Autotask, ExchangeDefender Partner On Managed Security

We've written quite a bit about open APIs and management dashboards for MSPs. But Autotask and ExchangeDefender say they've partnered to deliver something that's new and different in the managed security services market. Here's a look at the relationship and the march toward a "single dashboard" for MSPs.

First the hard news: Autotask says ExchangeDefender is its first-ever "Command Center" partner. According to a joint press release:

"Customers can use their single Autotask “Command Center” dashboard to manage and track all network security services.  A real-time, secure API connection ties Autotask’s central knowledge base directly into ExchangeDefender’s online management tool, generating a seamless data exchange.   As a result, customers can immediately report and respond to service tickets, track critical security data, and enjoy accurate tracking and billing of licenses on all installed products from one source."
There's a bit of a back story here. ExchangeDefender is owned by Vlad Mazek's Own Web Now (OWN). Mazek is one of the MSP industry's most outspoken evangelists. And on some fronts he competes with folks like Reflexion Networks Inc. Take a closer look and you'll notice a close working relationship between Reflexion and ConnectWise (Autotask's primary rival). So is this story about ExchangeDefender/Autoask vs. Reflexion/ConnectWise? Not really. Reflexion has some development work under way with Autotask as well. And Mazek had a booth at the ConnectWise Partner Summit. But if you check a range of Facebook pages and managed services discussion boards, you'll see some ExchangeDefender-Reflexion competitive chatter from time to time.

Perhaps the bigger story here involves the growing emphasis on management dashboards for MSPs. Most of the MSP-oriented software companies I hear from have been pitching single user interfaces for quite some time. The loudest pitches of late have involved Nimsoft (Unified Monitoring) and Trend Micro (Worry Free Remote Manager).

I haven't spoken directly with Autotask or ExchangeDefender about today's announcement. But I plan to follow-up once I hit some other deadlines today. I'd like to hear more about where Autotask is taking the Command Center. I'm equally curious about a range of projects Mazek is pursuing -- particularly an effort called ShockeyMonkey.

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