When ConnectWise and Kaseya announced new cross-company efforts earlier today, it made me wonder: Which managed service platform providers are best positioned to sit at the middle of the MSP universe?

First, let me tell you a little about the ConnectWise-Kaseya relationship. Then, I'll share a few theories about how the MSP platform universe is evolving.


ConnectWise, which specializes in professional service automation (PSA) software, has joined Kaseya's Technology Alliance Program (TAP). Kaseya launched TAP in 2007 to:
"create a working relationship among vendors that fosters development, support, sales and marketing initiatives. The program promises to instill confidence in customers that their vendors ar eworking together to ensure their satisfaction."
Other TAP members include Autotask (ConnectWise's primary rival), Catbird, Tigerpaw Software and Untangle, according to Kaseya's Web site.

The Center Spoke

PSA software providers (Autotask and ConnectWise) are striving to be the center spoke, around which all other MSP platforms (Kaseya, N-able, Level Platforms, etc.) rotate.

Similarly, master MSPs -- offered by Do IT Smarter and Ingram Micro Seismic, for instance -- provide a central hub from which you can pick and choose specific platforms and services.

Furthermore, MSP platform providers are promoting application programming interfaces (APIs) that software partners can embrace. As more applications are written for a specific MSP platform, the more popular the platform will become.

Ultimately, it's up to MSPs themselves to decide which platform sits at the center of their management console universe. Whichever one you choose, make sure it includes open, well documented APIs -- so that you can snap additional platforms into your overall solution, or easily move from one system to another.