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Best MSP software?

Posted on 2011-09-20
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Good Day Community,

I am currently setting up my managed services provider business. I am in the process of selecting an appropriate Managed Services Provider software that will enable me to deliver quality service to my clients. I have explored kaseya. I have listened to a few seminars, as well as read reviews and watched videos. As the owner and the decision maker of this business, I am looking for value for money. I am looking for a platform that offers

-Best service for the best/appropriate price
-Offers excellent support (company support for it's software)
-Allows for efficient, flexible and resilient service
-Is not a headache for my company and its staff
-Shows great promise for growth of its software/platform offerings and capabilities in the future.

Based on your knowledge and, especially experience, does Kaseya satisfies these qualities?
I have heard of other systems such as N-Able and Zenith Infotech. What would platform do you recommend that I explore in order to satisfy my needs? Please feel free to list any platform you like, as well as user experiences and recommendations for an MSP that is now starting, and wants to begin in the right way! Many thanks to the community
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Question by:kajun989
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Randy Downs earned 500 total points
ID: 36567223
Interesting article here

http://christopher-technicalmusings.blogspot.com/2009/01/msp-offerings-zenith-infotech-vs-kaseya.html

We're currently doing the very same research. Listening to folks saying "I used XYZ with my business, and it's now one of the fastest growing IT MS provider" is irrelevant, because both examples exists. EveronIT is a great example for Zenith, and InHouseIT for Kaseya. So we know they both work well.

We tested Zenith and Kaseya. Here are our preliminary results:

[THE PLATFORM]
Kaseya installs on your own server, so you need to buy a good one that is reliable and accommodate for growth. Then you need to buy all the licenses (windows
server, sql server, backup software, etc.). Then you need to host it (most likely a colo, because you don't want to have to buy redundant internet connection,
redudant power and redundant a/c yourself). And you need to maintain it (software upgrades/fixes, database server, backups, etc..).
With Zenith, everything is ready for you. No need to buy any hardware, no software, no monthly colo, no maintenance, no backups, etc. They already have the
colos with redundant-everything.

[THE COST]
Kaseya is asking you to buy a whole big lumpsum of licenses at a time. Used to be 100, now it's 50. And they are more expensive than purchasing a pack of 250 or

500. Their sales will push you to get a 500 or 1000 pack, so that you get the best price point and you don't need to re-purchase more when you grow. And you pay monthly. Their pitch is "with your first down payment, you can already deploy and charge for your 500 licenses!". I guess this is a valid point for those IT

Firms who can find customers who will sign a managed services contract right away, for a total of hundreds of devices.. but that's not our case. Even when you

have a large customer base, you still need to convince your customers to migrated to an MS model... If you really think about it, you always pay for more licenses than you really use, because the day you reach the exact number of managed devices than licenses, you got to go buy another one for the next customer buying a new workstation or the next customer with 10 workstations... and you'll most likely buy a pack of 250 or 500.. and there you go you have 200 you don't use yet...

With Zenith, you only pay for what you instal. If you install 5 clients, you pay only for 5. If they want to cancel after 10 days, you uninstall it, and you stop being charged. It's as easy as that. And prices are actually cheaper than zenith if you compare the costs over a 24-months period (which is the typical lease-to-buy from Kaseya).

Kaseya has really a lot of hidden costs.


[THE SUPPORT]
With Kaseya, the support/upgrades is included for the first year... but then you need to pay yearly maintenance if you want to continue being up to date (latest agents compatible with the latest OS, etc.). Also support is only available during US hours.
With Zenith, the support is included for the price, and you get it all the time, 24h/day, via phone, chat, or ticket.

[USABILITY]
Okay, on this one it's a tie. Both products doesn't have a good documentation that really helps you fully understand the product.

[LEARNING]
Kaseya sells training. If you really want to get everything configured properly and understand the product well from the get go.. you got to pay thousands of extra dollars (another hidden cost). With Zenith, all training materials and webminars are free.

[COMMUNITY]
Zenith just recently started their forums, and they are not very active yet. On the Kaseya side, we have not been able to test, as this is only available to pay customers, not to trial users.

[FEATURES]
Featurewise, both companies bring the same amount of features. The sales rep from Kaseya told us that Zenith had no scripting: it's a lie, Zenith has integrated the "Automise" software into their agent, and the IDE is really nice compared to Kaseya's way to write scripts. The sales rep of Kaseya also said that with Zenith you can't setup your own agent threshold's for alerts, and that you were at the mercy of Zenith pre-defined thresholds, and that's also a lie. You can do it. We also like that Zenith can monitor Linux machines "out of the box", which Kaseya can't.

[ANTIVIRUS]
Kaseya only integrates with one antivirus. Zenith integrates with 3 different antivirus. And you can even buy the license through them, on a monthly basis. Which means you can also start and stop the antivirus on any day at your existing customers, and you stop having to pay for it. really convenient.

[MARKET SHARE]
This part is difficult to evaluate. We can't look at the number of licenses sold yearly, because folks like Kaseya force you to purchase 10 times more than what you'll really use, while others charge you only for what you use, so it'd be a wrong comparison to look at that. The right number would be the exact number of agents deployed, as well as the retention rate, but we have not been able to obtain these data from the vendors.

So.... So far, it's:
Kaseya: 1 - Zenith: 6


[PERCS]
Kaseya doesn't come with any additional percs, while Zenith has a lot:
* If you have any deployment problem, or you think an agent caused an issue on a computer: they will connect to every machine you need help with, and fix it for you, while you take care of other things.
* If you wish so, you get a phone call for all alerts. Zenith agents will try to call you on various numbers, to get you informed that a problem occured. If for some reason your Kaseya's server has an issue, the mail server didn't work, or whatever else, unless you have a tech assigned to monitor your Kaseya's server at all times, you don't get the notifications.
* Zenith offer the server 'care' option: for a slightly higher fee, they will remotely login to your servers when a problem occurs, to try and fix it for you. if they can't get to fix it, they'll contact you a post a ticket. i really don't mind them remoting onto the server to fix a common problem of restarting the exchange routing service, or
* The Zenith agent comes with LogmeIn Reach at no extra cost. NO NEED to do anything on customer's firewall, logmein transverse every network as long as there is network access. And the LogMeIn agent is undoubtly the very best remote control software ever. Kaseya comes with the cumbersome and unstable VNC.
* Zenith offers Helpdesk. With the same agents you have already installed, for a very low fee you'll be able to offer 24/7 us-based techsupport to your customers. The helpdesk agents are using the tools you already deployed, and all you have to do is fill out the secure password vault for them to access the workstations or servers to help your customers. We tried it, and our customers have been very happy with the hold time (barely any), the skills of the agents, and the great follow-up. We also get a call from the agents to let us know what happened, and whether or not we need to do something on our end. Very nice. Kaseya will recommend you some very expensive third party, but we haven't tried them (way too expensive).
* The BDR product uses the same agent as the MS agents... So if you want to offer both, then only one installation is required. Everything fits nicely together.

So far, we really think Zenith is a better choice, especially for starting businesses.

Oh, btw, we ruled out Level Platforms, for 2 reasons: first of all, like Kaseya you have to buy for a large number or licenses and you pay over a 12 or 24 months period, but if you decide you don't want to use the software anymore, you still have to pay until the end, whereas Kaseya gives you an option to stop paying and stop using the software (or some licenses you might own, on a pro-rated basis), and being that it really takes longer than the trial period to really find out about all the ins and out of the software, we didn't feel confortable with it. And second reason is that on all the successful MSP companies that we researched on, they were either using Zenith or Kaseya. Might just be a conincidence, but we didn't get the feeling that Level Platform is a real player.
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by:doninja
ID: 36567458
Have been using ManageEngine desktop central MSP version for a little while and found it to be good at managing small to medium sites.

http://www.manageengine.com/desktop-management-msp/index.html

Main advantage is we can add in Centre Plus or op Manager to manage servers or networks in larger sites without adding cost to small sites.

Pricing is competitive and can be run for free on sites with up to 25 clients.

Remote Control wasn't always great but was using LogMeIn for that anyway.
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Author Closing Comment

by:kajun989
ID: 36598757
good
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Expert Comment

by:CTS-Tech
ID: 36711310
That article is from Jan 2009.  We use Level Platforms and have had great results and support.
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