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Autotask extends its MSP platform with file backup

Autotask made product unification a key thrust of its annual customer meeting, unveiling a new offering that expands its unified platform into automated file backup.

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Autotask Corp. this week put the latest piece of its unified MSP platform strategy into place, adding an automated file backup offering to its IT management product line.

Autotask, based in East Greenbush, N.Y., has been assembling its platform in phases. The first phase involved optimizing the company's flagship professional services automation (PSA) product. In the second phase, Autotask in April 2016 debuted a single platform that combines its PSA offering with the remote monitoring and management (RMM) technology it obtained in the 2014 acquisition of CentraStage. The latest phase of Autotask's unfolding strategy seeks to layer managed services on top of that unified MSP platform.

To that end, Autotask Endpoint Backup offers managed service providers (MSPs) and other channel partners the ability to provide a backup service that can take advantage of other platform components. The backup product, for example, works together with Autotask PSA to minimize service provider costs with respect to such functions as provisioning, deployment and billing, according to the company. Autotask has dubbed this strategy "unification," which was a key discussion point at the Autotask Community Live conference. The company's annual event wraps up Sept. 27.

Autotask is endeavoring to make sure they are delivering an entire stack to the MSP community.
Thomas Clancy Jr.president, Valiant

"Autotask is endeavoring to make sure they are delivering an entire stack to the MSP community," said Thomas Clancy Jr., president at Valiant, an MSP based in New York.

Valiant uses Autotask's PSA and RMM tools and is evaluating the new backup offering, he said. He said Autotask Endpoint Backup is easy to deploy and priced attractively. And the product's integration with the Autotask platform means that the company's engineers don't have to monitor a separate dashboard for backup at the user desktop level.

Valiant isn't alone in reviewing Autotask Endpoint Backup, and a handful of service providers are already using it to support customers. Mark Cattini, president and CEO at Autotask, said the company rolled out its backup tool to early adopters in a "soft launch" two months ago. He said those companies have deployed the offering to a couple of thousand endpoints.

Extending the MSP platform

Patrick Burns, vice president of product management at Autotask, said 1,400 customers out of the company's total base of 7,000 customers are "fully enabled" on Autotask's unified platform. With customer migration to the platform moving along at a 15-company-per-week pace, Autotask is now pre-packaging managed services on top of the core platform. In addition to Autotask Endpoint Backup, the company provides its file sync-and-share offering, Autotask Workplace, as another platform product MSPs can offer as a managed service.

The technology behind both Autotask Endpoint Backup and Autotask Workplace comes from the company's July 2015 acquisition of Soonr.

Autotask officials said those managed service offerings are "operationalized" for the MSP platform. That means deployment is automated and the services have been built to be easy to remotely configure and manage, said Len DiCostanzo, senior vice president of community and business development at Autotask.

DiCostanzo, who also heads the Autotask Workplace partner program, said the company has signed up more than 400 partners for the file sync-and-share product. In comparison, Autotask in December 2015 had just topped 100 channel partners.

The rapid addition of Autotask Workplace partners primarily stems from their previous use of Autotask products, whether PSA or end-point management, DiConstanzo suggested.

"They see [Autotask Workplace] as another addition into that unified platform," he said.

What's next?

Cattini said a key Autotask challenge going forward is deciding what to do next in managed services and determine whether Autotask will build its own service or acquire a company to provide the foundation for the service.

"Expect us to add more revenue-generating, operationalized managed services," he said.

Partners can also expect Autotask to expand its local presence. Cattini said Autotask plans to open a New York City office in 2017, citing Atlanta as another possibility. And in the United Kingdom, Autotask is looking into launching a Manchester office.

Next Steps

Read more about RMM tool integration

Learn about key RMM trends

Find out about the PSA software market

Dig Deeper on IT solution provider and managed services software

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