October 03, 2023

Autotask Community Live Recap: A New Chapter Begins

By Travis Brittain

Hey Autotask Community, it’s great to see you again. In 2017, Autotask hosted the last consecutive Autotask Community Live user conference in sunny Miami, FL. In the years that followed, Autotask users were invited to attend the combined Autotask + Datto user conference, DattoCon.

As part of Datto’s ongoing commitment to restore Autotask’s unique brand, we are thrilled to have hosted the return of Autotask Community Live, which took place as a pre-day experience leading up to Kaseya DattoCon on October 2 in vibrant Miami, FL. This pre-day experience was dedicated to everything Autotask and now, with the powerful backing of Kaseya, everything IT operations, including Datto RMM and IT Glue.

Top insights revealed at Autotask Community Live at DattoCon 2023

At the exciting pre-day experience, guests were immersed in a world of innovation, collaboration and future-focused insights. Here’s a recap of what was covered at Autotask Community Live:

1. Elevate your IT operations for success

In an eagerly anticipated keynote titled “The State of the Nation,” Nadir Merchant, General Manager and CTO of IT Operations Suite, shared critical insights aimed at empowering MSPs for success.

    Changing IT landscape — now is a great time to be an MSP

    The IT operations landscape has witnessed significant transformations over the last six years. Notably, IT Glue’s customer base has expanded exponentially, growing from around 200 to an impressive 12,000+. This growth mirrors the industry’s trend, with IT spending surging by an astounding 12% annually, far exceeding GDP growth. Businesses, driven by regulatory changes and heightened cybersecurity concerns, are making substantial investments in technology.

    Growth challenges for MSPs

    Despite this dynamic landscape, many MSPs face challenges, with most experiencing revenue growth rates hovering around 5%. In stark contrast, the top quintile of MSPs boasts 12% growth rates. The key insight lies in exploring strategies that bridge this revenue growth gap.

    Three success strategies: innovation, intelligence and integration

    Nadir underscored three fundamental categories for elevating IT operations to experience success: innovation, intelligence and integration. Innovation, he emphasized, does not necessarily need to be revolutionary. Even incremental innovations can yield substantial results. Moreover, data-driven intelligence is crucial for informed decision-making, relying on key performance indicators (KPIs) and structured workflows to enhance efficiency. Integration emerged as another focal point, given that MSPs typically employ an average of 17 tools. Streamlined operations and improved service delivery can be achieved through seamless integration and automation.

    2. Transform your MSP through future-focused PSA Strategies

    Kevin Sequeira, GM PSA Suite at Kaseya, shed light on the future of Professional Services Automation (PSA) and the imperative for MSPs to adapt. PSA systems, he noted, often align with yesterday’s business models and don’t propel MSPs into the future. The solution? Collaboration and innovation. The future of PSA, he emphasized, should revolve around innovation, intelligence and integration.

      Innovation, intelligence and integration — three keys to MSP success

      Innovation, Kevin echoed, does not always need to be groundbreaking — even small updates can be impactful. For instance, Autotask introduced RMM insights on a PSA ticket, a subtle yet effective innovation. The introduction of business process automation further streamlines operations, including automating user onboarding.

      Kevin stressed the importance of extracting insights from vast data sources within Autotask and PSA. Data visualization tools like Autotask Dashboards and Widgets empower MSPs to derive meaningful insights. The forthcoming LiveReports 2.0 promises even more capabilities.

      Integration, according to Kevin, is the secret sauce differentiating MSP offerings. Autotask, within Datto and Kaseya’s portfolio, stands out as the most integrated product. Seamless customer billing and centralized alert triage are among the integration benefits.

      Operational maturity

      Recognizing that each MSP is at a different growth stage, Kevin emphasized the need for PSA solutions to be tailored accordingly. Whether you’re starting out, scaling or merging, the PSA should adapt to your needs.

      Hardware opportunity

      Kevin highlighted the opportunity in hardware sales, urging MSPs to empower their customers to purchase all their IT needs from them. To facilitate this, Datto Commerce is relaunching as Kaseya Quote Manager, providing a comprehensive and cost-effective solution.

      Contract management

      Addressing contract management challenges, Kevin unveiled Master Contractual Agreements for 2024, offering more flexibility and agility in creating new contracts.

      The Future of PSA

      In conclusion, Kevin outlined the future of PSA as being business outcome-focused, automating not only IT but business processes, and catering to MSPs of all maturities. It aims to provide predictable, actionable insights while introducing user-friendly improvements like tabs and an exciting, redesigned user experience slated for Autotask in 2024, which will be covered more thoroughly by Fred Voccola, CEO of Kaseya, in his keynote address at DattoCon 2023.

      3. Autotask product updates for improved efficiency and growth

      In this session, Sr. Product Manager for Autotask, Alex D’Aquila, and Sr. Solution Engineer for Autotask, Natalie Mayo, covered some exciting Autotask product updates. Here is a breakdown of the recently released features, features coming soon and features slated to come out in 2024 that they discussed. Product updates were broken down into three themes: technician efficiency, back office management and growing your business.

        Updates for technician efficiency

        The main challenge being addressed in this series of product updates was alert fatigue. Service technicians may be overwhelmed by the massive number of alerts they receive from adding new tools and services to their operations. Here are some Autotask product updates technicians can look forward to:

        • November 2023 — Integrated Service Ticketing: Use rules and conditions to self-resolve issues with no technician intervention and reduce missed alerts.
        • Now live — Visual Ticket Boards: Easily define swim lanes and columns based on ticket attributes and configure card layouts with key values.
        • Now live — IT Glue documentation on tickets: Improve technician efficiency with documents and password insights. Leverage dynamic rules to display relevant IT Glue documentation in Autotask tickets.
        • October 2023 — IT Glue flexible assets on tickets: Assist technicians in solving any problem with suggested flexible assets documentation available within tickets.
        • Now live — Conversation style email: Easily stay on top of the conversation with modern email threading, displaying most recent messages at the top.
        • Now live — Disable email to initiating resource: Reduce email clutter by suppressing obvious emails.
        • October 2023 — Auto follow-up ticket creation: Automatically create tickets as an action from opportunity, asset and contract workflow rules.
        • October 2023 in beta — New client portal: Collaborate with customers via a modern, personalized client portal. Enable early access with Autotask and allow users to toggle between classic and new dashboard as they please.

        Updates for back office management

        The main challenge being addressed in this series of product updates was consumption-based billing reconciliation. The overload of tools, usage models and billing add-ons create a time consuming and error-prone scenario for MSP back office management. Here are some Autotask product updates MSP office managers can look forward to:

        • Launched April 2023 and expanded June 2023 — Integrated Customer Billing: Eliminate manual work with automatically updated service contracts. Improve the customer experience by billing right the first time.
        • Coming 2024 — Master Contractual Agreements: Now, MSPs can bulk update contracts with just a few clicks and see the projection of how this will impact the business over time.
        • Coming 2024 — Contract Console: Experience a complete overview of all contracts and easily take action in the Control Center.
        • Coming 2024 — Bulk update and contractual arrangements: Experience a holistic view of your customer, allowing for easier admin.
        • Coming 2024 — Integration Center: Completely centralize your integration setup. Our integration ecosystem currently features more than 450 third party integrations and more than 35 IT Complete modules.

        Updates for growing your business

        Updates announced under this category were made with the goal of increasing revenue and expanding clientele. Here are some exciting Autotask updates that will help MSPs grow their business:

        • Reintroducing Kaseya Quote Manager: This product update will allow for a seamless end-to-end quoting experience across hardware and services.
        • In beta (available in USA today, additional geographies coming Q1) — Autotask electronic payments: Get paid faster and allow ACH and credit card payments.

        4. Unveiling the trifecta effect — Autotask, IT Glue and Datto RMM

        In this session, attendees discovered the seamless synergy that emerges when Autotask collaborates with IT Glue and Datto RMM. This powerful trio is set to revolutionize the way MSPs approach IT documentation and remote monitoring and management. Speakers Anya Perelyhina, director of product at IT Glue, and Matthe Smit, general manager at Datto RMM, covered the upcoming roadmap and planned updates for each product as they relate to the following three pillars: service delivery, integrated customer billing and robotic process automation.

          Service delivery product updates

          • Coming soon — IT Glue auto-suggested flexible assets in Autotask
          • Now live — IT Glue password insertion in Datto RMM
          • New — Datto RMM web remote launcher in IT Glue: Initiate remote control from many different places in order to track all activities. Capture more time and save six steps and two minutes on every ticket.
          • Now live— Time tracking in web remote: Ticket is auto-linked when coming from Autotask. Stopwatch starts automatically, allowing you to record Autotask time entry with just one click.

          Integrated customer billing updates

          • Now live — Automatic billing: Every Kaseya module will now feed usage data to a central database. Autotask and BMS can then take these numbers and use them for creating client invoice data.
          • Coming October 2023 — New Autotask setup: MSPs can now set up Autotask integrations within the new platform UI.

          Robotic process automation updates

          • Coming soon — Robotic Process Automation: Tedious, repetitive tasks like slow internet or forgetting passwords will be automated to allow for extensive time-saving.

          Tune in to the rest of our recap blog posts to unveil the new product updates and MSP insights covered during DattoCon 2023!

          Learn more about Autotask here.

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