About a year ago we wrote a piece of software for the Autotask platform called Orangutime. It had a simple premise: Help staff better track their time and post it back to the ticket. It consisted of a Windows system tray icon that the user can tap, load all assigned tickets, pause and stop tickets as they worked on it, post time summary when finished.
We launched it at Autotask Live as a beta and got a few hundred signups, mostly from the forums. We got even less in the way of feedback, yet people continued to use it and as of December we’ve been getting a steady stream of feedback and even more demand for us to grant more people access to the beta.
You’ve all seen what’s happened over at Own Web Now and ExchangeDefender over the past year and at this time all my development resources are tied up in the new release of ExchangeDefender due this spring. I am doing all I can to hire more developers but the talent pool in Orlando is shallow and pursuing this goes against my willingness to invest in projects that will bring in less than $1 million (yes, I’m aware that may seem like a lot of money but you’d be shocked just how expensive the software business is).
That said, nearly a third of Shockey Monkey portals use Autotask. This number is only going to grow later this year when we make Shockey Monkey a requirement for reselling our services (Shockey Monkey in this scenario is used for cloud service management while Autotask is used for everything else; think of SM as a shopping cart extension) so I’m not willing to say no outright.
Couple that with the fact that Autotask is one of our biggest partners and that their leadership has been very supportive of my company.
So, if you have any strong feelings or thoughts on this subject please email them to email@example.com. One of the options Shockey Monkey team has on the table as they develop the desktop agent is to use Autotask as the backend – which would bring a lot more features to it, at a cost. The other option is to open source the software and hope the community enhances it – but remember what I said about the cost software development. Another would be giving the source code to Autotask in exchange for them using ExchangeDefender to power the email connectivity in/out of Autotask – it’s a personal favorite! The most likely one is that we just let the thing die a peaceful death.
Now that you see my cards, feel free to contact me and let me know what you think. We owe Autotask and the Autotask community a lot for getting us to where we are today so I am definitely open to suggestions. There is clearly a need for this so if I’m missing something please enlighten me.
Update 1: It’s written in C#. It does not use any OWN proprietary technology but it does use Autotask’s proprietary APIs so I’d have to check with the legal monkeys whether or not that’s something we could open source (unlikely) or transfer to another Autotask partner (likely).