When Quest Software acquired PacketTrap back in 2009, I wondered if PacketTrap's managed services software push would continue to thrive. The latest answer: Quest's partner base had 38,627 devices under management at the close of 2010. Today, the figure has grown roughly 70 percent to 65,455 devices under management. A growing number of those deployments involve telco VoIP providers, according to Mike Byrne (pictured), director of MSP, Managed Services Division, Quest Software. So how is PacketTrap MSP, as the software is now called, growing its installed base? Here are some insights.

According to Byrne:
"Despite the slumping economy and all the ‘wonderful’ news coming out of Washington, PacketTrap MSP has been on a steady rise through Q2 & Q3 here in 2011. We’ve seen a substantial raise in both new & upgrade sales. ... Early indicators are all pointing to our new per-customer licensing model. As soon as we moved away from the restrictive per-node licensing model, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of devices our partners are managing on a per client location basis."
Byrne says partners gain a fixed cost per customer -- regardless of the number of devices or location per customer. Also, the per-customer licensing model allows partners to focus on business conversations about their services -- rather than focusing on which devices they'll support.

Byrne also sees MSPs increasingly focused on network peripheral management.  "With the average SMB’s network becoming more and more sophisticated, as well as with the encroachment of the cloud and virtual environments, bandwidth & network traffic are becoming as important as server management," he said."

Dialing New Opportunities

Moreover, managed services software is starting to attract non-traditional MSPs. A prime example: So far in 2011 a little over 5 percent of PacketTrap's sales have involved telco-VoIP providers, Byrne estimates. "PacketTrap MSP has the ability to monitor jitters, MOSS and call quality (along with other metrics) on all Cisco systems, so we are perfectly positioned for those folks looking to expand in the network and telco management arena," said Byrne. "With full support of Avaya & Shoretel just about completed, we’ll be making a strong push into the Telco-VoIP space in late Q3, early Q4.

I wonder: Will PacketTrap MSP strive to work more closely with potential partners like Tigerpaw Software? After all, Tigerpaw is preparing a strategy to help roughly 1,400 voice partners move into the data space. Those voice partners sound like a logical target for PacketTrap MSP as well...

Longer term, watch for PacketTrap MSP to expand its EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) efforts, as well as a push into Latin America.

Numerous managed services software companies have made momentum statements in recent weeks, suggesting that MSPS are bringing more and more customers under management. But it's important to note: Most of the MSP software providers are privately held so MSPmentor can't say for sure if the growth figures involve profitable bottom-line growth.