This blog is in response to a posting by Josh Clifford of where he seems questions the sincerity of Autotask’s involvement with the community. I would have commented back directly on his blog but I don’t have an account with his site (yet). Hopefully this adds a pingback.
My answer? Absolutely they are sincere! It is no secret that I’m a rather vocal advocate of their
software solution. I am however, NOT compensated in ANY way to evangelize their product. I’ve never even gotten a single discount on my subscription to their service, nor would I expect one. Furthermore, in the eight years we have been partnered with them, (I consider all my vendors partners) I’ve never even heard rumor of them hiring “independent consultants to be out in the marketplace talking them up” as Josh alleges. Assuming he is talking about hiring folks like me. Maybe I just misunderstood what he meant by “independent consultants” but I took it as if they were doing something wrong. Maybe it’s true, but he seems to state is as a fact. If it were true, would it be wrong?
As far as their contributions to the community, being a good corporate citizen seems to be a part of their DNA at many levels. I’m not sure why this is even being questioned or Josh’s motive behind such questions (if any). Aren’t they actually a member of the community? Why the need to start comparing and measuring? (Am I making too much of this?)
Truth be told about Autotask, they are a GREAT company. I mean from the inside out. I’ve never meet so may people so happy about what they do and why they do it as I did in my trip to visit them in NY. I aspire to have an organization with such clear mission, vision and values as they have. Read more about my trip here on my old blog.
I’ve received more than a few calls over the years from Autotask executives (including the Bobs) asking my advice on various idea they are considering, then, having the phone call end up being more of a help to me and my business then to them. I know for a fact they genuinely care about my business despite how small a customer we are to them. You see, my ONLY expectation of any vendor in our segment is that they make a good product/service/solution that helps us help our customers. Actually caring about their customers, well that says a lot.
Regarding participating Josh’s blog, I will strongly encourage them to do so. I think they should even consider adding it to their blog roll within their partner forums. Why not?
While Josh runs a very popular blog and one of the most respected and successful MSPs out there, I hope Autotask doesn’t feel the need to defend themselves against his blog. I don’t think if was accusatory, but I, as a recipient of Autotask’s continued contributions to my business via their ever-evolving software, believe them to be not only a contributor to, but deeply invested member of the community and thus felt the need to chime in.