When it comes to the Professional Services Automation (PSA) software market, most pundits know about ConnectWise, Autotask and Tigerpaw Software. But Australia's QoS-IT wants to muscle in on the conversation, too. Built atop Microsoft's CRM offerings, here's a bit about the QoS-IT strategy -- which includes some potential Windows Azure cloud efforts.
Launched about six years ago for the Australian market, QoS-IT says roughly 100 managed services providers across Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, U.S. and Canada now run the company's software.
Gideon Ellis, managing director at QoS-IT, says the company made a strategic decision to target Microsoft Partners as potential MSP software customers. The reason: Microsoft Partners receive Microsoft CRM free as part of a partner agreement with Microsoft, Ellis says. As a result, QoS-IT costs Microsoft Partners about one-third as much as traditional PSA software, Ellis claims.
QoS-IT is offered with Start-up Kit that includes 10 Users license, customer’s self-serve portal, remote installation and 12 months upgrade & support, Ellis says.
Leveraging Windows Azure?Looking ahead, Ellis sees opportunities for QoS-IT to leverage Windows Azure -- Microsoft's cloud for Windows-centric applications. "With the release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Version 5 and Windows Azure, new opportunities are opened for xRM applications like QoS-IT," says Ellis. "xRM is a platform that integrates different applications -- some on-premises, others in the cloud; all using the platform's services such as those provided by Windows Azure, Windows Workflows Foundations and Windows communication services."
For example, Ellis says QoS-IT is working on a communication between two xRM platforms so that a QoS-IT customer in the U.S. can provide follow-the-sun 24x7 support by collaborating with another QoS-IT customer in Australia. "Both customers can exchange services such as incident details, SLA response time, remote job activities and services such as Kaseya for remote access without even meeting each other," says Ellis.
Admittedly, QoS-IT's PSA footprint in the MSP space is far smaller than that of Autotask, ConnectWise and Tigerpaw. And upstarts like NetSuite's OpenAir and Severa seem to be spending more time talking to MSPs as well. Plus, Microsoft CRM hasn't exactly been a huge hit in the U.S. with MSPs.
Still, we'll be watching QoS-IT for future moves.
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