IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Autotask Links Platform Unification to Digital Transformation

In a keynote at this year’s Community Live partner event, CEO Mark Cattini (pictured) argued that the productivity Autotask’s integrated software suite makes possible frees up time MSPs can use to re-invent themselves as digital technology strategists. By Rich Freeman with Michael Siggins

Seeking to connect one of the most important trends in MSP technology with one of the buzziest topics in IT, Autotask Corp. used the opening day of its annual Community Live partner conference in Hollywood, Fla., to draw a direct line between integrated managed services software and digital transformation.

Tightly woven solutions like the PSA, RMM, and other systems in the “unification platform” East Greenbush, N.Y.-based Autotask has been rolling out since last April make MSPs more productive, said CEO Mark Cattini during a keynote address this morning. That, in turn, frees up time that providers of mere administrative services can use to become virtual CIOs equipped to help clients innovate through the power of digitization.

“There’s never been a period of such dramatic change,” said Cattini, citing companies ranging from Uber and Airbnb to Amazon and Netflix as examples. “It’s really electrifying and it’s around us every single day.”

It also has not just enterprises but SMBs looking for trusted advisors with the know-how to help them capitalize on the new opportunities and efficiencies digital technologies make possible.

“Many of you are going to have to think about being a business technologist, and many of you already are,” Cattini said.

That process takes time though, he noted, and the same technologies empowering market leaders to disrupt venerable business models are making IT management increasingly complicated.

“There’s more data, there’s more devices, there’s more complexity,” Cattini observed.

Autotask helps mitigate that complexity, he continued, by automating time-consuming manual administrative tasks. In the process, he added, it opens up bandwidth MSPs can use to re-invent themselves as strategic digital consultants.

“We provide a platform of capability that allows you to focus on your business rather than in the business,” Cattini said, calling particular attention to the added efficiencies Autotask’s integrated software platform delivers by enabling users to share data seamlessly across applications.

“The products in their own right are world class and stand-alone,” Cattini said, “but there is just so much differentiated advantage and innovative opportunities when you start bringing the power of those products together in a really, really thoughtful way.”

Autotask, which was known for many years as one of the industry’s top makers of PSA software, began pursuing that multi-product vision in September 2014 when it bought RMM vendor CentraStage for an undisclosed sum. Some 10 months later, through its acquisition of Soonr, the company added file sync and share capabilities and ultimately endpoint backup capabilities to its portfolio as well.

There may be further acquisitions to come. “I hope at some point to be able to announce other significant managed services into the platform,” Cattini said, without elaborating, in the closing seconds of his keynote.

Len DiCostanzo, Autotask’s senior vice president of business and channel development, dropped similar hints later in the day during an interview with ChannelPro.

“We’re certainly interested in finding other solutions that we can unify that make a difference,” he said. “It’s just going to make it much more efficient, much more profitable, for our partners to work with us and use more of our stuff.”

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