Autotask VARStreet: Facing an Emerging Rival?
As Autotask celebrates the buyout of VARStreet, a potential VARStreet rival seems to be gaining momentum with some solutions providers and managed services providers. Here are the details.
First, a little background: Autotask snapped up VARStreet last week. Assuming the Autotask-VARStreet business combo works as advertised, VARs and MSPs will ultimately gain a single dashboard for managing services (Autotask) and product sourcing (VARStreet). It sounds like a promising strategy and more details should emerge at the Autotask Community Live event in April 2010.
Still, VARStreet isn’t the only game in town. Solutions providers are using a range of tools to generate customer quotes and source products from distributors.
One well-known option is Quotewerks, which allows VARs to fetch real-time quotes from Ingram Micro, Synnex, Tech Data and others. More recently, Quotewerks has been writing tighter integration to the ConnectWise PSA platform — which competes with Autotask.
Looking Beyond the Obvious
Ah, yet another ConnectWise vs. Autotask showdown? Hmmm… Actually, this blog entry is about to take a turn in yet another direction.
During a few phone calls this week, solutions providers mentioned to The VAR Guy that they’re jumping from Quotewerks to Quosal — which integrates with Ingram Micro, Tech Data and D&H at no extra cost. And here’s a neat twist: Quosal also integrates with Microsoft’s SQL Azure cloud database.
True believers in Quosal include Rich Anderson, CEO of Next Level Cafe — a managed services provider that’s starting to quote more and more work. (Shameless plug: Anderson is set to speak on our Four Steps to SaaS Success webcast, April 7).
Quosal certainly isn’t an upstart. The solution has been “a work in process for about 20 years, stemming from my own experience as a VAR and vertical market systems integrator (in the retail management systems space),” says Kent McNall, CEO of Quosal. “As a sales person, sales manager, and chief executive the struggle for accurate, timely, and productive quotes AND proposals always seemed out of proportion.”
McNall says Quosal competes regularly with Quotewerks, Channel Online and VARStreet (as well as legacy Excel and Word approaches). Sales have grown 700% this quarter, and they were up 400% last quarter, McNall adds. Of course, such large percentage increases suggest Quosal’s sales figures last year likely were pretty low.
Still, a few VARs have mentioned Quosal to The VAR Guy in recent days. Sounds like the Autotask-VARStreet combo can expect some healthy competition.