Autotask Looks Beyond Integration to Complete PSA-RMM Unification
Autotask is putting a new spin on the industry trend of marrying professional services automation (PSA) software and remote monitoring and management (RMM) technology.
As Autotask Community Live 2017 kicked into full gear today in Hollywood, Fla., attendees to the annual partner conference were shown a vision of a future in which more powerful and comprehensive products will ultimately enable MSPs to engage with fewer tools.
That future has never been closer, company officials said, with the release in recent weeks of Autotask 2017.1.
“If you talk to an MSP and you ask what’s on your mind, they’ll say security, they’ll say cloud; the other thing they say is too many systems,” CEO Mark Cattini told MSPmentor shortly after his keynote.
It’s been almost exactly three years since Autotask purchased cloud-based RMM vendor CentraStage as a way to gain a foothold in the RMM space.
Since then, the company’s engineers have been busily working to marry the two products.
That’s not to say that Autotask doesn’t value traditional integration; the software boasts 160 partner integrations using the open API, including 18 for RMMs.
But Autotask is pushing hard to bring the tools together at a fundamental level.
“It’s one system of record; it’s removing complexity,” Cattini said. “If you’re going to integrate – that’s the wrong term – if you’re going to unify, you have to own the intellectual property.”
“Effectively, it tends to become one product,” he continued. “We own two sets of code and we’re taking advantage of that.”
Autotask sees ConnectWise as its only real competition in the PSA space and, to date, that competitor has yet to move toward a true unification of the PSA and RMM.
“Our honest answer is we don’t see them doing it the same way we did,” said Pat Burns, Autotask’s vice president of product management and strategy. “In the four years before we acquired our RMM, I kept expecting them to do something like that, but they didn’t. I’m sure they have their reasons.”
As the person directly responsible for keeping Autotask’s products on the leading edge of the market, Burns likened the PSA/RMM unification to the advent of Apple’s iPhone.
“A digital camera, and cell phones and MP3 players all existed,” he said. “Apple said why don’t we bring these together. Now you can’t imagine that they would be separate.”
In a world where most of the top vendors offer similar features, Autotask officials say they’ve chosen to differentiate themselves with a laser focus on the user experience.
“At the feature level, there’s parity,” Burns said. “The difference in our PSA is we have a deeper focus on the human experience and kind of human-centric design.
“The reason is because we saw an opportunity to generate more value.”
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