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What two product moves say about MSP disruption

Products we care about… because of strategy.

After my comment yesterday about SMB products lacking auto ticket triage, Atera has added automated ticketing to its product.  Atera Plus uses uses artificial intelligence and natural language processing to “read” tickets from end users and technicians, classify them, prioritize them, and route them for response, including an option for “ticket deflection” which resolves mundane work automatically.  

And Microsoft with some noteworthy announcements.  While their efforts with the metaverse have gotten headlines elsewhere, I want to focus on less noticed ones.

The company has announced public preview of a remote help capability for Microsoft Endpoint Manager.    A cloud based remote assistance tool, it includes options for what is allowed in a remote help session, from viewing to full control over a desktop.  

Also announced – Microsoft Defender for Business, a endpoint security solution including EDR, auto investigation and remediation, as well as integration to Microsoft 365 Lighthouse for IT Partners.    Pricing is $3 a user a month, or included in Microsoft 365 Business Premium.

And, Endpoint Manager now has custom compliance options for Windows, and cloud management for Linux.    Custom compliance allows use of a Powershell script to detect any setting and report back, including messages to users to enforce compliance.  

Why do we care?

I’ll revisit the metaverse another day.  Today it’s about strategy.     Yesterday I cited ISG data regarding automated ticket resolution, and here’s exactly that, not from a Big Four player and instead from one of the agile competitors coming for them.   

And at the same time, Microsoft’s machine to come for the space rolls on.   Their management tool now allows remote assistance, the beginnings (and an already useful feature) of custom scripting, and now that integrated security platform.   

The reason to care is that while tools alone aren’t the solution to service delivery…. There does come a point where they are a drag on the business, not an enabler.   The fallacy of the sunk cost – focusing on past investments rather than present and future costs and benefits.     The market is different, the conditions on the ground are different, the needs are different.. so the past solution isn’t necessarily the future one.    I predicted disruption in this tool space for 2021 – I could easily declare victory with what happened to Kaseya, and instead will focus on these moves as the key to the actual disruption.  Because the first primed the pump to create the openness.