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Autotask, SpinPanel: Office 365 and Azure Cloud Management Deal Coming?

Peter-Paul Geurts
Peter-Paul Geurts
Koen Nicolasen

Keep a close eye on Autotask and SpinPanel -- which may be partnering (or far more) to address Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) Office 365 and Azure cloud management for MSPs and IT service providers.

Speculation about potential Autotask-SpinPanel moves surfaced this week at the Microsoft Inspire 2017 partner conference in Washington, D.C. But there's also speculation about SpinPanel forging a closer relationship with Synnex, given SpinPanel's expected appearance in Synnex's booth on July 11. Most of the talk compares and contrasts SpinPanel to cloud-centric management tools from ConnectWise, Kaseya and Microsoft, along with distributor cloud systems like Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace.

SpinPanel's platform allows MSPs to create, deploy and manage Office 365, Azure, on-premise, or custom-made services, the company says. SpinPanel already integrates with Microsoft Dynamics NAV for automated invoicing of cloud services, and it sounds like an Autotask integration is either in the market or set to debut soon.

At least two sources suggest that Autotask may even be set to acquire SpinPanel -- though we haven't heard anything firm, so we'll place that type of chatter in the rumor column for now.

SpinPanel, launched in July 2015, is led by CEO Koel Nicolasen. Peter-Paul Geurts also is on-board at COO. A company overview view is here:

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MSPs and Microsoft Cloud Services Management Tools

Speculation about a potential Autotask-SpinPanel relationship (or something more) arrives at a key time for both companies and MSPs.

In recent months, the MSP shift beyond basic PC and server monitoring, and Office 365 reselling has accelerated. I think it's safe to say thousands of MSPs are scrambling to figure out how to manage, monetize and optimize Azure and/or AWS workloads for end-customers.

Amid those market realities, major M&A deals and R&D efforts have unfolded in the IT services software market. Among the moves to watch:

  • Microsoft in June 2017 acquired Cloudyn, which develops cloud monitoring and cost management tools for Azure, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, OpenStack and more. Pundits believe Microsoft will now focus the tool on Azure.
  • Kaseya in May 2017 acquired Unigma, which also develops cloud cost management tools for Azure, AWS and Google.
  • ConnectWise has been developing CloudConsole organically, extending the platform from Office 365 toward Azure management in recent months. A new, standalone version of CloudConsole doesn't require partners to buy the company's other business management tools.

Autotask Cloud Management So Far

To date, Autotask's core SaaS offerings support PSA (professional services automation) and business management; RMM (remote monitoring and management) and endpoint management; file sync and sharing; and endpoint backup. The company also offers CSP Boss, a management tool for Office 365, SharePoint and Azure that leverages MessageOps -- a third-party platform

At the very least, it sounds like SpinPanel is now ramping up to offer more extensive cloud- and on-premises management tools that integrate deeply with Autotask. But at least two sources suggest something more than an integration could be in the making...

We've reached out to both Autotask and SpinPanel for comment about the integration between their products, and thoughts on whether a deeper relationship between the two companies is emerging...

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.