IT management, MSP

20 PSA Software Tools, Alternatives for MSPs & VARs

As a managed services provider, you know the basics: You need PSA (professional services automation), RMM (remote monitoring and management) and other automation tools to boost customer service, drive down costs and increase your profit margins. In the PSA sector, Autotask and ConnectWise are two of the best known options for MSPs and IT service providers. But a lengthy list of alternatives has found a home in this highly fragmented market. Here's a look at 20 PSA software and cloud platforms that we've tracked over the years, along with some anecdotes about where they potentially fit in the MSP and IT services provider markets.

20 PSA Software Tools for MSPs, VARs

1. Accelo (formerly Affinity Live): As of early 2016, Accelo had quietly integrate its PSA platform with Continuum, Kaseya and Logicnow — three well-known providers of RMM software for MSPs. Accelo has a growing focus on IT service providers, though I don't have a feel for the company's overall following among MSPs and VARs.
2. Atera: Atera’s roots stretch back to 2011, when the company began writing code for its cloud-based RMM platform. From the start, Atera also planned to include PSA functionality in the offering. That code began to take shape in 2013. Fast forward to present day and the company offers a blended PSA-RMM platform — hosted in Microsoft Azure.
3. AutotaskWidely considered one of the top-two PSA providers to MSPs and IT service providers (the other is ConnectWise). Owned by a private equity firm, Autotask spent recent years localizing its cloud software for IT service providers worldwide. The company has also acquired RMM and file sync and sharing tools.

4. ChangePoint: Changepoint is a provider of project and portfolio management (PPM), IT portfolio analysis (IIPA), and professional services automation (PSA) applications to more than 750 global customers. Large technology businesses like IBM, Microsoft and Oracle run ChangePoint's business management software. However, we haven't heard about adoption among MSPs and VARs.
5. ConnectWise: Widely considered one of the top-two PSA providers to MSPs and IT service providers (the other is Autotask). ConnectWise set the early pace for PSA-RMM integration, acquiring multiple IT automation tools that now form the ConnectWise Business Suite. The company co-founders got their start in the IT services market, supporting customers in Tampa, Fla.
6. FinancialForce.comFinancialForce, which makes an ERP suite for the cloud ecosystem, now has more than 1,000 customers and subscription revenue grew roughly 60 percent in 2015. Take a closer look at the ERP suite, and it includes an increasingly popular professional services automation (PSA) platform. A healthy list of IT service providers now run FinancialForce.
7. HarmonyPSA: Based in London, HarmonyPSA positions itself as an all-in-one platform. MSPs don't need to buy add-on PSA modules because pricing covers the entire platform. However, the company doesn't publicly publish that pricing information. And we don't have a feel for HarmonyPSA's installed base.

8. Karisoft: The company's founders are IT service provider veterans who ultimately wanted to build a better mouse trap in the PSA market. Karisoft's flagship offering, IT Pro Dashboard, specifically targets IT service providers. Adopters include MSPs, though we don't know how big the installed base is.
9. Kaseya Business Management Solution (BMS): Kaseya extended beyond RMM in 2015 and acquired Vorex, a niche supplier of PSA. CEO Fred Voccola insists MSPs should pay less for PSA, and Kaseya BMS certainly has some adopters in the PSA market. But we haven't seen it truly "disrupt" the PSA market.
10. Krow SoftwareKrow makes Project and PSA software specifically for We haven't seen a specific IT services-centric sales push, however.

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Welcome to page 2 of 2. 11. ManageEngine ServiceDesk PlusManageEngine offers IT management tools to corporate IT departments and MSPs. The service desk component is free to MSPs.
12. Microsoft Project MadeiraWe're not saying Project Madeira specifically is a PSA platform. But channel partners should keep close tabs on this beta effort -- and its potential implications for overall business management.
13. NetSuite OpenAir: Some IT service providers have certainly adopted OpenAir, but we haven't seen NetSuite make a super-aggressive push to engage VARs and MSPs as customers. Oracle as of mid-2016 is in the process of buying NetSuite, so we're curious to see whether that impacts OpenAir's future direction.

14. NetSuite PSA: Last we heard, NetSuite OpenAir and NetSuite PSA were separate products. But exactly how they differ and how they overlap remains a mystery to us.
15. Projector PSAAnother niche provider, Projector PSA targets multiple vertical markets -- including technology companies and professional services businesses.
16. PromysThe company pitches itself as enterprise-class PSA, which was launched by a Cisco gold partner. Promys definitely has some adopters across the MSP an VAR markets, including large IT service providers.
17. SolarWinds N-able MSP Manager: SolarWinds has extended N-able beyond its RMM heritage to offer some PSA capabilities. MSP Manager, based on an acquired company's code, is N-able's service management software. It's part of the growing SolarWinds MSP business, which includes the N-able and LogicNow product portfolios.

18. Tigerpaw SoftwareTigerpaw's business automation platform includes PSA and more for IT service providers. At times, the company has competed head-on against Autotask and ConnectWise. But Tigerpaw has been somewhat late to the cloud-based PSA market. We expect updates in those areas during Tigerpaw Conference 2016, which is set for October.
19. TenroxUpland Software in mid-2016 launched a major upgrade to Tenrox, the company’s professional services automation (PSA) and time and expense tracking application. Among the integration twists: Upland Integration Manager, powered by Dell Boomi, allows for configurable integrations to a variety of Upland products as well as third party systems, the company says. We don't know if Tenrox has a critical mass of VAR and MSP adopters.
20. Workday PSAWorkday is best known for its SaaS-based HR, financial and business management software. Workday PSA is a more recent focus area. It's a safe bet the offering seeks to counter rival NetSuite on the PSA front. And we don't know if it has traction among IT service providers.
21: Who Did We Miss?: Surely, there's an additional option that allows us to climb beyond the 20-company mark. Let us know what we overlooked. We'll continue to update this article as various PSA platforms achieve new milestones. For our day-to-day PSA coverage, visit here.
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.