Fast-growing Liongard doesn't quite fit into established MSP software categories like RMM (remote monitoring and management) or network management. Instead, Liongard appears to be defining its own market segment -- basically, an IT automation system that allows MSPs to standardize, secure and scale their companies, the software provider says.
But how is Liongard's strategy unique from so many MSP-focused automation tools on the market today? During my hunt for answers, Liongard CEO Joe Alapat shared some perspectives with ChannelE2E in October 2020. From there, I spoke with a few MSP sources on background. I poked around the Liongard partner ecosystem in an attempt to determine if the company was nearing some sort of "mass adoption" tipping point -- the way multiple RMM software vendors had done a decade or so ago.
Gradually, a framework for this article emerged. Check in with Liongard's integration partners and you can get a pretty good feel for MSP adoption rates. Without revealing my math, I think it's safe to say that monthly Liongard deployments in North America are currently growing around as quickly as RMM vendors saw their monthly software deployments grow in the 2009 through 2014 timeframe or so -- and that's pretty darn fast.
Read between the lines, and anecdotal evidence suggests Liongard has reached a North American tipping point, with international expansion set to accelerate in 2021, ChannelE2E believes.
But why have MSPs increasingly embraced Liongard's software?
Liongard: The Timeline
To understand Liongard's current momentum with MSPs, it's helpful to retrace the company's history.
Liongard CEO Joe Alapat and COO Vincent Tran -- veterans of the MSP ecosystem -- co-founded the software company in 2015.
Liongard started with a security mindset. But early customers ultimately told Liongard that the company's software solved a killer problem -- namely, visibility. Indeed, Liongard's software provided visibility into all customer systems and configurations that MSPs managed. Moreover, all of that visibility surfaced in one unified Liongard dashboard, Alapat notes.
The "visibility" message caught on, and multiple MSP software and technology industry veterans had joined Liongard by early 2020. Fast forward to May 2020, and Liongard raised $17 million in Series B funding led by Updata Partners.
Liongard: How MSPs Gain Visibility
Admittedly, I'm sometimes skeptical of data gathering and "visibility." Why's that? Because too much visibility can be overwhelming. Everyone reading this article has suffered from too much visibility at one point or another -- too many emails, too many security alerts, too many data points, too many reports.
Still, Liongard appears to deliver the right visibility to the right audience -- through:
- Platform integrations with BrightGauge, ConnectWise Manage, Datto Autotask PSA, GoDaddy, IT Glue, Passportal and more. (ServiceNow support is coming soon.)
- Cloud inspectors that document, inspect and track information from Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft (Azure, Azure Active Directory and 365), Cisco Umbrella, Google Workplace (formerly G-Suite), GoDaddy, JumpCloud, Slack and more.
- Network inspectors that pull information from Auvik, Barracuda firewalls, Cisco (ASA, iOS and Meraki), Fortinet Fortigate, HPE ProCurve, Juniper Junos, Palo Alto Networks firewalls & more.
- Application and services inspectors across Active Directory, Bitdefender, Datto BCDR, Cisco Duo, Microsoft Hyper-V, Sophos, SQL Server, Veeam, VMware, Webroot and more.
- And endpoint inspectors that work with RMM tools such as Addigy, Kaseya VSA and SolarWinds MSP, and operating systems such as Linux and Windows.
PS: Additional RMM and security inspectors are coming soon. Stay tuned for updates.
Liongard: Use Cases
All of that data gathering and visibility has led to at least six use cases for MSPs, Alapat says. They include:
- Customer Onboarding that's accelerated through automated documentation.
- Change Management visibility that allows MSP to track when, where and what changes were made to a system.
- Custom IT Alerts known as Custom Actionable Alerts.
- Security and Compliance capabilities that allow MSPs to assess user privileges, network policies and other settings.
- Sales Assessments to identify customer upgrade needs, users and license consumption, and more.
- Reporting for specific applications, users, network infrastructure, and customer environments.
Liongard: Next Moves
Next up, Liongard is expanding up-market and internationally. The up-market move includes forthcoming support for ServiceNow, which is quickly emerging as an IT service management (ITSM) standard in large enterprises. Similarly, large IT service providers and big MSPs leverage ServiceNow to offer co-managed services into those enterprises.
The international expansion, meanwhile, will likely involve channel relationships with key distributors and cloud solutions providers that focus on MSPs. Liongard Director of Worldwide Channel and Alliances Casey Higgins is driving the effort. Relationships with Pax8 and D&H North America are already in place. Recent additions include Infinigate's acmeo in the Dach region, BeMSP in France, TechnologyToGo in the UK, Nestec in Central Europe, and BlueChip in Australia. "All the relationships are adding up to something bigger," Alapat says.
So how fast is Liongard growing? The privately held company doesn't disclose revenue or net income figures. But the company was Houston's fastest-growing business in 2019, based on two-year revenue growth of more than 8,000 percent.
Bottom line? The Liongard tipping point apparently has arrived...