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New Gradient MSP Tool Combats 'Dirty Data' Frustrating Vendor Sales Processes

The freemium tool helps MSPs sort through data in their PSAs.

James Anderson

June 1, 2021

3 Min Read
Database
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Gradient MSP is helping MSPs weed through cumbersome data in their professional services automation (PSA) platforms.

The Calgary-based company launched its data hygiene solution, which MSPs can access for free. The software addresses inaccurate, outdated or otherwise irrelevant data that resides in PSAs. Gradient’s tool integrates with PSAs and sifts through their core records to identify “dirty records.”

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Gradient MSP’s Colin Knox

“MSPs typically have a substantial amount of dirty data hiding within their PSAs — outdated or erroneous records, for example, which can dramatically impact how the MSP runs their business, both from an operational and financial standpoint, as well as how they engage with their team and their customers,” Gradient MSP CEO Colin Knox said.

The platform integrates with ConnectWise, Datto, Kaseya, Syncro and Tigerpaw PSA solutions. Knox said other integrations will follow. In addition, Gradient will launch new modules that MSPs can consume in a “freemium” manner.

Knox said he and his team are chasing a vision of “data equality,” in which partners of all sizes get the same access to actionable data.

“There’s been an unlevel playing field and inequity of access to data and insights between very large MSPs and small MSPs,” Knox told Channel Futures. “We believe in this vision and concept of data equality where data for one is data for all.”

Knox said future modules will also focus on data equality and automating administrative burdens.

Ease of Access

Knox said beta testers have described the tool as easily deployable.

“We took the heavy lifting on our side to make everything work, but it’s as simple as connecting an API and pretty much clicking ‘next,'” he said.

Knox said he developed a freemium model to address the frustrations MSPs express about their purchasing experiences. Often they must jump through several hoops and attend tedious demo meetings just to figure out pricing.

“If there’s one thing we’ve heard from the industry, it’s that MSPs hate a lack of transparency and points of endless friction,” Knox said.

However, Gradient has made its pricing and demos on-demand.

“They don’t have to tell us who they are … or sit in a meeting with us,” Knox said. “It’s a free solution; we’re not even selling it.”

Consider this MSP’s rant about the sales process PSA providers typically foist on partners.

Background

Knox has worked in the IT channel for almost 20 years. He ran his own MSP from 2009-2016, hitting $4 million in the first five years. He went on to found Passportal, the privileged access management solution that SolarWinds in acquired 2019. Knox joined the SolarWinds team and eventually served as vice president of community. That position put him in contact with the approximately 25,000 MSPs that use SolarWinds products.

Knox left SolarWinds last September and used the extended time off to watch the MSP market. He said he saw a clear opportunity to bring value to partners by helping them enhance their data.

“If we want to have the best impact and the best success rate for us to help MSPs make the best decisions possible, we need that data as clean as possible,” Knox said.

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ISG’s Patrick Murphy

Partner Perspective

Kansas-based MSP ISG Technology has used the offering.

“Gradient has helped us clarify our data,” ISG VP Patrick Murphy said. “This has allowed us to have true knowledge of our business, as well as a voice to state the facts, since I no longer have to wade through all the excess irrelevant data in my PSA.”

 

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MSPs

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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