Gradient MSP Launches 'Game Changer' Analytics Tool

One MSP said the StackTracker tool will save it weeks of time normally spent gathering inaccurate data.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

April 8, 2024

6 Min Read
Gradient MSP StackTracker debuts

Gradient MSP launched a software tool that will give managed service providers (MSPs) automated and holistic data insights.

StackTracker, which Gradient announced on Monday, uses more than 60 integrations with professional services automation (PSA) and remote monitoring and management (RMM) vendors to give partners a full range of data tracking. StackTracker builds analytics around product category coverage and vendor spend, as well as how much money MSPs make on resale.

Gradiant launched in 2020 with the goal of helping MSPs clean up "dirty data" – whether erroneous or outdated – inside their professional services automation (PSA) platforms. The company says its new SaaS product gives partners real-time visibility into how they and their customers are utilizing and consuming their tech stack.

"StackTracker is more than just a product; it’s a response to the pressing and critical questions MSPs face about their businesses in today’s dynamic and growing market, helping them to navigate the challenges of growing efficiently and profitably," said Gradient MSP founder and CEO Colin Knox. "MSPs can capitalize on the trillions in IT spend by identifying opportunities within their client base to drive profitable growth."

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Gradient MSP cited research by Canalys that says reseller partners will account for more than 73% of almost $5 trillion in tech spend in 2024. With tech resale proliferating, Gradient MSP wants to help partners better identify profit opportunities.

“With hundreds of thousands of software and hardware companies, growing to over a million by the end of the decade, MSPs require powerful tools to deliver best-in-class services to their clients,” Canalys chief analyst Jay McBain said. (Informa Tech owns both Channel Futures and Canalys.) “The permutations and combinations of products and services will continue to grow exponentially and MSPs will need to improve their tracking to make strategic, data-driven decisions.”


Chris Black, chief revenue officer at Toronto-based MSP Jolera, called StackTracker a "cheat code to high-velocity, data-driven decision making." He said Jolera can save weeks of time that it previously would have spent building reports around "unusuable" or "stale" data.

“I don’t want to sound dramatic, but StackTracker is going to be an absolute game-changer for MSPs who value data, and more specifically, the actionable insights that can be derived from that data," Black said. "We all know that running an MSP is complex and often chaotic. Between customers, partners, distributors, cloud providers and our own teams, we are continually drinking from the data firehose. At the confluence of all those constituents’ data is where we can derive insightful value — what are we doing, with whom, at what price, with what margin, at what scale, with what timing, etc."

Q&A with Gradient MSP

Channel Futures caught up with Gradient founder and CEO Colin Knox to learn about the implications of the tool.

Channel Futures: What are some of the other ways MSPs would have historically tracked their data? Are there other platforms that helped them do this, and if so, how is StackTracker different?

Colin Knox: MSPs would have approached this in one of a few ways.

[First], by looking at reporting and dashboard solutions that either plug into their PSA or accounting software. This is a challenge for two reasons: 1) because both of those products are usually riddled with muddy/dirty data from misconfigurations and historical periods of selling various different products and categories that have been sunsetted, and selling different and unique models over time; and 2), because what's in the PSA or accounting software is just a representation of what they think they are supposed to be billing, and not what is actually in use. Over the course of the last couple years with our billing reconciliation product, we have found very consistently that many MSPs are not just missing the bill for several items used across their client base, but also many MSPs are billing for services that are no longer deployed. The difference here is that StackTracker is tied directly into the vendor platforms to pull actual consumption information for each client on each service — a true tale of actual usage.

[Second], downloading usage reports from every vendor and consolidating that into a giant spreadsheet. This can take weeks of time between collecting the reports, standardizing the format and columns/structure, and then attempting to consolidate the client list where the end customers are generally referred to by similar yet different names in the various vendor portals. By the time they have a report ready, it is weeks out of date. The difference here is that StackTracker has all the information readily available at near real-time in a uniform and standardized format, all mapped back to a consistent list of accounts and offers much more flexible grouping, sorting and filtering that a typical spreadsheet.

[Third], don’t just track, which has them flying blind to know how the resale aspect of their business (which is more than 40% of their recurring revenue) is performing.

CF: Could you give me an example of an MSP using StackTracker?

CK: Most MSPs are running between three and five different vendors for backup. With StackTracker, they can group by the backup product category and then secondarily group by vendor or product. Within that table view, the MSP can immediately see their full volume, revenue, cost/spend and profit for the entire product category, but then also itemize it down to what their volume, spend and profit are per vendor or product. With this information available at a glance, they immediately know which is the most profitable vendor and how much additional total volume they have across the other vendors. Knowing that, they can determine quickly the profit gain from consolidating the services to the most profitable vendor and likely even negotiate a better volume discount with that vendor by bringing the incremental volume to them.

While most MSPs have a decent sense as to which clients are using which services, what they can’t readily see is which clients aren’t using which services — with complete accuracy. StackTracker knows this at any moment, but beyond this is aware of the MSP’s unit cost and resale price for each service as well as the size of the clients not using a service as determined by the quantity of other products consumed. Knowing that, and the adoption habits of each client, StackTracker offers what we call a StackGaps report, where each gap across their stack and clients' is quantified by revenue and profit opportunity, and then ranked by probability. This is available either by total opportunity by product/service (with detail) or totally opportunity by client.

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About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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