Hosted software provider Autotask is considering a distribution relationship with Soft Solutions in New Zealand.
The company has had very tentative discussions to bring its business process management software to more resellers in New Zealand.
“They seemed interested to bring us on because it completes their picture,” says Adam Ross, Autotask’s ANZ director. “And we’ve actually hired someone from New Zealand to work in our Sydney office to focus on the New Zealand market. Brand awareness is our biggest hurdle now without a doubt. Once they see it, they come on board.”
Autotask is a 12 year old company that specialises in connecting an IT business company’s ERP, CRM and other packages together to make it easier for resellers to run their businesses. The company opened a regional office in Sydney last year, and now has close to 70 customers on this side of the Tasman, most of them coming on board in the last eight or nine months.
Several of those organisations have become certified to resell the solution to other IT service providers. But with no definite date for signing on a distributor in New Zealand, the company continues to conduct most of its business with the resellers directly.
Autotask has recently hired New Zealander Teresa Lee as a BDM to further build its customer base, and is likely to take on another Kiwi to bring its Sydney based staff up to six by August.
Resellers, such as IT Partners have been “a great champion of ours in New Zealand”, Ross says.
The company has also toured with Soft Solutions and sponsored some of its events earlier this year. Autotask representatives make monthly visits to New Zealand.
Ross was in Auckland earlier this month to participate in a presentation run by MSP management software provider, N-Able. Ross says the companies have a close relationship, reflecting their complementary technology. Globally, Autotask attended 40 N-Able sponsored events.
Autotask also pays close attention to research papers to help monitor trends. Citing a recent paper by Forrester on the MSP market, Ross says that one-in-six MSPs doing business today will be gone by 2017, either shutting down or getting swallowed up by the competition. With another report showing that SMBs will be spending one-in-three dollars in the channel for IT services by 2015, Ross foresees competition among IT services companies getting hotter and hotter, and counts that as good news for Autotask.
“That is really the only consistent growth area in IT, where the SMBs are growing,” Ross says. “The money going into the channel is from companies with fewer, if any, employees for internal IT, among SMBs focusing on what they do as a business. It’s not their job to keep servers up and running. This is a similar value proposition for IT companies. They are there to provide service and support, not to keep their own IT up and running.”
Autotask touts its hosted software as an all-in-one service to help MSPs and resellers “sell, implement, deliver and bill their services”.
A major initiative announced earlier this year was a certification process which will allow reseller-customers to become resellers of the package. Ross said the N-Able event gave him access to partners that had previously been “under my radar”.