Vistara Extends Lifeline for PacketTrap Users

Vistara is extending a lifeline to PacketTrap customers.Add Vistara to the list of  companies looking to create a new home for MSPs running their business on Dell’s recently-shuttered PacketTrap RMM and PSA lineup. Vistara, an offshoot of NetEnrich will give MSPs on PacketTrap products three months free on its own Vistara Modern IT Operations Management product when they sign up for a 15-month contract to run the software.

Vistara joins AVG in attempting to provide a softer landing for abandoned PacketTrap customers. AVG announced last month a promotion that effectively doubles the contract length of an AVG Managed Workplace contract  for free, up to an additional year of service.

“[PacketTrap] customers will be looking for a long-term solution for network monitoring and some other functionality as well, and Vistara is a good solution, moving them to a much more comprehensive unified IT management solution, said Eric Krock, director of product marketing at Vistara.

In addition to traditional RMM features like infrastructure discovery, monitoring and management, antivirtus support, and ticket tracking, Vistara boasts a list of features including service monitoring, configuration and patch management, the recording of administrator sessions to support audits, and perhaps most importantly, management of both private and public cloud.

“We’re the only SaaS IT operations management solution that can handle both on-premise and cloud-based infrastructure,” Krock said.

For most MSPs, decisions on RMM and PSA solutions are core to their business, and even when a product has been end-of-lifed, as PacketTrap has, the products are not easily tossed aside. The tools are simply too deeply built into business processes, third-party applications are integrated, and in some cases, portions of the business may even be built around the tool of choice. While development of new features in PacketTrap was shut down in August, Dell has committed to supporting RMM and PSA customers for the duration of their existing contracts, and says it will offer renewals for existing customers “for the foreseeable future.”

That puts MSPs in an unenviable “should I stay or should I go” situations – as with the classic song, both staying and going have pains attached to them.

Those who choose to stay are faced with running their business on a stagnant platform at a time when major investments (SolarWinds buying N-able, AVG buying Level Platforms) are driving new innovations in the MSP tool space. Those who choose to go are faced with the challenges inherent in bringing on, integrating, and optimizing a new platform and all the new processes and change management issues that come with that. There’s also the question of managing clients through the transition period.

Krock notes that because Vistara is SaaS-based, there’s no need to rip and replace, and like most vendors in the space, Vistara offers a collection of templates and education options gleaned from other solution providers’ experiences with the product. The company is also careful to position its promotion as an opportunity to upgrade, rather than a straight-up rescue program, pointing to the wider range of features available on the Vistara platform as a way for MSPs to expand and modernize their business.

Vistara is likely also focused on earning the business of larger PacketTrap users. Vistara grew up as NetEnrich’s platform for outsourced NOC management before expanding into a “productized” version of the platform for broader use by MSPs. The company has historically focused more on the midsize enterprise space than the SMB space more familiar to many smaller managed service providers.

But less than a year into its existence as a separate product in the MSP space, Vistara is hungry to establish itself with a broader swath of MSPs, and it has distribution backing in the form of a deal with Ingram Micro to help make that happen. Like AVG, fresh off its acquisition of Level Platforms, Vistara is eager to make a name for itself in the rapidly-evolving field of MSP operations software.

Vistara’s program for PacketTrap users runs through the end of the year.