Preparing services partners to ride the “tectonic shift” of mobile, cloud and big data

SCOTTSDALE, AZ.Autotask has gathered its managed services partners and customers for its annual Community Live conference with the goal of education, both of the trends driving IT service automation and how partners can ride the growing market opportunity around mobility, cloud computing and big data.

In his keynote address, Autotask president and CEO Mark Cattini provided a few key figures comparing 2011 to 2013 to show how the IT services and automation vendor and its partners have been outgrowing the market. The vendor has gone from 2,736 pro clients to 4,588, from one language to seven, from 49 countries to over 70, and added offices in London, Sydney and Munich to its Albany, NY and Beijing locations.

Agreeing with HP CEO Meg Whitman, who has said she sees a “tectonic shift” happening in the market around mobility, cloud and big data, Cattini added these new IT buying priorities are largely being driven by line of business leaders, instead of IT managers.

“I think this is a tremendous opportunity for a community such as ourselves,” said Cattini. “Even though we’re technologically competent we’ve also got business DNA. We all run our own businesses.”

Under the banner of “smart IT,” Cattini said Autotask wants to help partners be laser-focused on customer business outcomes. He added IT has to be seen as a value-driver within the business. IT isn’t free; if it’s delivering on business outcomes it should be rewarded, and if it’s not, it needs to be accountable.

“If you make them successful, you’ll be successful,” said Cattini.

A number of upcoming feature updates to the Autotask platform were demonstrated to attendees. Len DiCostanzo, senior vice-president of community and business development for Autotask, highlighted three of the features most requested by partners that will soon be part of the platform:

  • “Project (management) is probably the single biggest redevelopment cycle we’ve had for any component of Autotask. It’s been a pretty large project that has been asked about for quite a while. It was probably our least worked-on module as people always asked about service desk, but as they widen their use of Autotask as more than a ticketing system, they’re asking can your CRM do this, can your project module do that.”
  • “Without a doubt, reporting is always a huge ask,” said DiCostanzo. While reports used to be very regimented, now if you have a report you like and want to tweak it, instead of starting from scratch, you can copy and modify it.
  • “Security is always top of mind with people nowadays. Restricting access to a piece of data. For example, should a billable resource see how you’re costing them out and how much profit you’re making in that area, or should that be owner-only?”

Autotask has a strong presence in the Canadian market, said DiCostanzo, with several hundred clients in the market. It works with Ingram Micro and Synnex on the distribution side, and is currently talking with Tech Data. It also does regular events with Canadian vendor partners such as N-able and Level Platforms, and DiCostanzo recently took part in events in Toronto and Montreal. He added he’s also in talks with a couple of large Canadian partners looking to do business with Autotask.

For the partners taking part in Autotask Community Live, DiCostanzo said the goal this week is education.

“Run your business better. You’ve made this investment to grow your business and grow with Autotask, and there’s a lot in the product to help you get to that next level,” said DiCostanzo. “People do things they’re comfortable with; they often forget there’s other modules. Take advantage of this investment. We want to remain their trusted advisor partner, just like they’re trying to do with their own clients.”

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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