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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.


333 West San Carlos Street
San Jose, California 95110
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June 1, 2021 |

Gradient MSP Ships Solution for Cleansing PSA Data

Available free of charge, the “data hygiene” system will eventually serve as the cornerstone of a larger data intelligence platform designed to help MSPs make smarter, more informed business decisions.

Channel newcomer Gradient MSP has released its first product, a “data hygiene” solution designed to help MSPs fix outdated, inaccurate, and irrelevant information in their PSA system.

Provided free of charge, the new product will eventually serve as the cornerstone of a larger data intelligence platform that MSPs can use to make smarter, more informed choices about their business, according to Colin Knox, CEO of Gradient MSP as well as a former managed service provider.

“We very much recognize that when we ran our MSP, one of the big differentiators and contributors to our growth wasn’t how hard we worked. It was how we leveraged data to make better decisions in our business,” he says. 

Knox is familiar to many channel pros as the founder and former CEO of Passportal, the password security and documentation vendor purchased by SolarWinds MSP in 2019. Following that deal, Knox served SolarWinds MSP, now called N-able, as vice president of community. He left the company last September and founded Gradient MSP the next month.

The startup’s first offering searches PSA records saved within the last two years for “dirty data,” such as customers no longer under contract or contacts no longer employed by a customer. According to Knox, most managed service providers badly need assistance with that task.

“What we’ve recognized as we’ve spoken to more MSPs is that the trust in the data in their PSA is waning because they know that there’s been this accumulation of garbage,” he says.

The system alerts users to any issues it finds and recommends corrective action. “They can choose to ignore that recommendation or they can choose to accept it and clean the data,” Knox notes. If they choose to clean the data, Gradient’s software does the work for them. The system maintains a log of past changes, he adds, so users can see who authorized a given change, and undo it if they wish.

At present, the solution integrates with ConnectWise Manage, Datto’s Autotask PSA, Kaseya BMS, Syncro, and Tigerpaw. Support for additional platforms will arrive in the months ahead. “We’ll be eventually working to support every PSA in the MSP market,” Knox says. 

Gradient has no plans at present to cleanse data in documentation systems like IT Glue, he adds, but would consider adding such functionality if enough users request it. “We’re big on delivering what the market asks for.”

The company also has no plans to begin charging for its initial module. “In the future, as we unveil other modules to clean up and automate other administrative burdens in an MSP business, that’s where we can start to generate revenue,” Knox says.

Providing the software for free also encourages more MSPs to use the system. That, in turn, will help Gradient collect the deep pool of anonymous reporting data it needs to realize its ultimate mission, which is enhancing MSP decision-making.

“Any level of success is achieved by just making the right or the best decisions,” Knox notes. Unlike data visualization systems such as ConnectWise’s BrightGauge product, he adds, Gradient’s solution will not only help users measure their performance but proactively suggest steps they can take to follow in the footsteps of growing peers and avoid mistakes made by struggling ones.

“It can help them and guide them towards decisions that are more likely to drive success based on proven history and experience,” Knox says.

In doing so, he continues, the system will level the competitive playing field between larger MSPs, often backed by private equity funds, and smaller ones with fewer resources. “There’s kind of an inequity in the MSP market of access to that data and insights to be successful and grow,” Knox says “The bigger MSPs can continue to just leverage that advantage they have and keep getting bigger and bigger and bigger.”

Gradient’s next major release, which is currently scheduled for November, will include a down payment on that larger data intelligence vision. The update will also include additional data hygiene functionality and a tool aimed at streamlining a business process most MSPs struggle with.

“We’ll be bringing to market another module that should eliminate and automate one of the top pain point administrative burdens that MSP owners are seeing in their business today on a regular monthly basis,” says Knox, who declined to specify the burden in question.

In February, ConnectWise bought Service Leadership, a managed services consultancy known for its Service Leadership Index, a pool of regularly updated financial performance metrics from thousands of MSPs, and SLIQ, an accompanying self-serve web application that measures users against top-performing peers and provides a roadmap for improving operational maturity and profitability.

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