Australia and New Zealand remain hotbeds for managed services activity. The latest example: Autotask Go! -- an entry-level professional services automation tool -- is now available in the region as a hosted service. Autotask isn't alone in its Australia moves. Here's a look at some of the regional trends, and a potential remaining challenge.
According to a press release, Autotask Go! is designed for up to three users, fully hosted and:
"can be accessed from any PC or mobile device connected to the Internet, with no downloads or installs, directly through the Microsoft® Internet Explorer browser. Priced at just U.S.$99 per month for the entire team, Autotask Go! is also among the most affordable professional-grade solutions available on the market anywhere in the world."No doubt, the MSP market is growing rapidly in Australia. Following a trip to Australia in October 2008, I described some local MSP market trends and estimated MSP market size info. Since that time, I've heard from nearly all remote monitoring and PSA software companies, most of whom are pushing into Europe and Australia.
Clearly, the shift to hosted services -- like those offered by Autotask -- has helped managed services become a global trend.
Remaining ChallengesStill, I think North American software companies can do an even better job localizing their MSP efforts across the globe. In many cases, North American software companies are promoting MSP and PSA software abroad -- but they don't have local offices with local employees to service, support and educate local VARs and MSPs.
I asked Autotask Chief Marketing Officer Bob Vogel if the company had any plans to open an Australia office. Vogel's reply:
"Well, the beauty about Autotask Go! is that it's as close to a self-serve PSA product as you can get. The partners buy it right over the web, everything is automatically provisioned for them, they get online, on-demand training, and our 24/7 Autotask CommunITy for help any time.
Having said that, we do have a number of partners in Australia and we are seriously looking at how to expand a more "high-touch" presence there."I understand Vogel's points about SaaS and online training. To be sure Autotask and some of its competitors are ahead of the SaaS curve, offering hosted solutions increasingly on a global basis. But at some point, I believe, many MSPs in Australia will want to see and meet a local Autotask representative -- especially as they consider potential upgrades from Autotask Go! to Autotask Pro.
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