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March 4, 2010
The convergence of SaaS with managed services is on display at the Intermedia Partner Summit in Silicon Valley. A few minutes ago, MSPs started asking Intermedia if the company would integrate its hosted Exchange service with MSP-oriented tools. Intermedia said yes. In fact, some of the work is already complete. And more integrations are coming.
Of the major RMM (remote management and monitoring) and PSA (professional services automation) software providers, I believe Level Platforms is the only one attending the Intermedia Partner Summit, which attracted roughly 75 VARs and managed services providers.
In the years ahead, you can bet more MSP software providers will discover SaaS conferences such as this one. The reason: Most of the attendees already specialize in hosted Exchange (offered by Intermedia) and they understand the recurring revenue market. A good number of attendees here now want to integrate hosted Exchange with their PSA and RMM systems.
When ask about upcoming integrations, Intermedia VP Bob Leibholz reinforced the existing Level Platforms relationship and also mentioned Autotask by name as a potential forthcoming integration. Another MSP asked about Kaseya integration. Leibholz didn’t address that platform by name, but body language suggests to me that Intermedia is looking to integrate with most of the major PSA and RMM systems.
Intermedia’s strategy provides an inflection point for MSPs. Generally speaking, a lot of MSPs are still focused on basic system monitoring, patch management and commodity services. But in the past few weeks, I’ve spotted a healthy number of forward-looking MSPs attending SaaS- and Cloud-centric conferences, such as the Parallels Summit (in Miami) and today’s Intermedia Partner Summit (in Silicon Valley).
NOTE: I’m not talking about empty SaaS hype here. Intermedia is an established hosted Exchange provider, working with thousands of MSPs and VARs. Next up, Intermedia is pushing into hosted Unified Communications.
Meanwhile, Parallels is emerging as a platform that allows VARs, MSPs and web hosts to quickly deploy SaaS applications. A prime example: Tech Data is testing a SaaS system for VARs in Europe. The Tech Data platform leverages Parallels’ software.
I guess my key point is this: While newcomer MSPs continue to discuss pricing and sales strategies for remote managed services, the first generation of MSPs have moved on to the next conversation: Connecting the dots between their managed services infrastructure and successful SaaS applications.
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