Meet the Most Successful SaaS Companies Wall Street Doesn't Know

In the past week, I've run into four of the most successful software as a service (SaaS) companies that Wall Street investors don't know -- at least not yet. Here's a quick look at the companies, and their critical importance to the SaaS industry.

The SaaS experts: Autotask. Ingram Micro. Level Platforms. N-able. Confused? Let me explain.

  • Autotask really is a fully hosted solution, and the SaaS model is treating the company well.
  • Ingram Micro Seismic hosts applications for nearly 800 managed service providers. That's 800 SaaS customers -- yet Wall Street has no idea Ingram has a SaaS story to share. It's time for Ingram's CXO suite to correct that problem.
  • Level Platforms helped to pioneer the master MSP business model, where companies host Level Platform's software in a SaaS configuration.
  • Roughly half of N-able's current sales involve SaaS-driven deployments hosted by N-able, according to CEO Gavin Garbutt.
  • (Please don't send me nasty emails if your company wasn't listed above.)

How SaaS Can Drive MSP Dollars

Fact is, everyone in the managed services market needs to do a better job weaving SaaS into their messaging and corporate positioning -- as long as the messaging is responsible and accurate.

Think about this for a minute: Let's imagine it's 2010 or so, and a company like Autotask pursues an initial public offering. (I repeat: This is a hypothetical event.)

If you were writing Autotask's prospectus for potential investors, which one of these two approaches would you deliver:
  1. Autotask is a leading provider of professional services automation (PSA) software.
  2. Autotask is a leading provider of software as a service (SaaS) that empowers IT consultants across the world.
Wall Street understands SaaS and IT consultants. They don't have a clue about PSA software. Based purely on marketing terms, I bet Autotask would receive more buzz and a higher initial valuation if the company used strong SaaS messaging in a potential IPO.

That's pure speculation on my part. But I'm holding fast to my belief: Some of the world's most successful SaaS companies are right here in the MSP industry. It's time for the MSP ecosystem to recognize -- and celebrate -- that SaaS reality.
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