APM, CSPs, IT management, MSP

Three MSP Market Disruptions Are Nearly Here


Conventional wisdom says RMM (remote monitoring and management) software allows MSPs to proactively maintain SMB customer networks. But in a parallel universe, another type of MSP-friendly software is emerging. It involves names like Datadog, AppDynamics and NewRelic. And it's coming to a cloud near you.

AppDynamics and New Relic got their start in application performance monitoring (APM). Datadog got its start in infrastructure monitoring. Early adopters included corporate DevOps teams -- many of whom wanted to monitor applications or infrastructure running in Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform.

3 MSP Market Disruptions?

Now, some MSPs are catching on to these newer-age tools. And formalized partner programs are emerging. I suspect November, in particular, could represent a tipping point of sorts for all three companies. Here's why:

1. AppDynamics Makes Its Move: The APM company is set to host a major customer conference -- AppSphere  2016 -- in mid-November. Many of the anticipated case studies involve end-customers. But keep an eye on Matthew Polly, VP of worldwide alliances and business development. He's savvy to the MSP ecosystem. It's a safe bet the conference will involve partner surprises.

2. Datadog Extends Into APM: During a meeting with ChannelE2E earlier today, Datadog described a growing number of MSP and channel engagements. The company also is expanding from cloud infrastructure monitoring toward APM capabilities, which are in beta test now.

3. New Relic Extends Into Infrastructure Monitoring: New Relic also is set to host a major customer conference in November. It will include a partner day. Already popular in the APM sector, New Relic is preparing infrastructure monitoring as well.

Will RMM Providers Respond?

Admittedly, AppDynamics, Datadog and New Relic don't really compete with traditional RMM tools that MSPs use for small business management. But over time, I expect all of these worlds to eventually collide.

Near-term, most of the RMM providers will remain obsessed with on-premises and mobile endpoint management. Why? Even though server and PC sales are slumping, millions of endpoints stick lack proper management. That remains a big opportunity for the RMM providers and their small business MSPs.

Still, many of the major RMM and PSA (professional services automation) software providers have introduced cloud management tools. So far, they're mostly focused on user management rather than performance management. Examples include:

But the offerings don't end there. I'd keep a particularly close eye on how ConnectWise LabTech blends with CloudConsole over time. Also, Kaseya Traverse, CA Technologies' Unified Infrastructure Management and SolarWinds' corporate IT software portfolio have various infrastructure, cloud, database and APM management capabilities.

Separate (But Converging) MSP Universes

For now, RMM tools and cloud monitoring options (AppDynamics, Datadog, New Relic, etc.) remain separate universes. But look around. You will definitely see MSPs in both universes. And a growing number of MSPs -- names you likely don't know yet -- are mastering and monetizing cloud monitoring.

More moves are coming. You'll see some of them in November...

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.