Making the Right Business Call on PSA Pricing

Business, MSP, MSP Tips, News

Among the many MSP solutions, there are two core types that really stand out. The RMM is the center of much of the MSP universe – and a key revenue-producing engine. A PSA is likewise a key, but unlike the RMM, does not produce revenue directly. It does however improve your business and customer relations and can drive efficiency. That said, you don’t want to spend too much on your PSA, nor do you want to sacrifice features and quality just for the sake of affordability.

Many of the major vendors that serve the MSP market have PSA solutions. Recently Clarity Channel Advisors, an independent consulting firm focused on MSPs and cloud service providers (CSPs) analyzed the pricing models of the leading PSAs.

Jim Lippie, Chief Advisor for Clarity, looked at four leading PSA solutions. Besides Kaseya BMS, Clarity analyzed ConnectWise, AutoTask and SolarWind .

Before we get too deep into the analysis, let’s cut to the chase. The chart below demonstrates that Kaseya BMS is dramatically less expensive on all nearly counts, from initial user, to additional users and came in second place for provisioning.

Bringing Clarity to PSA Pricing

An MSP veteran, Clarity chief Jim Lippie has been through the major changes—dare we say upheavals—in the MSP market. In his recent analysis, he honed in on the rise of the PSA. “Managed services were initially built on RMM tools, then they needed a PSA to better manage client operations and now MSPs need seemingly dozens of tools to address the evolving needs of the SMB community they serve,” Lippie explained. “However, over the last few years the vendor community has started to consolidate with PSA vendors acquiring RMM capabilities and vice versa. Vendors have created “platforms,” instead of specific one-off applications in the quest to provide MSPs with a “one stop shop” for all of their needs.”

The rising importance of the PSA, and confusion in this space, led Lippie to look deeper, and offer up well-researched conclusions. “If architected correctly and with the needs of the MSP at the forefront, Clarity believes that the vendor platform approach can be very beneficial for service providers.  However, vendors in this space have taken different approaches to creating their platforms – with some weighted towards automating the internal business processes of an MSP (PSA-centric) and others focused on broadening the service portfolio of MSPs (growth-centric) in order to expand their revenues.”

Reaching the Kaseya Conclusion

Clarity’s recent research looked at both RMM and PSA solutions. In the RMM category, Kaseya VSA came out on top in terms of the technology.  Clarity was also impressed with the overall Kaseya story.

“Kaseya has added AuthAnvil (two factor authentication security, which many MSPs use for themselves or provide as a service to their customers), 365 Command (Office 365 administration) and Traverse (enhanced performance monitoring for complex data center and hybrid cloud networks) to round out their portfolio of services,” Lippie argued. “If Clarity were to select an MSP platform today to scale a service provider practice, it would be with Kaseya.”

Kaseya has rearchitected existing solutions as well as buying new ones that we’ve integrated into key parts of our portfolio. This has not gone unnoticed. “Kaseya was the clear winner in the RMM/growth-centric competition, especially excelling in the important area of automation. They also have AuthAnvil, their own security product which is important since MSPs and their SMB customers consistently highlight security as a top priority,” Lippie found. “In addition, Kaseya has an enhanced monitoring product called Traverse, which goes far beyond traditional RMM and allows MSPs to move upstream to capture larger sized clients and bigger recurring revenue contracts. These are both important areas that ConnectWise has yet to appropriately address and in the end Kaseya helps MSPs drive more potential revenues.”

A PSA Built Just for MSPs

It was only last year that Kaseya introduced Kaseya BMS – which is the first next-generation PSA built 100% for MSPs. With BMS, you can free staff to focus more attention on strategically selling new services, scoping and deploying these service, then running them in a profitable way. At the same time, you’ll spend far less time dealing with non-revenue-generating work such as project management and billing.

From the beginning, Kaseya wanted to turn PSA pricing and technology on its head. “Kaseya believes that MSPs should minimize the amount of money spent on non-revenue generating products and activities,” said Fred Voccola, CEO of Kaseya, when BMS was announced. “Unfortunately, first generation PSA solutions are costly products built with obsolete technology and loaded with unused features that hamper employees from doing their job. Kaseya has raised the bar for improving staff productivity and business profitability by introducing Kaseya BMS at an unheard of price point,” he continued.

As a next-generation solution, Kaseya BMS was not built just to be the least expensive PSA, but to also have the lowest total cost of ownership. Often, first-generation PSA solutions require a half- or full-time IT resource at a cost of $50-100K a year to configure and customize their PSA solutions. This resource at MSPs is typically a tech that is doing “double duty” as a client-facing tech as well as the internal PSA administrator.

Due to the heavy admin requirements, most MSPs suffer from a lack of functional integration with their PSA since they either do not have a dedicated admin, or have to assume a huge cost liability due to hiring a full time admin or using consultants. As a next-generation PSA solution, BMS does not require such high levels of admin work as it is purpose-built for MSPs, and the admin functions are simple and intuitive.

With BMS, you can:

  • Define and deploy new services rapidly
  • Manage client IT projects effectively
  • Monitor service deliver with 360 degrees of visibility

We already talked about the superior economics of BMS with a price is specifically designed for fast MSP adoption. At $25 per user per month, it is less than a third the cost of ConnectWise, and includes all modules. And BMS is free for a year for MSPs moving off a competitive product.

With Kaseya BMS, everything is built from the project out. BMS also schedules all resources for the MSP. At the same time, you can track and manage inventory as well as people, contracts, and with billing all tied to projects (and all dependencies). Finally, BMS takes into account scheduling activities that aren’t project activities.

Other attributes include:

  • Low cost to implement, administer and manage
  • Rapid implementation time
  • No need for dedicated administrator (or redirecting staff time to manage)

For more product details, click here, sign up for a free trial, or get a price quote.

Posted by Doug Barney
Doug Barney was the founding editor of Redmond Magazine, Redmond Channel Partner, Redmond Developer News and Virtualization Review. Doug also served as Executive Editor of Network World, Editor in Chief of AmigaWorld, and Editor in Chief of Network Computing.

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