MSP, Content

The Next MSP Software Wave: Data Quality Will Drive Business Performance

Gradient, founded by former Passportal CEO Colin Knox, has launched a software tool to help MSPs clean up and optimize their PSA (professional services automation) software platform.

Gradient's "data hygiene solution" 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, Kaseya, Syncro and Tigerpaw, with additional integrations coming online soon, Gradient says.

Among the twists: This particularly software tool is free and will remain free indefinitely, Knox tells ChannelE2E. Additional Gradient software components -- yet to be announced -- will fuel the software startup's revenue streams.

Gradient has taken several steps to ensure it properly protects PSA data from MSP systems, Knox adds. For instance: Gradient's software cleans the PSA data -- but does not eliminate any data. The cloud service will ingest the PSA data, analyze it and make informed recommendations about how the MSP can further optimize the business in a profitable way.

MSP Software's Next Wave: It's About the Data

Gradient is one example of how the MSP software market is evolving. Most established MSPs now have the required plumbing in place to build and maintain their businesses. They journey typically involves leveraging PSA, RMM (remote monitoring and management), BDR (backup and disaster recovery), data protection, cybersecurity, documentation and business intelligence tools.

So what's the next potential step in the MSP business evolution? We've been watching areas such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and hyper- automation -- which are mostly enterprise trends so far. In the SMB sector, we're convinced that MSPs need simplified, more automated ways to gather, analyze and maintain data. That data, in turn, needs to be properly leveraged to deliver informed business insights.

It sounds like Gradient's software will help help in that data management journey.

Still, multiple companies are taking a data-centric view of the MSP market. For instance, Liongard CEO Joe Alapat recent described how MSPs can automatically gather and integrate the right data to:

  • gain insights;
  • drive profitable growth at scale; and
  • deliver higher-value outcomes for customers.

MSP Data Visibility: Multiple Approaches Emerge

Still, I don't believe Gradient and Liongard are necessarily competitors. Liongard provides unified visibility across applications, infrastructure and cloud services. It helps MSPs to understand and optimize key system configurations, IT settings, changes and more. In contrast, Gradient is less about IT configuration best practices and more about gaining a view of the PSA side of the house.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.