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IT Glue Acquires Cenersys for MSP Network Performance Capabilities

Mike Sanders
Chris Day, founder, Top Down Ventures

IT Glue has acquired Cenersys, an upstart maker of network intelligence software led by Kaseya veteran Mike Sanders. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Founded in 2016, Cenersys is a cloud-managed, appliance-based network monitoring solution. Designed specifically for MSPs, Cenersys allows partners to get "complete visibility of their clients’ networks," the company says. This allows MSPs to detect and pinpoint network issues that require troubleshooting, the company asserts.

Sanders began developing the platform to troubleshoot WiFi and network audio problems in his home, he told ChannelE2E in a background interview earlier this year. At first glance, I thought Cenersys would compete with Auvik Networks, a network-centric RMM (remote monitoring and management) platform that has caught on with MSPs over the past two years. But IT Glue CEO Chris Day says that isn't the case, explaining that his company has strong relationships with Auvik and other RMM players, and maintaining those strong relationships remains a core priority.

Cenersys Becomes IT Glue Autopilot

So what's the strategy with Cenersys? IT Glue will leverage the acquired technology for a new service called IT Glue Autopilot. The service will leverage an on-site appliance and associated software to "automatically collect and maintain documentation, gain network visibility and enable basic network management tasks locally. Autopilot will be fully integrated into the IT Glue platform and licensed separately."

True believers in the strategy include CNWR Inc., a solutions provider that runs both IT Glue and Cenersys. VP Jason Slagle says the company plans to leverage the products as they come together into one platform.

IT Glue expects to launch Autopilot in early 2018. Sanders will stick around in an advisory role but it sounds like he will exit once the product and business transitions are complete.

IT Glue CEO Chris Day Describes Cenersys Acquisition

ChannelE2E and IT's Glue's Day traded some email about the deal. Here's a look at the conversation.

ChannelE2E: Does Cenersys compete with Auvik or is this completely different?

DayWe do not compete with Auvik. Auvik provides deep insights at each network location, performance management, etc. Although we do present some information from the sites such as bandwidth, and basic availability, we are focusing more on automatically collecting documentation and feeding it into IT Glue. We have a strong partnership with Auvik and all of the RMM/network monitoring platforms and have no intention of competing with them.

ChannelE2E: One of the things that inspired Cenersys was Mike Sanders' need to troubleshoot his home WiFi after his broadband provider couldn't figure out what was causing audio problems on the network. Any chance you’ll ever reach out to cable companies and telcos to leverage this technology for home WiFi network management, etc.?

Day: We haven't ruled out a distribution model with larger telcos, but for now we are focused on delivering valuable functionality to MSPs to help them rapidly onboard, document and provide light analysis of sites that they manage, helping them to reduce costs and avoid "rolling a truck" where possible. Mike Sanders is a great guy and has been a lot of fun to work with.

ChannelE2E: When did you and Mike begin exploring this deal? How rapidly did things come together?

Day:  We started talking about six months ago, and the deal came together quite quickly. We've been in a product management cycle for almost three months working to finalize the packaging and pricing (which is not yet ready to share). Needless to say, we will make the offering compelling for MSPs to deploy.

ChannelE2E: Does this complement your existing IT Glue business or branch you off in a new direction – or a little of both?

Day: We are naming the product "Autopilot" and it will be tightly integrated into our existing IT Glue interface, but licensed separately, most likely based on how many sites an MSP wants to manage (again, not finalized). We will also of course allow the product to be purchased stand-alone, as it is now, but the sum will definitely be greater than the parts!

IT Glue: Growth Mode

No doubt, IT Glue has been in growth mode. The company, launched in 2013, has marched beyond the $25 million annual recurring revenue mark,  Day told ChannelE2E in November.

Overall, partners seem to highly value the platform. Roughly 4,000 partners leverage IT Glue, with more than 200 MSPs embracing the service each month. Some partners have occasionally called on the company to make all features/functions available as part of the core base price. It's a common request in the world of software, where ISVs must balance revenue-driving innovations vs. rolling more features/functions into the base platform.

PS: Special thanks to Sanders. He explained Cenersys to me perhaps as far back as a year ago while I was pulled over at a Starbucks. I never published a story based on that interview (my bad) but that conversation provided plenty of context for ChannelE2E's coverage of today's news.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.