One of the managed services industry's best-known Master MSPs is moving to a new software platform. Specifically, MSP Services Network (MSPSN) has migrated to itControl Suite.
What's behind the move? MSPSN CEO Amy Luby (pictured) offered some thoughts to me over email.
First, some background: MSPSN hosts managed services software for peer VARs and MSPs. Luby is a prolific voice across the managed services industry, driving education and also launching a face-to-face conference series known as MSP Revolution.
Making Her MoveNow, to the story at hand. Luby has experience with a range of remote monitoring and management tools but recently decided to standardize MSPSN's business on itControl Suite. According to an email to me from Luby:
"The reason we chose itControl Suite was because it’s the most advanced and nimble product we’ve encountered to date. It has all of the same functionality that the other RMM tools have, and more. The core foundation of the product was built for MSP 2.0 and beyond."Luby is quick to note that itControl Suite is built on a Linux kernel -- a fact that catches my attention, given all the recent buzz about open source within the managed services industry.
"The MSP model is maturing faster than the existing RMM software vendors can develop the right features and functionality into their existing products. So when we found itControl Suite and experienced how quickly they can develop features into their product, we asked them to build for MSPSN the right functionality into their product for the Master MSP model."In response, itControl Suite had MSPSN's core requirements done in 3 weeks, she adds. "The rest will be done by the end of January. Without getting specific, we have been asking for all of this functionality from our other vendors for years."
Her conclusion: "I would argue that the top tier RMM tools might be leap frogged in functionality by these new solutions that are nimble, built for development speed and are hungry to gain market share in 2009."
She Said, He SaidIt's tough for me to offer a point-by-point response to Luby's thoughts, since I'm an "observer" and she has actually run various MSP software to build her business. However, keep in mind:
- Perhaps I'm a bit of a wimp, but this article doesn't mention which MSP tool(s) Luby abandoned. I didn't feel comfortable throwing a vendor under the bus, especially since choosing an MSP tool is often like buying a car: Just because you select one brand doesn't mean all the other brands are horrible.
- Master MSPs must -- by their very nature -- speak highly about the platforms they run. Otherwise, customers (subscribing MSPs and VARs) would worry about the master MSP's core business software.
- I don't know if there are financial or other business arrangements between MSPSN and itControl Suite.
Finally, I fully agree with Luby on a key point: Nimble MSP solutions (especially those that effectively leverage software as a service and open code bases) will potentially disrupt big, monolithic applications that are difficult to polish and push forward.
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