Gradient Seeks to Simplify Monthly Customer Billing for MSPs

Gradient is developing Billable, a new software module that seeks to ease and automate monthly customer billing tasks for MSPs (managed IT service providers).

Instead of replacing traditional PSA (professional service automation) software systems such as ConnectWise Manage, Datto Autotask PSA and others, Billable will work with those PSA systems.

Billable is the latest software module in an overall data quality platform that Gradient is developing for MSPs.

Gradient was founded by CEO Colin Knox. The MSP industry entrepreneur previously launched, built and sold a successful Canadian MSP along with Passportal, a password management software tool that N-able now owns.

Billable for MSPs: Colin Knox Explains the Business Case

Colin Knox, CEO, Gradient

Explaining the business case for Billable, Knox tells ChannelE2E:

  • MSPs currently spend 10+ hours each month reviewing unit counts across all their clients and vendor partners, then manually update/reconcile those count adjustments to the client contracts in their PSA (professional services automation) software.
  • The manual, labor-intensive process must be done before MSPs can bill their clients.
  • Automating the process is difficult for the MSP industry, since there are now so many different PSAs supporting so many reseller partners.
  • To mitigate the challenge and automate the Billable process, Gradient allows any vendor to connect through Gradient agnostically to any of the most popular PSAs.

Gradient expects to release the Billable module in November 2021. To do so, the company is “asking MSPs to share what their resale stack is with Gradient, so we can connect with the most impactful vendors first,” Knox says.

Gradient Business Launch, MSP Software Focus

Billable is the latest module in Gradient’s overall MSP software platform build-out.

Gradient’s first move, disclosed in June 2021, involves developing a “data hygiene solution” that enables MSPs to make better business decisions by “generating and optimizing granular, clean and actionable data derived from the tools they use to manage their business. Once set up, the software sifts through the core records in the PSA and analyzes them, identifying any dirty records that are distorting the true view of the business,” the company says.

The software tool initially supports such PSA systems as ConnectWise Manage, Datto Autotask, KaseyaSyncro and Tigerpaw, with additional integrations coming online soon, Gradient said in June 2021.

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    Colin Knox:

    Thanks Joe. In our conversations with IT Channel vendors so far, we’ve heard that billing reconciliation to PSAs is usually one of the top 3 feature requests from partners. We’ve got a quick and easy path to solve that for them, and as of today, our API is readily available for them to consume.

    Joe Panettieri:

    Colin: Thanks for your readership and continued updates on Gradient. Also, thanks for always describing the specific business challenges you’re seeking to solve for MSPs.

    Colin Knox:

    Always Joe, and thanks for your ongoing support. I remember running an MSP and hearing the same broad pitch from vendors “this product will make you more money, save you time, and reduce your risk”, but very few would relate it directly to the acute challenge I faced on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis as an MSP owner. At Gradient, our various modules will be focused like acupuncture to alleviate very specific pains and frustrations of MSP owners.

    Curtis Hicks:

    Definitely solving a clear pain point for most MSPs!

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