Shockey Monkey 2.0 -- also dubbed Shockey Monkey Reloaded -- debuted this week. It's a free PSA (professional services automation) software platform for managed services providers and their end-customers. The man behind Shockey Monkey is Vlad Mazek -- the executive who also built the ExchangeDefender business. So what makes Shockey Monkey unique in a fiercely competitive software market segment? Mazek offered some insights.

According to the official announcement:
"Shockey Monkey Reloaded is a free technology business automation platform with over 20 technology vendor integration partners that enables solution providers and MSPs to grow their businesses for free."

Free Strategy?

When I saw the word "free," I wondered if Shockey Monkey 2.0 was trying to emulate Spiceworks' free, advertising-based business model for IT management. I also wondered how Shockey Monkey would attempt to differentiate from the usual PSA names in the market -- ConnectWise, Autotask and Tigerpaw Software, among others.

Mazek's perspective: "With Shockey Monkey we’re not looking to give the IT business a PSA, they can buy that from [ConnectWise CEO] Arnie [Bellini] or Autotask. We’re looking to give the IT business a portal and THEIR customers a PSA through which they can manage their cloud, their files, their devices, etc."

Mazek sees three areas where Shockey Monkey can connect with users and sponsors. Specifically, he says Shockey Monkey offers:
  1. The connected and consolidated management of the cloud offerings (stuff sponsors want to sell and deliver through Shockey Monkey)
  2. The management of end-point devices (think inventory, warranties, passwords, RMM functionality); and
  3. Business knowledge (tracking clients, relationships, vendors, invoices, payments, etc). "That’s where the money is," asserted Mazek.

Money Matters

But can free be profitable? Mazek says "I can afford to give away Shockey Monkey for free forever because it translates into sales of our email solutions, our data solutions, our web solutions, all the cloud stuff ExchangeDefender does on both the security and business management fronts. The sponsorships will just raise awareness for Shockey Monkey and give it a larger platform."

Mazek says Shockey Monkey has 7,000 users. More than 80 percent of the system's portals are active "on a daily basis," he adds. Longer term, Mazek wants to take Shockey Monkey beyond VARs and MSPs that need PSA. He ultimately sees Shockey Monkey as "a business platform on the level of Google Apps and Office 365."

Those are extremely lofty words. Some critics note that Shockey Monkey has been a work in progress since at least 2008. But Mazek's other efforts -- such as ExchangeDefender -- have also gained critical mass with channel partners.