Rise of Managed Services Middleware, Part II
Back in January (2010), I told MSPs a bit about the emerging managed services middleware market. Fast forward to the present, and MSP middleware — glue that holds multiple applications together — is back on MSPmentor’s radar. The reason: Travis Austin (pictured) at MSPintegrations is working on a few surprises that should surface at the Autotask Community Live conference in Miami (April 18-20). Here are the details.
Well, actually, I can’t share all the details right now — because I’m still confirming them. But here’s some background.
During the 1990s, middleware from IBM, BEA Systems, Oracle and other big software providers tied together disparate applications. Now the trend is repeating itself in the managed services market.
Sources say MSPintegrations is working on a range of projects, including a few applications that will plug into Autotask. Austin declines to mention the projects by name but he shared some background details with me via email.
“We are working on a number of integrations, utilizing existing and emerging APIs to connect cloud platforms in ways which will help to increase efficiency and reduce the workload needed to run an MSP’s business day-to-day,” Austin wrote.
Can Austin point to any real customer deployments? Apparently yes. He notes:
“We have also completed a number of custom workflows related to data migration and synchronization. One example is a multi-national telecommunications company who uses Autotask for a very specific portion of their operations but they use it on a global level.
They do all of their account management via other systems, and were paying someone to run Excel imports and exports between their other systems and Autotask on a daily basis. We created a workflow which allows them to FTP an Excel file into a particular directory, and we pull that file daily, parse it apart, and shove the data into Autotask automatically.
Then, at the end of the month, we pull some very precisely formatted data queries and export those to an Excel file, and place them in the FTP directory for the system to capture and add as a batch to their first system.”
(I must be starting to cover the managed services market a bit too closely because I actually understand Austin’s points.)
So what’s next from Austin and MSPintegrations? He writes:
“We have gotten requests to keep data synchronized between two different Autotask instances, to create workflows to allow an MSP’s customers to order some resold service and have that service automatically provisioned in the resold system and added to a contract in Autotask, and have done some consulting to help companies take more advantage of their Autotask systems, as well.”