HEAT Software looks to new MSP platform to spur massive increase in MSP partners

HEAT has not had an out-of-the-box offering designed for MSPs to date, and is remedying that with HEAT MSP Cloud, which adds new features and capabilities specifically for MSPs to the core HEAT cloud service management offering.

Mercedes Ellison | Hyperion

Mercedes Ellison, HEAT’s senior vice president of channels and alliances

HEAT Software, formed last year from the union of FrontRange  and Lumension, has taken a step to boost its presence among MSPs with the launch of HEAT MSP Cloud, a new  service management solution designed for MSPs in the midmarket space. HEAT defines this as organizations with between 50 and 500 employees.

While HEAT does have MSP customers, they have not previously had an offering that was purpose-built for the unique needs of the MSP — a significant hurdle to success in that market.

“We have MSP customers in every region, from the very large to the very small, but our support has involved custom configurations of our cloud service management solution involving professional services work,” said Mercedes Ellison, HEAT’s senior vice president of channels and alliances. “So with MSPs growing around the world, we developed a bundled packaged solution specifically for MSPs targeting the midmarket. By building out our service management solution to create functionality specifically for MSP users, we think we make a compelling offering for them.”

HEAT MSP Cloud takes the core capabilities of the HEAT cloud service management offering, and adds new features and capabilities specifically for MSPs.

“The HEAT MSP Control Center is designed to maximize their productivity,” Ellison said. “It is a single UI that allows the MSP to manage a broad range of customers on a single deployment, with a preconfigured MSP ITIL module added. We also recognize every MSP is not the same, so they have within the bundle the ability to customize and configure for their needs. For instance, they can develop on their own or with our help flexible customer configurations, like adding to the services catalogue. The MSPs’ customers are also enabled to have their own administrative capability, if the MSP wants.”

HEAT MSP Cloud is also set up with the pay-as-you-go model that MSPs use.

“We wanted to align with their business practices as MSPs, which includes flexible billing options and reporting, including the ability to customize their own reporting,” Ellison said. “The MSPs also benefit from the broader portfolio we bring to market and the strategic vision around that, including things like unified endpoint management and patch security.”

The offering is also designed to produce results quickly.

“We have added preconfigured MSP content designed to reduce time to market and overall cost, specifically rapid onboarding and enablement to make it as simple as possible to adopt it and put it in place,” Ellison said.

The program also offers 24×7 priority technical support and access to HEAT’s comprehensive Rapid Results program that includes MSP centric marketing, training and sales resources.

Ellison, who joined HEAT last May to drive the company’s global partner ecosystem, emphasized that beefing up their MSP channel is a key component of this strategy.

“There is a strong commitment to the partner ecosystem to help us accelerate our growth,” she said. “We have routes to market that we are investing in — in OEMs, in the reseller channel, in strategic relationships like Apple, in professional services companies who may or may not be resellers, and of course MSPs.” Ellison also indicated that HEAT would soon be announcing an innovation partner program around integrations with their technology.

HEAT is looking to significantly expand the MSP channel through the HEAT MSP Cloud platform. Ellison said that globally, they have several hundred MSP partners now, but acknowledged that this was a relatively small amount, limited because HEAT had managed them as customers in the past. The HEAT MSP Cloud platform will roll out first in North America, and Ellison expects to pick up large numbers of MSPs there, despite HEAT’s late start in the MSP market.

“This should be of interest to thousands of MSPs out there,” she said. “This is a crowded space and unless an MSP is starting from scratch, they will have a solution already. But they are looking for a lower cost of ownership, additional functionality, and the ability to provide more value for customers. We believe that with this offering, packaging these processes we will gain traction, as MSPs replace older technologies in the cloud.”

Ellison said that this week they had an MSP who looked at them months ago, concluded they weren’t the right fit, and went with a competitor.

“They weren’t happy with their results, and they have now come in with us since we have this new solution.”

After debuting in North America, HEAT plans to expand the MSP Cloud platform internationally in 2016.