Channel technologies, IT management, MSP

PacketTrap RMM Veterans Launch NinjaMSP

At first glance, the RMM (remote monitoring and management) software market is saturated with entrenched rivals and niche upstarts. But NinjaMSP -- launched by PacketTrap veterans -- has already signed up 200 managed services providers (MSPs) for its aptly named Dojo Program. So what makes NinjaMSP unique in the crowded RMM software market?

First, a little background. Before launching NinjaMSP, several team members were involved with PacketTrap -- an RMM provider that Quest Software acquired in 2009. Another acquisition, involving BlueFolder, extended PacketTrap into the PSA (professional services automation) market in 2012. The PacketTrap business had a loyal MSP following. But life changed a bit (or more...) when Dell acquired PacketTrap parent Quest Software in late 2012. Alas, Dell killed PacketTrap in 2013 because the MSP software niche wasn't big enough to feed Michael Dell's lofty enterprise goals.

Return of the Ninjas

Salvatore Sferlazza
Salvatore Sferlazza

Fast forward to the present, and some of those PacketTrap veterans are back for an encore. Among the names to know:

  • NinjaMSP Chairman Salvatore Sferlazza. He previously was CTO at SonicWall and PacketTrap. Sferlazza also was a founder and lead investor in AnchorWorks, the channel-centric file sync and sharing company that eFolder now owns.
  • Co-founder and VP of Sales Eric Herrera, an Anchor and eFolder veteran.
  • Co-founder Ajmer 'AJ' Singh, a veteran of Convergys, Orange, Calix and Dell.
  • Director of Business Development Armando Najera, previously of GFI Software.
  • PacketTrap, Quest and Dell marketing veteran Elisabeth Buford also is involved in the company.

NinjaMSP has worked mostly in stealth mode since November 2013 or so, but the company yesterday issued its first public statement about the business. Among the key takeaways:

  • Key Features: Ninja RMM is "a full-blown SAAS product with patch management, antivirus, alerting, policy management and scripting." Features include agentless cloud monitoring, deep network management, traffic analysis and more, the company says.
  • Revenue Model: The company does not have long-term contracts. It's pay as you go, with MSPs able to opt out at any time. Also, Ninja's account executive sales team does not earn commissions. The company claims that means Ninja is aligned with long-term MSP success, rather than short-term sales quotas.
  • Partnerships : Ninja has partnerships with Dell, TeamViewer, StorageCraft, ThreatTrack and eFolder.

Network RMM and APM

It's a safe bet NinjaMSP will have particularly strong network-layer monitoring and management capabilities -- which was one of PacketTrap's strengths in its heyday.

Still, the market is flooded with RMM offerings. Startups such as Auvik Networks also focus at the network layer, while most of the entrenched players are introducing network-type capabilities.

Larger customers and big service providers also are shifting some of their RMM attention toward APM -- application performance management. There, key players like AppDynamics and New Relic are redefining how large service providers can monitor, manage and optimize cloud and on-premises applications.

Of course, NinjaMSP isn't standing still. The company hints that a dozen or so product integrations are coming in 2016.

ChannelE2E is in touch with a NinjaMSP source or two, and we hope to offer more insights about the company soon. Oh, and one more thing: The old PacketTrap PSA team (not to be confused with the RMM team) appears to be back together at BlueFolder...

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.