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Salesforce Invests In Tanium, Counters ServiceNow: Help Desk, RMM Cloud War?

Salesforce's venture capital arm has invested in Tanium, which develops a unified endpoint management (UEM) and security platform that competes in some ways with MSP-centric RMM (remote monitoring and management) software providers. The Salesforce investment values Tanium at $9 billion.

The Salesforce investment has multiple implications, according to ChannelE2E, including:

  • Positioning Salesforce to potentially compete against ServiceNow and SolarWinds Service Desk in the IT service management (ITSM) and help desk software sectors;
  • extending Salesforce into endpoint monitoring and security; and
  • setting the stage for PSA (professional services automation), RMM, help desk and CRM capabilities to live together on the Salesforce cloud platform.

Side notes from ChannelE2E:

Salesforce and Tanium: Joint Solution Capabilities

A joint employee service management solution from Salesforce and Tanium is expected to surface in November 2020. According to Salesforce, the new solution will feature:

  • a help desk that gives employees a one-stop shop to self-serve, submit, track and resolve service requests or incidents;
  • a service dashboard for IT managers to view all their assets, configurations and employee incidents in one central location;
  • the ability for IT to build workflows using the Salesforce platform to further automate common tasks;
  • AI recommendations, powered by Einstein, that will prioritize incidents and recommend actions for IT managers to take; and
  • secure endpoint management capabilities for IT to monitor, collect data and take action on endpoints in near real-time, from directly within their dashboard.

Read between the lines and it's clear Salesforce is targeting ServiceNow, though it's unclear whether the Salesforce-Tanium push will come down-market to assist MSPs in the SMB sector.

Tanium: Already Works With MSPs, MSSPs

Separate from Salesforce, Tanium already has a fast-growing partner program with no tiers and no fees. The program spans systems integrators, cloud providers, technology alliance partners, MSPs and MSSP (managed security services providers). Key partnerships and relationships that surfaced or expanded in 2019 spanned Google Chronicle, Cisco Systems, Cloudflare, vArmour, PwC, and Verizon, among many others.

Tanium's revenue for fiscal year 2019 was $430 million, up 50 percent year over year. The company had double-digit adjusted EBITDA and operating cash flow margins, Tanium disclosed in March 2020.

How Tanium's Cloud Software Serves MSPs

Ahead of the product buildout with Salesforce, Tanium's established unified endpoint management platform (UEM) and unified endpoint security (UES) platform supports end user, server and cloud endpoints. Key capabilities include:

  • Asset discovery and inventory;
  • Software management;
  • Performance monitoring;
  • Patch management;
  • Configuration management;
  • Endpoint detection and response;
  • Endpoint protection;
  • Data risk and privacy; and
  • Vulnerability management.

Apple Acquires RMM Software Provider

This is the second major RMM-related investment from a technology giant within the last two days. The other involved Apple acquiring Fleetsmith to help partners and enterprise customers remotely manage Mac, iPad and iPhone devices running macOS or iOS.

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.