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Acer America
Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.

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333 West San Carlos Street
San Jose, California 95110
United States

WWW: acer.com

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News & Articles

June 23, 2014 |

Autotask Betting on New UI as a Game-Changer

The IT business management platform provider recently previewed its new user interface—two years in the making.

Autotask Corp. previewed its new user interface to an audience of more than 900 of the world’s leading technology companies at its annual Autotask Community Live! event in Miami recently, as well as announced its acquisition by Vista Equity Partners. Michael Siggins, publisher of The ChannelPro Network, spoke with Mark Cattini, president and CEO of Autotask, and Patrick Burns, vice president of product management, about the acquisition, the new UI, and what it will mean to Autotask channel partners.

ChannelPro-SMB: What was your greatest achievement over the past year?

Mark Cattini: The UI, without a doubt. That’s been two years in planning, development, design. We think that’s an industry game-changer for this type of application.

Mark CattiniChannelPro-SMB: Has the feedback from your growing user base and your own team driven development and the continuing evolution of your platform?

Patrick Burns: We never have a firm road map that’s more than six to nine months in the future because circumstances change. We have that long list of things that we’ve validated … but we’re not going to do them all at once; we’ll revisit those before we commit. What we benefit from is that we have a very strong vertical focus [around the concept of IT service delivery and technology management], so there tends to be a high degree of commonality between what our customers need. By far, the single most influential input is customer feedback. It’s about sorting through and determining what we think is going to make the biggest impact.

ChannelPro-SMB: What is Autotask’s loftiest goal for the next year, and is that the same goal as your partners?

Burns: Let’s start with the partners because our goal is going to be derivative of that, and it doesn’t mean that it’s the same goal, but it’s how do we help them achieve their goal? Their goals are to navigate this new landscape. There are a lot of new technologies … solutions that maybe weren’t accessible and available to SMB/SMEs previously. They need to figure out how they’re going to go after that opportunity.

Our goal is to enable them to do that. It’s to make sure that the product can facilitate and support those new models. It’s to make sure that we’re providing them with education and consulting and resources to complement their technical expertise. In some cases it’s very specific product feature improvements. We’ve made a tremendous amount of changes to our contracts module so they can get all sorts of different business models supported, particularly managed services and variable consumption-type models.

ChannelPro-SMB: Why is it so important to bring everybody together atAutotask†Community Live?

Cattini: I think you’ll get lots of reasons from different people, but it really is training, knowledge, networking, access. We want to make people feel successful, that they’re part of a winning community. … And people need to go away feeling really good about what they’ve seen.

ChannelPro-SMB: What do you want your customers and your integration partners to take away from the acquisition by Vista Equity Partners?

Cattini: Still private and still independent—that’s the key thing. There [are] three kinds of acquisition. One is going to a big strategic home—you’re acquired by IBM, Microsoft, something, and then the company really becomes something else. Or you go the public route, or essentially what you do is change shareholders, and that’s what we’ve done. … We looked at all options; in the end it made sense.

So the message is we’re private, we’re independent, but we will absolutely have more capital to invest and move forward quicker. We’ll look at other value that we can provide our customers and accelerate the roadmap, improve our training, improve our service, improve everything we do, and grow faster than we’ve been doing—and we’ve been growing very, very healthy over the last three or so years. So it’s bigger and it’s better, but nothing’s really changed. I’m still the CEO. Pat’s still VP of product management.

ChannelPro-SMB: Shifting back to your product, what would you want to tell those channel partners who are not currently your customers?

Patrick BurnsCattini: I’d ask of any system they were putting in place, how mission critical is it to your business? How critical is being able to solve a ticket quickly and bill accurately and have efficient workflows, etc.? Is it really important? If the answer is yes—and it typically is—then consider us.† … Our platform—never a security breach—[has] 99.99 percent [uptime]. Literally, over the last three years that is our track record. And if you’re really mission critical you have to have that uptime.

Second, it’s really about the user experience. I want people to enjoy using the product because [the new user interface] is a clean, beautiful, elegant UI. It’s designed around the way you work. … My sense is it’s going to be a new experience in terms of productivity, usability, and accessibility.


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