A few weeks ago I mentioned some of my concerns about the ever-growing Gartner Magic Quadrant research effort. Now, it's time for me to reverse course -- just a little -- because I'm very curious about the new Gartner Client Management Tools Magic Quadrant research. The research includes Kaseya -- but it stops short of covering additional MSP-centric software companies that offer remote monitoring and management (RMM) platforms. Here's some perspective.

For inclusion in the Magic Quadrant for Client Management Tools, Gartner says vendor solutions were considered based on the following functions:
  • Data/Settings Migration;
  • Inventory;
  • OS Deployment;
  • Patch Management;
  • Remote Control;
  • Software Usage;
  • SW Packaging & Distribution;
  • Power Management.
  • Mobile Device Management was another component, along with Application and Desktop Virtualization.

Who's Included?

That lengthy list pretty much describes the remote management capabilities that VARs and MSPs require. The Gartner report covers such technology companies as:
  • Absolute Software
  • BMC Software
  • CA Technologies
  • Dell Kace
  • FrontRange
  • HP
  • IBM
  • Kaseya
  • LANDesk
  • Matrix42
  • Microsoft
  • Novell
  • Numara (now owned by BMC Software)
  • Symantec
Gartner organizes those vendors into this Magic Quadrant grid:


How About SMB Remote Management Tools?

Alas, many MSP-centric software providers aren't covered in the Client Management Tools report. I'm curious to know if Gartner has a separate report or Magic Quadrant for SMB remote monitoring and management tools, in particular.

Of the vendors listed above, only Kaseya and Microsoft (Windows Intune) have SMB-centric solutions, according to Gartner. And Kaseya is the only vendor mentioned as to having a managed services provider (MSP) focus.

Slightly Wrong on Kaseya?

Also, I don't exactly agree with Gartner's analysis of Kaseya, which states:
"Kaseya is a relatively new player in the client management space. The company has existed since 2000, but has focused mainly on selling its product through managed service providers, rather than directly to IT organizations. The company has shifted its focus in the last two years, and is now used by IT organizations to manage their internal environments."
Huh? I believe Kaseya has sold direct into IT organizations for at least five years. (MSPmentor launched in beta in September 2007; I didn't track the market before that point.) I also believe Kaseya lost a bit of its focus on the MSP market in 2010, but began to sharpen its MSP focus again in mid- to late-2011.

Gartner's Conclusions  on Kaseya

Gartner praises Kaseya in three areas and questions the company in three areas.
  • The praise includes: Applause for Kaseya's SaaS approach on inventory and patch management; mobile device management for Apple iOS and Android; and extensions like PC backup and system performance monitoring.
  • The cautions include: Immature Mac management capabilities; lack of application virtualization support (Microsoft App-V and VMware ThinApp) and potentially weak reporting capabilities.

Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) Requires Coverage

I don't always agree with the Gartner Magic Quadrant. And I worry about all the "hype" about which vendors are in the Magic Quadrant. But it would be great to see a list of MSP-centric software companies, along with strengths and cautions listed for each platform.

Does such a Magic Quadrant exist for RMM (remote monitoring and management) software providers?

(Side note: The Gartner Client Management Tools Magic Quadrant replaces the Magic Quadrant for PC Configuration Life Cycle Management due to the emergence of mobile device and Mac management needs. Smartphones, tablets, Macs, virtual desktops and virtual applications all represent emerging targets of management.)