Managed Services: First Mover Advantage Is Over In Australia

Managed Services: First Mover Advantage Is Over In Australia

In the Australia managed services market, anecdotal evidence suggests first mover advantage is over -- especially as MSP software vendors begin to turn their attention to larger growth opportunities in Asia. Yes, the Australia managed services market continues to grow, both organically and through mergers and acquisitions. But recent moves by Kaseya and Level Platforms, among others, suggest the biggest managed services opportunities ahead are in Asia. Here's why.

First, the news: Tim Dickinson, the former leader of Kaseya's Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) efforts, has shifted to a broader regional role and Kaseya is searching for a new ANZ territory manager now, according to Martin Ashby, executive VP of Kaseya APAC.

Forgive me if I overstate the situation but I think Dickinson's career move is an inflection point for the Australia-New Zealand managed services market. Under Dickinson's leadership, Kaseya's Australia business has grown to a few hundred managed services providers, according to published reports. More recently, companies like N-able, ConnectWise, Autotask and Tigerpaw Software (through a distribution deal) have also made moves in Australia. As a whole, I suspect those companies represent more than 1,000 MSPs in the region. We've also seen some Australia- and New Zealand-based software companies -- such as QoS IT -- make noise in the MSP market.

But the Australia market is both growing and maturing, triggering some major MSP mergers and acquisitions in Australia.

Looking ahead, the Australia market is about (A) MSP software providers finding new customers but also (B) those software players convincing some MSPs to switch platforms. I've heard from a few Kaseya MSPs in Australia who are considering moves to other platforms -- including some larger players that are taking a close look at N-able and LabTech Software (which is backed by a ConnectWise Capital investment).

Still, Kaseya seems upbeat about its Australia progress. According to Ashby, "ANZ continues to be a strong and stable market." Until Kaseya's recent double-digit expansion in India, ANZ was Kaseya's largest contributing territory in the APAC region, Ashby adds.

Some Eyes Turn to Asia

So what's ahead for MSP software providers? Keep an eye on China, Japan, Korea and other large Asia markets. Notes Ashby:
"This year we have made huge efforts in expanding our coverage across the region. I opened China operations with the appointment of John Fargis (EVP N-E Asia) earlier this year with a new office in Beijing, Seoul and an expanded presence in HK. We now have sales, marketing and technical services staff in each of these places. We also have Kaseya product language support now in Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Korean, Japanese and Thai. Tim will manage some marquee accounts in ANZ while also assist me to expand our presence in S-E Asia including Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines. This year APAC made significant contributions to global performance and we are set to continue this trend into 2011."
Meanwhile, it sounds like Level Platforms also is making moves in Asia. During a brief conversation at the ConnectWise IT Nation conference last week, Level Platforms CEO Peter Sandiford mentioned an emerging distribution deal that could likely give Level Platforms a significant boost in Asia. We'll be listening for more details in the days ahead. And we'll be watching as more US-based software companies seek to set up camp in the Asia, Australia and New Zealand managed services markets.

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TAGS: Financing PSA
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