS and cloud computing, software companies need to balance long-term vision with near-term product enhancements. But that isn't easy -- particularly in the MSP market. Over the past year or two, a few readers have complained to me about Kaseya development delays and launch delays. This year's Kaseya 2 and SaaS efforts certainly hit some turbulence and delays, though the rollout process seems to have gone much smoother in recent months.
So how can MSPs keep track of Kaseya deliverables? The answer arrived in a November 29 blog post, in which Kaseya published a product schedule for customers -- both MSPs and corporate IT managers.
Within the blog entry Kaseya CEO Gerald Blackie states:
"To ensure we stay on course, we have split Kaseya into bite-sized chunks, with teams working on each chunk. ... As a result of the ”chunking,” we will be able to evolve current application functionality faster, independent of the platform on which it runs and come out with new applications at a rapid pace… much faster than was supportable under the pre-K2 product line."That sounds pretty ambitious. We'll be watching to see if Kaseya makes good on its R&D timelines.
Meanwhile, the theme of transparency seems to be growing across the managed services market. A prime example: ConnectWise launched a transparency dashboard earlier this year, to help VARs and MSPs monitor the status of various ConnectWise cloud services. CEO Arnie Bellini concedes that he got the idea from Google... and ran with it at ConnectWise.
I realize dozens of companies offer similar transparency dashboards. Without such transparency, I wonder if VARs and MSPs would be able to run their businesses in 2011 and beyond...
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