Microsoft's Managed Services Team Discovers the Power of PSA

Microsoft's Managed Services Team Discovers the Power of PSA

Rewind to the ConnectWise IT Nation conference in November 2010. At the time, a Microsoft Windows Intune executive quietly attended the conference to learn about the managed services market. Fast forward to the present and this week's Windows Intune launch includes integration with major PSA (professional services automation) systems like ConnectWise and Autotask. Here's the update.

As a reminder, Windows Intune is a cloud-based managed services platform. It allows MSPs and IT managers to maintain PCs and mobile devices running Windows 7. Generally speaking, I think Windows Intune will appeal to pure Windows shops but I've criticized it a bit for failing to support additional operating systems like Mac OS, iOS, Linux and Android.

Still, to Microsoft's credit, the company has been closely studying the managed services market. When Windows Intune arrived this week, both ConnectWise and Autotask issued press releases promoting integration with the Microsoft platform.

  • From the Autotask camp: "Service providers using InTune's desktop monitoring can configure the tool to generate e-mail alerts that can be automatically converted into service tickets inside Autotask."
  • From the ConnectWise team: "ConnectWise and Windows Intune combine seamlessly to deliver an integrated workflow that includes problem alerting, tracking, remediation, and billing for work performed by MSPs."
  • I've reached out to other MSP-centric software companies to see if they plan to integrate with Windows Intune.
Also of interest: Microsoft also is positioning Windows Intune for VARs because:
  1. There's no price barrier to the Windows 7 Desktop
  2. You can double BPOS proceeds by adding Windows Intune (maybe more with Office 365)
  3. Free up capital for your services
  4. Break into managed services
(For more details check out this Microsoft-authored blog.)

If Windows Intune catches on with VARs, perhaps Microsoft can also raise PSA's visibility within the VAR community -- a key step that both Autotask and ConnectWise have been trying to take.

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