SO MANY VENDORS, so little time.
Trust us, channel pros, we feel your pain. There are simply too many interesting companies with interesting products out there for anyone to possibly keep up with. That doesn’t stop us from trying, though. Every year, in fact, we call your attention to a few of our favorite emerging, underappreciated, and overlooked vendors. Here’s our latest batch.
MANAGED SERVICES SOFTWARE
Forget about the cloud. According to bigshots like Microsoft, Google, and Salesforce, artificial intelligence is the next big thing in IT. CrushBank, however, is one of the few vendors putting AI to work for MSPs in a practical way right now. The Syosset, N.Y.-based company’s core offering utilizes Watson, IBM Corp.’s artificial intelligence platform, to help technicians find answers to their questions quickly using natural language queries. Designed to consolidate multiple help desk tools, CrushBank’s solution searches technical resources from Microsoft, Cisco, Citrix, and Apple, as well as PSA data in products from ConnectWise, Autotask, and ServiceNow. Better yet, the more you use it, the smarter it gets about your needs, preferences, and habits.
Harmony Business Systems Ltd.
HarmonyPSA, this U.K.-based vendor’s flagship product (pictured), provides integrated functionality for managing your service desk, contracts, projects, customer relationships, invoices, and more for a single, all-inclusive, add-on-free price. What got it on our radar, though, was its announcement last December that Alistair Forbes had stepped in as the company’s new chairman. Fans of LOGICnow, the managed services software maker snapped up by SolarWinds in 2016, will remember Forbes from his time running that company. We’ll be curious to see how Forbes’ expansive knowledge of the managed services market influences Harmony’s product and strategy in the months ahead.
Headquartered in Nuremberg, Germany, Paessler makes a “unified monitoring solution” named PRTG that helps administrators keep an eye on LANs, WANs, servers, websites, applications, and more through a single interface. Used by more than 210,000 technicians in over 170 countries, PRTG is available both on premises and in the cloud, as well as on mobile apps for iOS and Android. An edition tailored specifically to the healthcare vertical—and compliant with that industry’s widely embraced DICOM and HL7 protocols—debuted last month.
Most channel pros take full advantage of the cloud’s ability to scale infrastructures up on the fly. ParkMyCloud, of Sterling, Va., helps them capitalize on the far less exploited opportunity to scale down cloud resources on demand too. The system lets administrators slash cloud spending up to a reported 65 percent by automatically “parking” virtual machines on Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform during hours when they’re not typically needed. Recently introduced “SmartParking” functionality for AWS and Azure uses past utilization data to recommend parking schedules on an instance-by-instance basis. The entry-level free edition supports up to five users and unlimited instances.
Rumor has it this Irish company’s steadily expanding solution portfolio, which includes integrated RMM, PSA, anti-virus, and NOC components, is catching on fast with smaller MSPs. Optimized for use on smartphones and tablets, Pulseway’s products are “mobile-first, cloud-first” applications that run on iOS, Android, and Windows 10 hardware or any other device with a browser that supports HTML 5. Users pay a flat $1.55 per workstation and $3.95 per server per month, with discounts for yearly and multiyear contracts—or nothing for the free version, which offers mobile monitoring of two endpoints plus up to 10 administrative alerts a day.