Tigerpaw Software CEO James Foxall has had a change of heart. Instead of trying to build the IT channel's biggest PSA (professional services automation) software provider, he wants Tigerpaw to be the best. The most recent results are promising. After hitting some business challenges in early 2013, Tigerpaw had its strongest deal month ever in December 2013, and some key mobile and cloud enhancements are on the way.

Foxall succeeded his father as Tigerpaw's day-to-day leader in 2010. His dad, Dave Foxall, has since retired. Under James' leadership, the company initially had huge plans across the MSP, telecom reseller, mobile and cloud markets. But staff changes and a less-than-stellar software release in December 2012 triggered a strategy reset. 

By early 2013 Foxall adjusted Tigerpaw's strategy and KPIs (key performance indicators). Director of Sales Ben Johnson joined the company in March/April 2013, and Tigerpaw has shifted to a combination hunter-farmer model. "We're doing a much better job of finding the business and then nurturing the business," said Foxall.

Signs of Progress

The proof: December 2013 was Tigerpaw's strongest month ever in terms of new business deals -- though Foxall didn't disclose exact figures. Increasingly, the deals involve IT service providers with 20 to 25 employees that blend managed services, project management, inventory management and more. Many deals involve even larger IT service providers, he adds. "We still love smaller MSPs, but we're seeing the larger IT service providers thrive on our platform," said Foxall. "Overall it was a very profitable year and we've gotten leaner and smarter."

Meanwhile, the overall PSA (professional services automation) software market has evolved significantly. Autotask has localized its SaaS platform for international markets; ConnectWise has diversified into a total business management platform; and the key trend across all companies involves more and more business intelligence and reporting capabilities.

If I had to guess, ConnectWise and its sister companies are generating about $100 million in annual revenues; Autotask is somewhere in the $40 million-plus neighborhood, and Tigerpaw is somewhere in the $10 million to $20 million range (again -- just a guess). With the entrenched competition in mind, Foxall says: "Instead of focusing on being the biggest, I want Tigerpaw to be the best."

Tigerpaw also is moving deeper into BI-related reporting. The company updated mobile effort includes HTML 5 support, signature capture, and other capabilities. Mobile CRM capabilities and an automated reporting tool also are on the way.

Cloud Revisited

So what's next? A more effective cloud strategy. "We recognize we've been slow getting there," said Foxall. "We have a terrific hosted solution. It's our rich desktop application and GUI delivered through the cloud." The number one priority, going forward, is to deliver a more affordable cloud solution, he added.

If I had to guess, Foxall would love to offer a cloud strategy update at the company's Tigerpaw User Conference 2014 in August.