MSP Software: Targeted Markets Today, Shakeout Tomorrow

While discussing Managed Workplace 2010's debut earlier today, Level Platforms CEO Peter Sandiford offered key views on how the managed services software market will segment.

Joe Panettieri, Former Editorial Director

January 15, 2010

Level Platforms Managed Workplace 2010

Level Platforms Managed Workplace 2010

While discussing Managed Workplace 2010’s debut earlier today, Level Platforms CEO Peter Sandiford offered key views on how the managed services software market will segment. Read between the lines and you’ll begin to understand how Level Platforms intends to differentiate from such rivals as Kaseya, N-able and Nimsoft (among others). Here are my conclusions about current and emerging market trends, plus FastChat video interviews with Sandiford.

First, the hard news: Level Platforms’ Managed Workplace 2010 is officially available. The company’s press release describes a range of product enhancements. And Sandiford offers more perspectives in the FastChat videos further below.

Inflection Point?

To understand where Level Platforms is heading I think you have to rewind a bit. The company has a longstanding relationship with Ingram Micro Seismic, which helps transform VARs into MSPs. But by mid-2009, Ingram Micro Seismic had inked a second remote management relationship — this one with Nimsoft.

At first glance, Level Platforms and Nimsoft compete head-on. After all, they both offer remote management tools. But take a closer look and the market segments begin to emerge.

  • Level Platforms is positioning Managed Workplace 2010 for MSPs that serve 3 to 250 seat customer environments.

  • In stark contrast, Nimsoft competes in the enterprise against CA, BMC, HP OpenView and IBM Tivoli. Gradually, Nimsoft has also pushed into the higher-end managed services market, well outside of Level Platforms’ market sweet spot.

Worth Noting

But the segmentation doesn’t end there. Before you watch the FastChat videos with Sandiford further below, I hope you’ll consider the following key themes:

  • Kaseya: Earlier this month, Executive VP Jim Alves made it clear that Kaseya intends to compete from the SOHO market all the way up to the enterprise. Kaseya also intends to introduce some low-end, SaaS-oriented professional services automation (PSA) software.

  • Level Platforms: In stark contrast, CEO Sandiford says Level Platforms will stick to its knitting by focusing on MSPs pursuing 3 to 250 seat opportunities, remaining purely channel focused, and maintaining close relationships with PSA software partners.

  • N-able: CEO Gavin Garbutt continues to evangelize a freemium strategy involving endpoint security, and quite a few N-able MSPs are having success pushing upstream into mid-market corporate IT settings.

  • Nimsoft: CEO Gary Read concedes Nimsoft typically isn’t the first tool that an MSP deploys. But, Read asserts, Nimsoft often is the last tool an MSP deploys because it just scales and scales.

Of course there are a range of additional tools from which to choose — up-and-comer names include LabTech, Paglo and Spiceworks. Toss in publicly held players like Dell and LogMeIn and the choices can become overwhelming.

Still, segmentation has arrived. And I believe a shakeout will follow — perhaps by early 2011. For more perspectives check out the following two FastChat videos.

  • In the first video, Sandiford describes Managed Workplace 2010.

  • In the second, he highlights market segmentation.

FastChat Video

The video above includes:
0:00: Intro
0:15: Intro to Managed Workplace 2010
0:50: Noteworthy enhancements — such as the offsite assistant
1:55: On-premise or SaaS?
2:40: Partnerships with Ingram Micro Seismic and Acer/Gateway
3:05: Focusing on customers with 3 to 250 desktops
3:25: Pure channel play
3:35: More info
3:52: Conclusion

FastChat Video 2

The video above covers multiple market segments. Be sure to listen closely around the 1:13 mark, where Sandiford clearly states Level Platforms has no plans to compete with PSA software providers. Translation: While Kaseya potentially moves into the low-end PSA market, Level Platforms won’t make such a move.

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About the Author(s)

Joe Panettieri

Former Editorial Director, Nine Lives Media, a division of Penton Media

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