AutoElevate brings a solution more commonly associated with the high end of the market to the MSP space, with full multi-tenanted and mobile capabilities.
ORLANDO – Miami-based startup AutoElevate, which has created patent pending privilege management software for MSPs focused on the SMB space, has won the award for Best Newcomer at the ConnectWise IT Connect show here.
Todd Jones, AutoElevate’s President and CEO, found the lack of privilege account management software for MSPs to be a major pain point during the eight and a half years he ran a Denver-area MSP. Those tools have been available for enterprise customers for years – but Jones had never come across them.
“I didn’t know privilege account management existed until after I developed this,” Jones said. “I saw such a need for it. It was such a pain point for MSP clients, and I would come to these shows every year looking for a solution to the problem. People came to our booth this year looking for the same thing.”
Jones said that this issue is a major problem for MSPs because it is a source of conflict with the client, which hurts the customer relationship.
“The pain point that it solves was the need at times to lock down and take away admin privileges which exposed risk to the MSP,” Jones said. “The issue is that taking away admin privileges created contention with the client, who, from their perspective, had a legitimate complaint because it was inconvenient at their end.”
Jones did not actually develop the AutoElevate software while he was an MSP, but immediately after, following the sale of the business in 2016.
“After I exited the MSP practice in 2016, it gave me flexibility to do what I wanted, and building this solution was at the top of the list,” he said. “I met a brilliant software developer, talked him into partnering up with me, and we built a prototype.” After some delays – Jones had moved to Puerto Rico and was impacted by the hurricanes there – a provisioned patent was filed in July 2018.
“We then pulled the veil off, put up a website and started signing up MSPs,” Jones said. “We got product available and focused on making the IT Connect show, for the exposure and because we wanted to win an award, which we did.”
Jones said that their technology has three differentiating elements – a real time aspect, full multi-tenancy, and the ability to do it remotely, with AutoElevate Notify.
“This was put together by looking at it through an MSP’s eyes,” Jones said. “Other systems are policy-based, but these won’t work for a MSP, who could have 100 companies as clients, and where you can also never predict what policies would be needed for in advance. They would spend all their time making policies. Our system is driven by the fact that we don’t know what the MSP will want – but we will allow the MSP to make the decision if the customer should do it or not. That’s what they do now, make a reasonable decision. We just automate that process so that it takes 30 seconds instead of 30 minutes to do it, and it then lets them build a rule for the future. Our system doesn’t make people foretell the future.”
Multi-tenancy is a differentiator here because other privilege account management systems are not designed for it.
“MSPs can make global rules with this because the system is multi-tenanted, while most are set up for one large enterprise,” Jones indicated.
“We also emphasized that it had to integrate with ticketing systems, and have a mobile app component, which is critical for small shops,” Jones added. “Without the ability to do this over a phone, a small MSP’s techs can always be running around to support customers.”
AutoElevate has already been integrated with ConnectWise Automate and Manage, with scripts that deploy the agent.
“We have completed integrations for Kaseya VSA and BSM, and are just waiting on the final blessing from Kaseya,” Jones said. “It’s likely before the end of the month. We are also trying to have the work on Datto and their Autotask PSA down by the end of November. SolarWinds will be next on the list, but we haven’t started to engage with them yet.”
AutoElevate is looking to put their product in the hands of as many MSPs as possible, who are able to white-label it with their own brand.
“I think this is something that every MSP should have,” Jones said. “But partners who come in at the beginning have a legitimate opportunity to grab market share, by addressing clients who have that pain point this addresses. It’s the same problem every IT department has with their end users. It’s all about the end user experience.”
To date, they have 40 partners, with more expected in from the show, where AutoElevate ran a show deal special.
“We talked with some of them at the show, who have already been using us, and we knew they were satisfied because they had deployed it, and we hadn’t heard from them, but here they told us that it had been a game-changer,” Jones indicated.
The plan is to expand AutoElevate primarily by working through MSP community events. Jones also stressed that AutoElevate won’t be selling it to distributed end user customers themselves.
“I want to be channel only,” he stated. “I want to bring something to the space that I worked in, that I would buy myself.”