Content, Channel markets, MSP

SolarWinds MSP Platform Expansion Emphasizes Managed Security, User Experience Services

John Pagliuca, president, SolarWinds MSP
SolarWinds MSP GM John Pagliuca

How can MSPs take classic RMM (remote monitoring and management) services, and layer in new capabilities that improve customer experiences while safeguarding SMB data? SolarWinds MSP believes it has the answers.

In addition to ongoing RMM software enhancements, the company has focused on these areas in recent months:

  • Threat Management: Acquired Trusted Metrics to bolster threat management and SOC opportunities for MSPs.
  • Risk Intelligence: Introduced Expanded Data Breach Risk Scan (ExDBRS), helping service providers to discover and identify risks from security vulnerabilities stored on endpoint devices.
  • MSP Business Management and User Experience: Launched N-central 12.0 with deeper PSA application integration, enhanced patch management, and support for NetPath. The NetPath capabilities set the stage for MSPs to improve end-customer user experiences.
  • MSP Education and Benchmarking: Introduced business-oriented education services and tools -- including  MSP Institute (a playbook for MSPs that features business, sales, marketing, and technical tracks) and the MSP Pulse benchmarking tool (developed in partnership with The 2112 Group).

Those efforts are designed to empower all SolarWinds MSP partners -- not just high-end service providers -- with managed security and customer experience capabilities, according to GM John Pagliuca.

Trusted Metrics: SIEM, SOC and Threat Management for MSPs

The vast majority of SMB-focused MSPs can't afford to build full-blown security operations centers (SOCs) staffed by numerous 24x7 threat analysts. Instead, the MSP market needs simplified tools that offer enterprise-class capabilities at SMB-oriented price points. With those variables in mind, SolarWinds MSP acquired Trusted Metrics earlier this month, Pagliuca tells ChannelE2E.

The No. 1 reason customers churn from one MSP to another is security, Pagliuca asserts. Trusted Metrics offers a simple, powerful, affordable way for MSPs to address security and drive down that churn, he adds. It's a true SaaS, multi-tenant offering -- with N-central and SolarWinds MSP RMM integrations on the way, he vowed.

Even before those integrations arrive, Trusted Metrics has value for MSPs -- because partners crave SIEM (security information and event management) type capabilities designed for their needs, he adds.

No doubt, the Trusted Metrics acquisition turned heads across the MSP and MSSP ecosystem. A story about that deal was the most-read item on MSSP Alert for the month of July.

SolarWinds MSP & NetPath: Bolstering Customer and User Experiences

SolarWinds also continues to extend its broader software portfolio from its traditional midmarket focus (for IT pros) toward the MSP ecosystem. A key example involves NetPath -- a software tool that helps IT pros and now MSPs troubleshoot network performance issues, application response times, and node performance for on-premises, hybrid, and cloud environments, the company says.

When a problem is found, NetPath presents relevant network statistics and contact information for the affected node, allowing MSPs to alert internal teams or peer providers to help get the impacted service optimized or restored, SolarWinds MSP says.

NetPath already integrates with SolarWinds RMM. More recently, an integration with N-central 12.0 arrived.

SolarWinds MSP: Next Moves

Those offerings and more will surface at the next Empower MSP 2018 conference, which SolarWinds MSP has scheduled for September in Arizona.

No doubt, competition from traditional rivals (names like ConnectWise, Continuum, Datto and Kaseya) remains intense. Plus, a range of PSA and RMM upstarts are pushing hard in the MSP market.

Still, it sounds like SolarWinds' shift toward SaaS-centric tools for MSPs and IT pros is performing well. In fact, chatter about a potential IPO surfaced last month. The potential move comes roughly two years after private equity firms Thoma Bravo and Silver Lake Partners acquired SolarWinds from public markets for about $4.5 billion.

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.