Content, Business continuity, IT management, MSP, Private equity, Storage

MSP Software, Technology Platforms: Here’s What’s Next

SolarWinds MSP's latest quarterly financial results, revealed yesterday, provide key metrics to help rivals plan and measure their next business moves.

Among the potential MSP software and technology market developments we're tracking, sorted alphabetically:

BJ Jenkins, formerly CEO, Barracuda Networks
BJ Jenkins, CEO, Barracuda

1. Backup and Disaster Recovery?: Multiple BDR software providers are up for sale. Some of them could be potential tuck-in targets for MSP platform providers -- though we don't sense such a deal will happen. Arcserve is reportedly in play. Also, StorageCraft is rumored to be exploring a potential sale. Meanwhile, OpenText sees four opportunities for its recent Carbonite-Webroot acquisition. And MSP-friendly players like Axcient are watching the competitive landscape closely. We'll share more details about the various competitive BDR posturing soon.

2. Barracuda MSP?: Don't overlook Barracuda MSP's expansion from security and storage into MSP business management and automation tools. We'll pursue more details at the RSA Conference later this month.

3. ConnectWise Roadmap?: ConnectWise is digesting the Continuum acquisition of late 2019. Rumors about the company potentially acquiring ConnectBooster have swirled in recent weeks. The deal, if consummated, will help MSPs set up automated billing and further automate recurring revenue. But again, we stress: The deal is just a rumor that we haven't confirmed. Longer term, watch for a potential ConnectWise roadmap or technology alignment details to surface during the company's IT Nation Explore 2020 conference in June.

Fred Voccola, CEO, Kaseya
Michael Gold, CEO, Intermedia

Tim Weller, CEO, Datto
Jason Magee, CEO, ConnectWise

4. Datto IPO?: Rumors continue about Datto pursuing a potential IPO in the first half of 2020. The effort includes hiring team members who have SEC filing experience. The IPO chatter could pave the way for Datto's stock to be publicly traded -- or perhaps even attract suitors to buy the business ahead of the proposed IPO, ChannelE2E believes.

5. Intermedia and UCaaS for MSPs?: The Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) platform provider has a strong MSP base, and closely attended Continuum's partner conferences in fall 2019. It sort of makes me wonder: Will Intermedia be a potential buyer or seller in the MSP platform market, perhaps combining UCaaS with one of the major MSP technology platform providers? None of the major MSP platform providers currently owns a UCaaS offering...

6. Kaseya IPO?: Kaseya recently disclosed a $2 billion valuation, and CEO Fred Voccola says the company will be public by Q2 of 2021, according to CRN's UK arm. I've speculated (repeat: speculated) that Kaseya could ultimately be acquired rather than go public, but I don't have any firm information about potential suitors. In the meantime, Kaseya has considerable momentum in the compliance market, and the company is developing key workflow automations between its tools. We'll share more details about those efforts soon.

7. M&A Deals?: Ahem... we've tracked more than 90 M&A deals so far in 2020. Track them all and search them all here.

8. MSP Security?: Amid all the competitive positioning, the overall MSP technology and partner market still needs to improve its security and risk management posture. Without continued improvements, the MSP industry risks facing new government regulations, executives such as ConnectWise founder Arnie Bellini and Datto CISO Ryan Weeks have repeatedly and firmly predicted.

Ryan Weeks, CISO, Datto
Kevin Thompson, CEO, SolarWinds

9. Private Equity?: Firms such as Insight Partners, Summit Partners, Thoma Bravo, and Vista Equity Partners are scouring the MSP technology market for more acquisition targets. Stay tuned for updates... perhaps from RSA Conference.

10. SolarWinds MSP?: During yesterday's earnings call, SolarWinds CEO Kevin Thompson shared key revenue milestones that pointed to strong MSP retention -- and a new IT service management (ITSM) opportunity vs. ServiceNow. SolarWinds expects to grow its MSP-focused subscription revenue 20 percent for the foreseeable future. Surely, rivals took note of that metric...

11. Up-and-Comers?: Key upstarts such Auvik Networks, Liongard, NinjaRMM and Huntress Labs have gained considerable traction with MSPs in specific sectors of the market. I suspect at least two of those companies will raise new funding in the weeks or months ahead. Stay tuned. Updated February 18, 2020: Huntress Labs has disclosed Series A funding.

12. PS: I had dinner with ConnectWise CEO Jason Magee last week while I was in Tampa, Florida, and attending Perch Security's PerchyCon 2020 conference (a great MSP security gathering). Magee and I didn't discuss any of the above items. But yada, yada, yada... it was a great conversation.

Stay tuned.

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.