Mergers and Acquisitions, MSP, Content, Private equity, Sales and marketing

Continuum Acquires BrightGauge: Business Intelligence for MSPs

Continuum has acquired BrightGauge, a business intelligence platform that roughly 1,800 MSPs (managed services providers) leverage, the companies have confirmed.

New VeriShip CEO Michael George
Continuum CEO Michael George

The two companies have worked together for several years, but Continuum made the acquisition now because BrightGauge has reached a critical mass of partners, and the company has a best-of-breed BI platform for measuring MSP performance, Continuum CEO Michael George tells ChannelE2E. "We let the market vote," George quips. "And the market voted that this is the BI tool of choice for MSPs."

At first glance, this is a nifty little tuck-in deal involving roughly 30 BrightGauge employees. But take a closer look, and you'll find that the deal is strategic for both Continuum and the broader MSP partner ecosystem.

Generally speaking, most successful MSPs have a decent handle on quarterly business reviews (QBRs) and associated reporting tools for customers. But those same MSPs often aren't very good at measuring their own business performance, profitability on a per-customer basis, and other KPIs (key performance indicators).

BrightGauge: Business Intelligence for MSPs

Eric & Brian Dosal

That's where BrightGauge enters the picture. The company was founded in 2011 by the Dosal family of Florida. The serial entrepreneurs, located near Miami, have built multiple MSP-centric and software-oriented businesses. That hands-on, in-the-trenches MSP experience allowed the Dosals to truly understand the KPIs that MSP owners need to measure.

"MSPs have plenty of data; in fact, they're drowning in data," George asserts. "But BrightGauge will provide Continuum partners with visibility into metrics that matter." The dashboards allow MSPs to discover where their businesses are potentially constrained; what's profitable; what isn't; and where to potentially invest for growth, he adds.

Among the other big benefits: BrightGauge integrates with major MSP software platforms, allowing users to gather data from existing systems for BI analysis.

Although I don't know of absolutely head-on BrightGauge rivals, there certainly are other BI-oriented tools for MSPs in the market -- most notably, MSPCFO.

Continuum: Global Reach

The BrightGauge team will remain in Florida, while Continuum is headquartered in Boston and has offices worldwide. Continuum has extensive experience acquiring and managing software and technology teams in new locations. Earlier deals included Carvir (managed security) in Atlanta and R1Soft (backup and disaster recovery) in Houston.

George has vowed to ensure BrightGauge's technology maintains its open, third-party, cross-platform integrations. The Dosals, meanwhile, sound like they've got their hands full with additional startups along with their Compuquip Cybersecurity business.

MSP Software Company Acquisitions

This is the latest in a growing list of MSP-centric software company acquisitions. Among the moves that Continuum and its key rivals have made in recent months:

Datto, meanwhile, spent most of 2018 digesting the Autotask acquisition. The company is gearing up to name a new CEO to succeed founder Austin McChord, and we'll be watching to see if or when Datto-driven acquisitions will resume. (Updated January 8, 2019, noon ET: Datto has named a new CEO.)

Back at Continuum, the company's software and services portfolio for MSPs now spans RMM, data protection, help desk, NOC, security operations center (SOC), and broader cybersecurity services. Oh, and business intelligence software specifically designed for MSPs.

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.