Autotask is seeking a CFO to drive growth, and preparing an online store to promote third-party Autotask-compatible applications. Those are just two of the highlights so far from the second annual Autotask Community Live conference in Miami. I spoke with CEO Bob Godgart (pictured) last night and also sat in on this morning's keynote session. Here are key takeaways for managed services providers.

1. Seeking CFO: Godgart says Autotask is seeking a CFO to help grow the company. My best guess is Autotask is about a $20 million company, with aspirations to be a $100 million, publicly held company over the long haul. To get there, Autotask is going to need a seasoned CFO who can work closely with the company's financial management team.

2. Growth Strategy: To drive growth, Godgart says Autotask has to push beyond the MSP market (roughly 10,000 in North America) to engage 90,000 North American VARs and resellers. That effort will require Autotask to promote Autotask Go and Autotask Pro and VARStreet to the entire North American channel. Of course, there's a global strategy in place, too, but we were talking North American numbers last night.

3. Mergers and Acquisitions: VaultLogix, an online storage company, is seeking to make a few acquisitions. Target companies have to have a core focus in online storage. Zak Karsan, VP of business development, is handling the effort. Meanwhile, Everon Technology Solutions, a top managed services provider, made an acquisition last week, confirms CEO Mike Cooch. I'll push Cooch for more details in the days ahead.

4. Travis Takes Center Stage: Travis Austin is emerging as one of Autotask's top community members. His MSPintegrations middleware company seems to be gaining momentum within the Autotask ecosystem. Austin explains his strategy in this FastChat Video.

5. Stats of Note: Godgart says Autotask...
  • Now has 170 employees, 3,200 customers and 30,000+ users
  • Has delivered 99.999 percent uptime since 2009.
  • Continues to deliver a major release every 6-8 weeks.
  • Closed 25,000 customer service tickets.
  • Is plowing 50% of its revenue back into product R&D.
6. It's In There: The average customer uses less than 25% of Autotask's system. A lot of MSPs are asking for features that already exist in Autotask. To address that challenge, Autotask is driving a so-called Autotask Academy for ongoing education.

7. Here Come the Distributors: Synnex and Ingram Micro are at the conference. Another 16 distributor-type partnerships are under way, thanks to Autotask's buyout of VARStreet.

8. Autotask Online Store: Much like the Apple App Store, Autotask plans to promote third-party applications in a central location. It will be called Autotask Marketplace. I will ask Godgart for more details later today.

9. Here Comes TelePresence: Zenith Infotech is demonstrating a telepresence solution at Autotask Community Live. Source say the Zenith telepresence will be available as a Hardware as a Service (HaaS) solution that customers can adopt for a flat monthly fee.

10. Getting In Touch: Going beyond the iPhone, Godgart says touch-based computing (the iPad and beyond) will become central to Autotask's mobile strategy.

11. Beyond Internet Explorer: Autotask is testing its software on FireFox, Google Chrome and Apple Safari. It will take some time to deliver on each platform. "We won't give it to you until it's ready," says Godgart. But the tests are under way.

12. Don't Forget Products: The big theme here is a need to balance both services and products. Hardly surprising, considering Autotask's recent buyout of VARStreet. The idea is to get VARs to promote products again to create services pull. On the flip side, managed services allows solutions providers to spot product opportunities. Going forward, VARs need to balance both products and services to maximize their customer engagements.

Plenty more updates coming later today. Stay tuned.

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