Live Blog: Continuum Navigate 2016

Navigate 2016, Continuum's annual gathering of MSP partners, kicks off today in Boston. Here's a live blog of all the #NAV16 activity. Check back often. We'll be updating this blog multiple times daily through Friday,  Sept. 30.

1. Continuum Growth: For those who missed this tidbit from yesterday ... It’s been five years since Summit Partners acquired Continuum, essentially freeing the company from a downward spiral at former parent Zenith Infotech. The results? Continuum now monitors more than 1 million endpoints for its 5,800 MSP partners. Those MSPs, in turn, support 60,000 SMB customers. Also of note: Continuum’s R1Soft backup platform now supports 250,000 servers worldwide. For a recap of Continuum’s journey, check out this blog.

Paul Chisholm
Paul Chisholm

2. After the Exit: Former mindSHIFT CEO Paul Chisholm is on hand for the conference. We're set to sit down with Paul within the next couple of hours. Stay tuned for an update on key learnings from the mindSHIFT business journey.

3. Beyond the NOC: Continuum operates a successful NOC (network operations center). I can't help but wonder if/when a SOC (security operations center) will also come into focus. Stay tuned...

Aptean’s Chief Revenue Officer Bob Kocis

4. Rise of the Chief Revenue Officer: Bob Kocis recently joined Continuum as Chief Revenue Officer (CRO), the latest example of the CRO trend within the MSP software market. We're set to interview Kocis later today. You know what that means: Stay tuned for updates.

5. MSP Reporting: A new Continuum Reporting API surfaced today at the company’s Navigate conference in Boston. The API allows technology partners to more deeply integrate with Continuum’s MSP platform. The net result? MSPs “can now make authenticated requests for raw reporting data to build custom reports in-house or through a third party reporting vendor.” True believers include IT Glue and BrightGauge, both are which are embracing the API. IT Glue is a fast-growing provider of MSP documentation tools. BrightGauge offers business intelligence capabilities to MSPs.

Keynote: Continuum CEO Michael George

New VeriShip CEO Michael George

6. Continuum CEO Michael George's Keynote: It's kicking off now. Keep checking back for highlights.

7. Entrepreneurs In the House: Instead of addressing attendees as MSPs, he addressed them as Entrepreneurs who "challenge conventional thinking" and want to "create value" in their businesses. We rather like the Entrepreneur reference.

8. The Modern Garage: George mentioned a range of businesses born in garages with no outside funding -- particularly the Wright Brothers. The duo had no formal education, and focused on movements in water -- an unconventional path -- to unlock He wondered how today's garages will give flight to new innovations.

9. Howard Hughes -- The Father of Recurring Revenues?: Hughes stopped selling drill bits to oil drillers in Texas, and instead leased them -- and made a fortune doing it.

10. Unconventional Wisdom in BDR: George made the case that Continuum Continuity247 will disrupt the major BDR players -- many of which lean on hardware appliances, home-grown clouds and licensing relationships. Listen closely and he essentially was referencing Datto and StorageCraft -- without mentioning them by name. He suggested BDR players in the licensing, appliance and home-grown cloud camps will wind up competing against other in no-win wars. In contrast, Continuity247 lives on public clouds. He asserted: "Continuity247 is the Tesla of the BDR business."

11. Continuum's Business Model: When Summit Partners acquired Continuum five years ago, the company focused on talent, locality and ubiquity. Indeed, Continuum essentially became a virtual talent pool for MSPs. It allowed MSPs to stay local instead of giving way to faceless cloud companies.

12. Millennials: Amid some of the negative stereotypes, George pointed out the upsides: Millennials are the best educated, most traveled, most socially responsible generation -- ever. "They're engaged in high-value activities. And there's an undisputed fact: It's the most technically astute generation of all time. They are putting extraordinary demands on the IT workplace."

13. Continuum's Own Security Hole: George described a hack from a few weeks ago that involved old code from the company's former owner. The company initially was concerned that the exploit may have compromised the company's network or RMM tools. A third-party forensics team discovered no such activity. George personally apologized for the incident. And he thanked numerous partners for their outreach during the issue.

14. New Continuum Priorities on Security: George mentioned three priorities...

  • Protect our partners and ourselves
  • Develop and practice a response
  • Enable our partners to capitalize on security.

15. Forthcoming security technology: Continuum plans to build and/or leverage new security software tools and is building out a Security Operations Center (SOC) that further help partners to protect and monetize their customer bases.

16. What Do You Want to Be?: To be an attractive buyout target, you're gonna need to be aligned with the new world order -- security, vertical market expertise, telephony and office equipment, scale and immediacy. You don't have to be an expert everywhere, but you'll need to partner accordingly, he said. Continuum says its services will help MSPs to look big and scale big.

More Updates

17. New Continuum Chief Revenue Officer: Here's what you need to know about him.

18. BDR Competition: Read between the lines and Continuum is seeking to counter Datto in BDR.

More to Come: Check this blog entry multiple times through Friday, Sept. 30 for minute-by-minute updates.

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.