In a previous article on my own blog entitled “Everything you always wanted to know about the QuickBooks hosting program but were afraid to ask” , I mentioned that I would be providing information on what makes these providers different. I still intend to do that, but I must proceed delicately. You see, I am employed by one of the Commercial QuickBooks hosting providers, InsynQ, and while I make every attempt to be fair and unbiased, the other providers may not necessarily see my motivations as being all that altruistic. Rather, there is a great potential for them to perceive that my blog posts about QuickBooks hosting providers is simply a way to put InsynQ above the rest. So, I will proceed with my reviews of the various hosting service providers, and will attempt to be as unbiased as possible. In fact, the “blurb” about each provider listed below comes, in most cases, directly from the provider, and is being posted with their approval. Unfortunately, much of it is “marketing speak”, so I must necessarily expand on that content.
Naturally, I believe very strongly in InsynQ’s business and technology model, and I really want them (us) to “win”, but I’m also fair enough to recognize that one size never fits all. So, here we go… proceeding with caution.
Note: In these descriptions, I’m not going to focus a lot on the underlying technologies used to deliver the hosting service. While the platform does make a huge difference in terms of what the provider can do, what the customer experience is like, etc…. it is difficult to try to compare each approach based solely on technology. It’s what they elect to do with the technology that really matters, and that drives the services being offered. Just recognize that QuickBooks is QuickBooks, and each provider has the ability to deliver QuickBooks very well.
Founded in 2000, Real Time Bookkeeping offers a customized and privately labeled virtual office solution integrated with their proprietary software the e-Dashboard. Created for accounting professionals, the e-Dashboard offers document management and workflow tools with application hosting. QuickBooks hosting is a primary service offering and is central to the functionality of the e-Dashboard and application hosting services. Custom built virtual servers are also offered to host supporting tax software programs.
Joanie’s comments: In the beginning, RTB was ManageComm, an online bookkeeping firm. In 2007, ManageComm launched the Real Time Bookkeeping System. Per the press release announcing the availability of the RTB system, ManageComm solutions include complete online bookkeeping and controller, tax preparation and business consulting services. What I believe makes RTB different is their positioning as a provider to the accounting/bookkeeping market, focusing on delivering a structured workflow solution (the e-Dashboard) and certain hardware elements (dual monitors, scanners, etc.) which help make outsourced/online bookkeeping processes more streamlined. RTB completes the solution set by offering in-depth program training via the RTB University.
Uni-Data & Communications
In business since 1989, Uni-Data is primarily a managed technology service provider, offering various levels of outsourced information technology services to an enterprise business market. Uni-Data’s variety of service offerings benefit businesses by allowing them to offload technology management responsibilities and focus on their core operations. Uni-Data’s offerings range from localized IT service, to solution development and project management, to hosted application services. For Uni-Data, QuickBooks hosting is one of several business areas, and is aligned with their outsourced/managed IT services offerings for mid-size businesses and franchise operations.
Joanie’s comments: Uni-Data does a lot of things for businesses, and application hosting is just part of it. As a managed service provider to mid-sized businesses, the focus isn’t only on hosted applications and datacenter delivery. Rather, Uni-Data has the staff and the experience to provide a wide range of outsourced IT services to their business customers, involving localized and hosted IT service.
Right Networks® is a privately held, US-based company that provides data center management, advanced application hosting, internet services, and computer help desk support. Through its proprietary server virtualization technology, Right Networks has established itself as one of the leading providers of application hosting for the desktop editions of QuickBooks. Right Networks provides centralized, redundant systems, banking-class security and automatic off-site back-ups.
Joanie’s comments: Right Networks has been operating since about 2002. In addition to offering QuickBooks hosting services, Right Networks is also responsible for managing the datacenter for Mangosoft‘s Mangomind and FileTRUST solutions, and also provides localized IT services. Rather than utilizing commercially available virtualization solutions and platform technologies, one of the differentiators for Right Networks is that they provide their hosting service on a proprietary platform, described as “virtualization technology with end-to-end clustered, enterprise-class infrastructure”. **NOTE: Please see a correction of this information at the end of the article! – I got updated information – J
In business since 2002, Xcentric focuses almost exclusively on serving professional accounting firms. Hosted application deliveries are in the form of “published applications”, and provide a comprehensive working environment for the professional accounting practice. Xcentric’s specialty in working with CPA firms, and with solutions designed specifically for the professional CPA practice, has allowed them to craft a service model which is intended to address the total IT requirement for the firm. Xcentric wants to be the entire information technology infrastructure for the professional accountant, removing servers, applications, and other elements from the local environment and delivering them entirely as an outsourced application service.
Joanie’s comments: For Xcentric, QuickBooks hosting is not a primary focus. While hosting QuickBooks applications and data is a necessary addition to serving the professional accounting market, it is not a primary application or service focus.
InsynQ is one of the old guys on the block, having delivered the first hosted application service in 1997. InsynQ specializes in hosting and managing a wide variety of business applications, and is positioned as a solution provider to businesses who desire to have their IT services fully-managed and delivered to them in the form of hosted application services. InsynQ hosts many applications, from productivity solutions to complex application integrations, and is therefore able to address a variety of application and integration needs. While InsynQ CPAASP focuses primarily on accounting and finance solutions, as well as the solutions they integrate with, the service is not oriented specifically towards any one business model. Rather, the CPAASP business model was developed to enable not only accounting professionals, but to extend the capability to the client businesses, addressing business functional and operational requirements. InsynQ works closely with numerous software vendors, as well, bringing their solutions into the hosted platform and helping craft hosted and subscription delivery models around those products.
Joanie’s comments: For CPAASP, QuickBooks hosting is a primary focus, as is the hosting of add-on and integrations for QuickBooks. Because InsynQ CPAASP has a philosophy of “working and playing well with others”, the company supports a wide variety of applications from various developer sources and is specifically experienced in working with software publishers and their respective sales and distribution channels.
That’s all for today… more reviews coming soon!
**NOTE: Correction regarding Right Networks
Apparently, the Mangosoft folks took a few liberties by mentioning that Right Networks manages their datacenter, etc. According to Phil Romine at Right Networks,” the web page will be changed, and also will include a note to point out that Right Networks QuickBooks hosting does not use any Mangosoft technology. Mangosoft appears to recommend Right Networks apparently because their customers found our services to be useful. We are happy to receive that recommendation, but Mangosoft has no legal relationship with Right Networks.”