5 things, MSP, Zero trust, Mergers and Acquisitions, IT management, Private equity, Email security

Channel Brief: How MSPs Can Fix Meetings

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One constant of office work is fights over the temperature and office thermostat. Another that transcends the era of in-office work and extends to hybrid and remote workers: Complaints about unnecessary meetings. One person's necessary meeting is another person's waste of time. In today's Channel Brief, one company is helping MSPs take on these challenges with a software platform it promises will help with at least one of these common office worker complaints.

Today's round up also features the recapitalization of an MSP platform company that has grown by acquiring seven other MSPs since 2020. We've also got some numbers around the momentum of zero-trust implementations (they are getting more important and could be a differentiator for some of your clients), as well as product and company news.

Please check out our industry Mergers and Acquisitions list, updated daily, with an archive that goes all the way back to 2020. Check out the whole thing here. Scroll down for a quick view of upcoming in-person channel and MSP events at the bottom of this post (while we spiff up our industry calendar behind the scenes. It will return!)

And please send your news tips, information, and industry chatter to editorial director [email protected].

A. Today’s Tech, Channel and MSP News

1. MSP platform recapitalization - BrightWorks IT, a platform of IT managed service providers established in 2020 and expanded through the acquisition of seven add-on companies, has recently completed a recapitalization of existing debt, advised by Auctus Capital Partners. Auctus worked closely with Cloud Equity Group to complete the transaction for BrightWorks IT with enhanced senior secured terms to recapitalize debt and support future growth and working capital requirements. 

2. CompTIA certifications good for DoD roles - IT industry association and certification and training provider CompTIA says that eight of its certifications are included in U.S. Department of Defense efforts to create, qualify and upskill a more diverse workforce to protect the nation’s interests, information and infrastructure. The eight CompTIA certifications cover 31 different work roles within the DoD cyber workforce. These job roles range from technical support and network operations specialists to cyber defense forensic analysts, cyber policy and strategy planners and information systems security developers and managers.

3. IT workers overwhelmed - A new survey from GoTo and SWNS promotes the idea that AI is the answer to alleviating IT workforce woes. The survey shows that 58% of IT workers currently feel overwhelmed by their daily tasks, with 39% responsible for addressing cybersecurity issues and 26% responsible for internal security issues. On any given day, the average IT worker only has the capacity to support 85% of the tickets they receive. And while roughly half are easy for IT teams (50% in the U.S., 48% in the UK and 46% in India), nearly one-third (29%) of tickets are considered difficult to resolve.  AI may be one answer. Another could be co-managed engagements.

4. MSP opportunity: Reducing the waste of unnecessary  meetings - Work analytics vendor Produce8 has updated its flagship app to provide MSPs and their customers with insight into the impact of meetings on productivity and wellbeing. New features include the ability to capture employee sentiment; integrations for video call data; calendar and schedule integrations; and organizational metrics to measure the financial impact of time spent in calls and meetings. Physical meetings and virtual calls demand significant time and resources, including the salaries of attendees and the productivity lost when attention is diverted from tasks such as providing customer service. The wasted costs from unnecessary meetings are estimated to reach $25,000 per employee each year. The updated Produce8 app integrates with Google Calendar and Outlook, and leading virtual meeting platforms, including Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Slack. This feature enables MSP teams to track the time spent in both internal and external meetings, allowing them to compare the planned workday with what actually transpired. The goal is to help MSPs reduce time wasted in unnecessary and poorly planned meetings, boosting productivity and profitability. 

5. MSP streamlines cybersecurity - Abacus Group, an MSP specializing in financial services firms, has revamped its integrated IT and security solutions and services. The enhanced offering aims to provide firms with easy-to-select and comprehensible packages, which can be tailored to emerging firms, established and regulated firms, and sophisticated high-tech firms, as well as providing guidance on what is regulator and investor-friendly. This one-stop-shop solution will be provided by Abacus Group and Gotham Security, following Abacus Group’s acquisitions in 2023.

6. Zero-trust implementations grow - Sixty-three percent of organizations worldwide have fully or partially implemented a zero-trust strategy, according to Gartner. For 78% of organizations implementing a zero-trust strategy, this investment represents less than 25% of the overall cybersecurity budget. A fourth quarter 2023 Gartner survey of 303 security leaders whose organizations had already implemented (fully or partially) or are planning to implement a zero-trust strategy found that 56% of organizations are primarily pursuing a zero-trust strategy because it’s cited as an industry best practice. 

7. New sales boss - Cloud veteran and former AWS executive Eric Benson has joined data integration provider Matillion as its chief revenue officer. Benson takes on the CRO role having spent more than 10 years at AWS in multiple senior executive roles including enterprise sales, business development, and digital native strategy.

8. Microsoft Defender for Office alternative - Extended detection and response (XDR) provider Trellix is rolling out Trellix Email Security for Microsoft Office 365. Combining leading threat detection, threat intelligence, and security expertise, Trellix offers Microsoft Office 365 customers an alternative to Microsoft Defender for Office.

B. In-Person MSP and Channel Partner Events

  1. Kaseya Connect - April 29-May 2, MGM Grand Resort, Las Vegas
  2. MSP GeekCon - May 19-21, Rosen Plaza, Orlando, Florida
  3. Dell Technologies World - May 20 -May 23, The Venetian, Las Vegas
  4. IT Nation Secure, (hosted by ConnectWise) June 3-5, 2024, Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center, Orlando, Florida
  5. Pax8 Beyond, June 9-11, 2024, Gaylord Rockies Convention Center, Denver, Colorado
  6. FLOWAutomation Conference (hosted by Rewst) – June 17- June 19, The Renaissance Tampa International Plaza Hotel, Tampa, Florida
  7. CompTIA ChannelCon, July 30 - August 1, 2024, Atlanta, Georgia, Hyatt Regency Atlanta
Jessica C. Davis

Jessica C. Davis is editorial director of CyberRisk Alliance’s channel brands, MSSP Alert, MSSP Alert Live, and ChannelE2E. She has spent a career as a journalist and editor covering the intersection of business and technology including chips, software, the cloud, AI, and cybersecurity. She previously served as editor in chief of Channel Insider and later of MSP Mentor where she was one of the original editors running the MSP 501.