First, the latest chatter. Multiple sources now confirm that DiCostanzo will assume leadership of the Autotask Community, which includes key MVPs who influence how Autotask's software is developed for VARs, MSPs and IT service providers. According to his bio, DiCostanzo joined Autotask in 2008. Since that time, DiCostanzo has led hundreds of Autotask training seminars -- both online and face to face. He previously owned an IT services firm.
Community MovesI believe DiCostanzo will retain his existing responsibilities (senior VP of business development and dean of Autotask Academy). DiCostanzo takes on the additional community role vacated by former Autotask Senior VP Jay McBain. In August, McBain ended day-to-day work at the company but he remains available to assist Autotask with any transition efforts.
Going forward, I would expect Autotask to shine an even brighter light toward the company's online community, which includes forums, blogs and interactive areas where Autotask users can interact with one another and the Autotask team. Also, Autotask continues to march forward with its Autotask Community On Tour -- a multi-city event series.
By appointing DiCostanzo to lead Autotask Community, the software company answers a key question that had been circulating among some Autotask MVPs. In a recent open letter to Autotask, Osama M. Faris, president and CEO of FAR Support, asked Autotask to clarify its community strategy amid McBain’s departure. Faris is listed as an Autotask 2011 MVP. DiCostanzo is well-known among most established Autotask users and partners.
Reading Between the LinesStill, McBain's departure caught the Autotask Community off guard, but I think it's a sign of transition at Autotask. The software company has undergone multiple management changes since Mark Cattini succeeded Bob Godgart as CEO in December 2010. Instead of building a "me too" face-to-face community to counter the strong ConnectWise user group model, I think Cattini has focused his efforts on the following:
- A cloud-centric back-end with open APIs, tied to an open front-end strategy involving all major web browsers.
- A global expansion strategy that involves new efforts in the United Kingdom and Germany, among other locations.
- A management team expansion that includes more enterprise expertise and some veterans of MapInfo Corp. -- a company that Cattini previously led and sold to Pitney Bowes in 2007.