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With more managed service providers (MSPs) than ever now realizing that their business revolves around their professional services automation (PSA) and remote monitoring and management (RMM) applications, the pressure to combine these two distinct classes of software into a single platform has been steadily rising across the channel.

Kaseya responded to that pressure by acquiring Vorex, a provider of PSA software that Kaseya already has a vested interest in as a technology partner. Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola said that the company has already been helping fund the development of the Vorex PSA application portfolio to the tune of $25 million. By acquiring Vorex, Kaseya is now taking direct control of those ongoing development efforts in the form of a new Kaseya Business Management Solution (BMS), he said.

Tightly integrated with Kaseya’s existing RMM tools, Kaseya plans to charge only $25 per user month for its PSA cloud service, effectively lowering the cost of using PSA software by 66 percent, Voccola said.

At a time when most MSPs are under extreme pricing pressure, they should not be spending large sums of money on software to manage their business operations.

“PSA software does not generate revenue,” Voccola said. “We don’t think that’s an asset that MSPs need to actually own.”

The move to acquire Vorex and then unveil a low-cost PSA puts Kaseya in direct competition with PSA software providers, such as ConnectWise, Tigerpaw and Autotask. The difference between Kaseya BSM and those tools is that the former is designed from the ground up to be a cloud service that easily integrates with RMM tools, Voccola said. In contract, rival PSA offerings are based on legacy client/server architectures that make integrating them with RMM tools an expensive proposition, Voccola said.

Kaseya is not the first provider of RMM tools to expand its reach into the realm of PSA software. In fact, the PSA application market is fairly fragmented. Not only are there packaged applications, many MSPs have either built their own PSA software or customized CRM applications in a way that enables them to serve their PSA needs.

Whatever the approach, the line between where PSA begins and RMM ends is getting blurrier with each passing day.

Michael Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for more than 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWEEK, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.