IT management, MSP

Office 365, Azure Cloud Management: Autotask CSP Boss vs. ConnectWise CloudConsole

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The next showdown between Autotask and ConnectWise has emerged. This time it involves cloud solution provider (CSP) management of Office 365 and Microsoft Azure. Indeed, Autotask has launched CSP Boss -- in some ways, a counter to ConnectWise CloudConsole.

Through a partnership with MessageOps, Autotask says CSP Boss can:

  • Automate the management, billing and support of Microsoft Cloud services including Office 365, Azure and Sharepoint;
  • secure 15-25% margins (depending on the product) via a direct sales model; and
  • offer value added support options including an integrated help desk and knowledgebase with access to the Office 365 adoption portal.

When comparing Autotask CSP Boss vs ConnectWise CloudConsole, I don't know the finer points (i.e., head-to-head pricing, features, functions, etc.).

ConnectWise unveiled CloudConsole in November 2015 during IT Nation. Initially, some MSPs and IT service providers balked a bit about paying extra for cloud management, but that pushback has quieted down in recent months as CloudConsole and other industry tools have gained capabilities.

Indeed, CloudConsole had roughly 1 million seats under management as of early June 2016, according to ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini. ConnectWise recently expanded CloudConsole from Office 365 to Azure management, and there are signs that it will support additional cloud platforms (particularly Amazon Web Services) down the road. I don't know if Autotask has similar cross-platform cloud management plans for CSB Boss.

Cloud Management Tools Go Mainstream

Many of the major MSP software providers now offer cloud management tools -- particularly for Office 365. But dozens of alternatives -- often, outside of the MSP market -- have popped up in recent months.

ChannelE2E has been tracking at least 50 different cloud management tools for Azure, AWS, Google Cloud Platform and more. Plus, we've been taking a close look at the shift from RMM (remote monitoring and management) toward APM (Application Performance Management) -- especially as companies like AppDynamics and New Relic begin to build out partner programs.

Still, thousands of IT service providers want to plug cloud management tools into their exist PSA (professional services automation) and RMM dashboards. In those cases, options like Autotask CSP Boss and ConnectWise CloudConsole will surely attract partner interest.

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.