IT management, MSP

Accelo: Potential PSA Alternative?


Accelo, which develops a cloud-based professional services automation (PSA) platform, has quietly built integrations for Continuum, Kaseya and Logicnow -- three well-known providers of RMM (remote monitoring and management) software for MSPs. It sort of begs the question: Is there room in the managed services market for yet another PSA provider?

Admittedly, I keep saying -- and writing -- that the standalone market for PSA and RMM software is dead. MSPs, after all, want end-to-end business automation solutions. Overall I think that's an undeniable trend. But I also must concede that new or disruptive PSA and RMM solutions keep popping up in the industry. Independent names like Accelo, Auvik Networks and NinjaMSP have hit my radar in recent months.

Accelo: Past, Present and Future

In some ways, Accelo is new. In other ways, the company is a reboot. Formerly known as AffinityLive, the company rebranded as Accelo in late 2015. Amid product enhancements in Q4 2015, existing usage rose 15 percent, cancelation rates dropped by two-thirds and new trials rose 14 percent, the company revealed in late December 2015.

The moves didn't stop there. Accelo just announced its Continuum integration today. The Continuum RMM approach is unique, Accelo notes, because Continuum has a NOC (network operations center) team working in the background 24x7 to assist MSPs.

Accelo is pursuing multiple vertical markets as users. In addition to the IT service provider focus, Accelo reaches out to digital and creative professionals; accountants; PR pros; engineering firms; and legal professionals.

Among the key enhancements expected in Q1 2016: New utilization and profitability reporting, timesheet improvements, billing enhancements and plenty more.

Accelo: Succeeding with MSPs?

Despite the various milestones above, it's difficult to pinpoint the company's actual business performance. I don't know the company's installed base, headcount, financials or profitability. But I've reached out to CEO Geoff McQueen for potential details (stay tuned).

At first glance, the PSA market for IT service providers is dominated by Autotask and ConnectWise, with Tigerpaw Software also having a healthy slice of the pie. But additional players are working in and around the market -- including Karisoft, FinancialForcePromys and Vorex. And bigger players like NetSuite OpenAir also navigate the market in some ways. Also, SolarWinds N-able offers an integrated RMM-PSA approach as part of its N-central/MSP Manager platforms.

PSA: More Mergers, Acquisitions?

Recent years have involved multiple PSA mergers and acquisitions, and more could be coming.

ConnectWise was on the buy-side as it purchased LabTech Software, Quosal and ScreenConnect. Similarly, Autotask was on the buy-side buying CentraStage and SoonR.

Next up, I suspect a PSA provider will be on the sell side. Indeed, a major RMM provider has been looking closely at the market for at least two months... ... ... Who's the potential target? I'm not sure. But add Accelo to the list of PSA players aspiring to serve more MSPs.

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.