Auvik, which develops cloud-based network management software for MSPs and IT departments, has hired Douglas Murray to succeed co-founder Marc Morin as CEO.
We don't know Murray's management style and how it compares and contrasts to that of Morin. But it's a safe bet there will be an adjustment period for Auvik's employees.
Indeed, Morin c0-founded the business with Alex Hoff and David Yach in 2011. Unlike some high-profile industry CEOs who command stage time, spotlights and microphones at industry conferences, Morin quietly and effectively built Auvik into a successful software business. Moreover, Auvik in some ways achieved executive diversity long before many technology companies focused on the issue.
Auvik: New Ownership, Recent Acquisitions
Still, I do think Auvik ran into some growth challenges from time to time (just a hunch). During the early years, Auvik focused purely on MSPs. But in recent years, the company expanded its focus to include corporate IT departments.
Now, the Auvik CEO transition comes at a key time for the company and its MSP partners. Indeed, private equity firm Great Hill Partners acquired a majority strake in Auvik in July 2021. Auvik has also been on the acquisition trail. Key M&A deals include:
Auvik Software Capabilities: Expanding Amid CEO Transition
Roll those deals together, and the Auvik platform "will soon allow managed service providers (MSPs) and IT teams to deliver exceptional end-user experience regardless of location, device, or applications deployed," the company asserts.
In some ways, the software may also compete against Augmentt and SaaS Alerts — two startups that offer SaaS application security solutions to MSPs. The acquisitions may position Auvik to compete more directly against entrenched endpoint management and RMM (remote monitoring and management) software tools from ConnectWise, Kaseya (owner of Datto), N-able, NinjaOne, and upstarts such as Atera and Syncro.
Still, we don't know if Auvik is truly heading into those rival markets -- or if the company is seeking out blue ocean opportunities.
New Auvik CEO Douglas Murray: Who Is He?
New CEO Douglas Murray arrives with a reputation for scaling technology companies through multiple business stages. He previously led multi-cloud network security company Valtix -- which raised $26.5 million as of January 2021, though we don't know the company's overall business performance. Earlier, he was CEO of Big Switch Networks, which Arista Networks acquired in 2020. Also, he was senior VP and GM of Juniper Networks' $1 billion Asia-Pacific and Japan business.
In a prepared statement about joining Auvik, Murray said:
“I am thrilled to join Auvik during a time with so much opportunity. It is clear that the team is aligned with its 3,500 customers to provide unrivaled, easy to use solutions. The company has already seen success following its growth investment from Great Hill Partners and, with its most recent acquisitions, Auvik is poised to take the company to the next level. My thanks to Marc for leading Auvik from incubation to scale over the last decade.”
Added Morin, who will remain on Auvik's board:
“As a co-founder, I will always be Auvik’s biggest champion and I could not think of a better person than Doug to lead the company through its next phase of explosive growth. His extensive industry experience, specifically in the multi-cloud Software Defined Networking and network observability space, is exactly what Auvik needs to push forward into its next chapter and become the ultimate network management platform. I have no doubt that Auvik will experience tremendous growth and accelerated innovation with Doug at the helm.”
Concluded Drew Loucks, a managing director at Great Hill Partners:
“Doug’s background gives him a keen understanding of how the industry has changed over the past few years, as well as how Auvik can evolve to meet the market's changing needs. Our investment last year is testament to the potential we see in Auvik, and Doug’s experience will be instrumental in architecting the company’s continued growth. Through international expansion, product development and other strategic initiatives, we’re confident Doug will help make Auvik the world’s dominant IT network monitoring and management platform, building on Marc’s many contributions and leadership.”
Great Hill Partners: Private Equity Firm Understands MSP Market
Auvik's majority owner, Great Hill Partners, has experience investing in and around the MSP technology market. The private equity firm’s noteworthy investments have included: