Networking, MSP, Security Staff Acquisition & Development

SolarWinds MSP, LogicNow Veteran Alistair Forbes Joins Auvik Board


Auvik Networks has recruited SolarWinds MSP, LogicNow and GFI Software veteran Alistair Forbes to the company's board. Auvik, which specializes in network-centric RMM (remote monitoring and management) software, has been in growth mode. Revenues are growing fast, and business relationships with names like ConnectWise and Continuum are in place.

Translation: Many MSPs are using two or more RMM tools to manage everything from PCs and servers to cloud and network infrastructure (that's where Auvik enters the conversation -- at least so far).

Forbes is a key addition to Auvik's board. He previously built and sold HoundDog Technology, an RMM company that GFI Software acquired in 2009. GFI transformed that business into LogicNow, which Forbes helped to grow significantly. Fast forward to 2016, and SolarWinds acquired LogicNow. There again, Forbes was instrumental in the deal.

So how will Forbes assist Auvik, and where is Auvik heading next? We reached out to Auvik CEO Marc Morin and Forbes for their perspectives via email. Here's the digital conversation.

ChannelE2E: Alistair, how long have you been in touch with Auvik and what attracted you to Auvik’s board?

LinkedIn: HarmonyPSA Chairman Alistair Forbes
Alistair Forbes

Forbes: I first spoke with Marc at Auvik earlier this year. I was attracted by the fact that Auvik has one of the new generation of MSP tools that was designed in the age of cloud services and hybrid IT. Most of the major players have solutions that were designed 10 to 15 years ago and while they are very powerful and capable solutions they are weak in the areas in which Auvik is strong, so I see a great opportunity to complement those solutions.

I met with the team at Auvik a few weeks ago and I got a great feel for the opportunity and the excitement in the business. Marc has assembled a very capable team. It reminds me very much of the feel of my experience with HoundDog and GFI in the early days when we were doing things differently from the solutions that were already in the market. We were offering a new kind of solution to MSPs that addressed their needs in a way that fitted with the changes they were seeing in technology and in  their markets—I get the same sense with Auvik.

ChannelE2E: How involved will you be in the company? What do you see as your core role?

ForbesMy primary role will be as a board member, bringing to bear my experience of the market, MSPs and their needs, and in scaling a business worldwide. That will include the company’s strategy for international expansion, its product directions, and its partnerships and alliances. I will be working both with both the board and Marc’s executive team in doing that and I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to re-engage with both old and new contacts in the MSP space. 

ChannelE2E: How is this similar and/or different from your earlier experience at HoundDog, LogicNow and SolarWinds MSP?

Forbes: As I mentioned above, there are certainly similarities in that I get the same feeling of energy and potential that we felt in the early days. The company is at a great stage in which it is tight-knit and fast-moving, and that’s exciting to be a part of. The other side of that is that there are a lot of things that still need to be developed, lessons that we learned as we grew from a tiny upstart to a global leader and I aim to bring that experience to bear with Auvik. The landscape has changed a lot in the last 10 years so there are certainly things that will be different.

Auvik’s solution is complementary to the mainstream RMM tools so it will be a different approach for that reason as well. In the early days of HoundDog and GFI, there were many more MSPs that had no tools in place at all. Most now have both an RMM and a PSA solution in place so there is less completely green field opportunity than there was back then. But Auvik’s product plugs an important gap for MSPs so I see the opportunity for the company to be very successful with both established MSPs and the new generation of MSPs that we have seen emerge over the last 4 to 5 years. 

ChannelE2E: Will you consider going full-time with Auvik?

Forbes: No, I have no plans to go full-time, much as I admire the business. Since leaving LOGICnow/SolarWinds I have been talking with a number of businesses both in the MSP space and elsewhere, and I will be working with a number of companies in a variety of roles. My level of involvement with Auvik is deliberately intended to be flexible, letting us scale it up and down as the needs of the business dictate—but no plans to join full-time. 

Auvik Networks CEO Marc Morin: The Update

ChannelE2E: Marc, what's Alistair’s role on the board?

Auvik CEO Marc Morin

Morin: Alistair is our first independent board member and will bring his deep and long history of dealing with the channel and MSP market to help shape Auvik's growth strategies.

ChannelE2E: How many people are on your board, and are all board seats currently occupied? If you’re seeking more board members, what type of experience do you want?

Morin: We still have a board that consists primarily of founders and VC investor directors, plus now an independent. We expect that structure to remain constant over the next year or so.

ChannelE2E: We spoke a year or more ago about potential Auvik funding. Have you raised any money or are you bootstrapping?

Morin: Auvik is pressing hard to provide the channel/MSP market with a great network management tool to support their managed network services. With our great reception by the market, our investors have been very supportive of our initiatives.

Our revenue has grown very impressively and we expect to sustain our future growth from internal cashflows. We think the market is large and will not shy away from further financing in order to accelerate and expand our efforts in the market.

ChannelE2E: What are Auvik’s key priorities for the rest of 2017?

Morin: Expanding the partner base for the Auvik system in North America is a priority. This is driven by our direct sales efforts, but also key to our objectives this year is to help our resellers—ConnectWise and Continuum—become effective in complementing their solution with the Auvik system.

Auvik: What's Next?

ChannelE2E will continue to track Auvik Network in the weeks and months ahead. Got feedback about the company or questions for Marc and Alistair? Shoot me an email ([email protected]).

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.