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Channel Brief: N-able Explores a Sale, CrowdStrike Expands Partnerships

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Good morning, folks! Happy Thursday!

The big news this morning involves rumors that N-able is exploring a sale after attracting acquisition interest. Reuters reported that 'sources familiar with the matter' said N-able is looking at Barracuda Networks as a potential suitor.

In other news, Kyndryl is accused of discriminating against employees, CrowdStrike keeps expanding its partnerships and integrations, authentication firm Token announced two new executives and SolarWinds adds even more AI capabilities to its ITSM solution.

Grab your coffee. Here’s what you need to know today.

Today’s Tech, Channel and MSP News

1. N-able for Sale? Software firm N-able may be exploring a sale, according to Reuters, which cited 'people familiar with the matter' as their source. N-able has a market value of about $2.5 billion, according to Reuters, and is exploring a sale after attracting acquisition interest. The Burlington, Massachusetts-based company, which counts two private equity firms - Silver Lake and Thoma Bravo - as major investors, is running a sale process in which peers in the software sector and private equity firms are participating, the sources said. One of its suitors is cybersecurity company Barracuda Networks, which is owned by buyout firm KKR, the sources added, cautioning that no deal is certain and asking not to be identified because the matter is confidential. N-Able was spun out in 2021 from management software firm SolarWinds which was acquired by Silver Lake and Thoma Bravo for $4.5 billion in 2016. The two buyout firms now own about a third of N-Able each. KKR acquired Barracuda from Thoma Bravo for about $4 billion in 2022. Silver Lake, N-Able, and KKR declined to comment. Thoma Bravo and Barracuda did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

2. Token Adds New Leadership: Authentication solutions provider Token announced the appointment of Robert Osterwise as chief technology officer (CTO) and Tim Tonges as chief revenue officer (CRO). Osterwise and Tonges join Token’s executive leadership team and will report to CEO John Gunn. As CTO, Osterwise is responsible for advancing Token’s technology vision. He brings deep expertise across multiple areas including circuit design, firmware, and application development. Most recently, Osterwise held the role of vice president advanced technology, head of IoT, digital innovation, emerging technologies at Stanley Black & Decker. Prior to that role, Osterwise was technical director at AT&T and held senior technology roles at Giesecke & Devrient. As CRO, Tonges is responsible for Token’s sales strategy, revenue growth, and global expansion of the sales organization. Tonges brings more than 20 years of sales leadership experience with technology and cybersecurity solutions at leading companies including FusionStorm, Bell Microproducts, and Pomeroy. He has a history of driving triple-digit growth and establishing category leadership. Congrats!

3. CrowdStrike Partnerships: CrowdStrike and eSentire, a managed detection and response (MDR) provider, are expanding their partnership to integrate threat intelligence and power eSentire’s 24/7 managed security operations with the CrowdStrike Falcon cybersecurity platform. In the expanded partnership, eSentire will leverage CrowdStrike to take over protection of global Carbon Black accounts, while CrowdStrike gains access to eSentire’s award-winning MDR. And CrowdStrike also announced a Nordic expansion of its European distribution relationship with Ignition Technology to bring the AI-native CrowdStrike Falcon cybersecurity platform to Ignition’s Nordic partner base. Ignition’s partner network in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland will gain access to the Falcon platform to drive vendor consolidation and stop breaches.

4. Kyndryl Accused of Discrimination: The Register reported that IBM spinoff Kyndryl is accused by multiple employees within its CISO Defense security group of discrimination on the basis of age, race, and disability, in both internal complaints and formal charges filed with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Yikes. The Register said it reviewed documents supporting allegations that include discrimination and retaliation against staff, who were laid off, moved or demoted for taking short-term disability, for being from India or non-white, and for other alleged unfair reasons. The EEOC is investigating, The Register said.

5. SolarWinds AI Engine and Ethical Framework: Last week, SolarWinds launched its SolarWinds AI engine developed using the company’s newly unveiled AI by Design framework to help ensure privacy, security, and reliability in developing advanced AI technologies. SolarWinds AI debuts in SolarWinds Service Desk, the company’s IT service management (ITSM) solution. SolarWinds AI powers a new generative AI feature in Service Desk, designed to supercharge agent workflows and reduce incident resolution time to minutes rather than hours or days, according to SolarWinds. Powered by large language models (LLMs) and proprietary algorithms, SolarWinds AI in Service Desk instantly summarizes complex ticket histories, provides suggested agent responses to inquiries, and generates real-time recommended steps for resolving issues, according to SolarWinds. The company also plans to introduce SolarWinds AI throughout its suite of observability and IT management solutions.

6. Hurry Up, Cloud MSPs! Submit Your Survey to Our Top Cloud MSPs List - Every year that I’ve worked on an MSP ranked list, I’ve blasted out the deadlines and written blog posts and sent emails telling people over and over that the deadline is close. And once the window closes to submit your MSP, there are always a handful of companies that beg me to reopen the survey so they can submit their companies. Somehow they missed all the messages. Don’t let this be you! Our Top 250 Public Cloud MSPs survey is open now, but it closes in June. Don’t wait until the last minute. Get it done and check it off your list today so you don’t miss the deadline. If your MSP practice includes working with a cloud provider, this survey is for you. Here’s the link to participate. Participation is free. The survey closes in June. Submit your MSP here for recognition today! And if you want to check our lists from previous years, you can find them here.

In-Person MSP and Channel Partner Events

  1. IT Nation Secure, (hosted by ConnectWise) - June 3-5, 2024, Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center, Orlando, Florida
  2. Pax8 Beyond - June 9-11, 2024, Gaylord Rockies Convention Center, Denver, Colorado
  3. Splunk .conf24 - June 11-14, Venetian, Las Vegas
  4. FLOW Automation Conference (hosted by Rewst) - June 17-19, The Renaissance Tampa International Plaza Hotel, Tampa, Florida
  5. CompTIA ChannelCon - July 30 - August 1, 2024, Atlanta, Georgia, Hyatt Regency Atlanta
  6. MSSP Alert Live, October 14-16, Austin, Texas