show image

Sooraj Shah

Contributing Editor

Sooraj Shah is Contributing Editor of New Statesman Tech with a focus on C-level IT leader interviews. He is also a freelance technology journalist.

ConnectWise’s acquisitions of Perch, StratoZen aim to bring together disparate MSP security tools

ConnectWise was one of the first companies to provide a professional services automation (PSA) product for managed service providers (MSPs). That is, a solution that integrates with critical applications that MSPs need to run their business. It counts a number of the biggest MSPs as its clients, and has more than 10,000 smaller customers which bring in revenues of between $1m and $3m a year.

According to Jeff Bishop, chief product officer at ConnectWise, the company’s goal is to built out a platform by which an MSP can operate the business as well as serve the client.

“We’ve evolved from [focusing on] operational, agreements, invoicing, billing and service desk to the actual agents in RMM control and now what we’re doing with our latest acquisitions of Perch Security and StratoZen is strengthening out our security arm,” he tells NS Tech.

ConnectWise has been growing its security presence over the last three years. So far, the company has products that aim to help MSPs with risk management and security endpoints. It has also built up its training and certification offerings.

“We noticed that MSPs have a real challenge around security, and a lot of that has to do with the paradigm to which vendors have approached security – we saw it years ago in the PSA space and more recently in the RMM space, where the vendors are giving the MSPs individual tools to solve individual pain points, compared to a platform that looks at security more holistically,” says Brian Downey, VP of security product management, at ConnectWise

“That’s a real problem we looked at and tried to solve, and that’s where Perch and StratoZen became really interesting,” he adds.

Downey explains that the company wanted to use Perch Security’s capabilities to enable MSPs to ingest information from a variety of different security tools and sources, in order to try and make sense of it all. Meanwhile, StratoZen would help MSPs to understand the risks associated with bringing all of these sources into a central platform, as well as providing analysis, threat intelligence and automation tools to turn the consolidated data into actions.

The MSP market post-pandemic

According to Bishop, the pandemic has enabled MSPs to focus on deep diving into some of the products they provide and put together a lot of tools.

“MSPs want to step back and really focus on the business, making sure they’ve got the proper cash flow and really focus on customer success and provide that differentiation with their competition,” he says.

Bishop also believes that advances continue to be made, even during the coronavirus crisis, meaning that MSPs will have to move quickly to keep up-to-date.

“Five or six years ago we had [bring your own device] and now you’ve got [the internet of things] and new technologies that are evolving so quickly that the MSP space is going to have to adapt to the needs of the customer. MSPs are also the trusted advisor in a lot of ways, so I think we’ll see additional business lines open up. It’s not just going to be the cloud, servers or workstation – I think you’re going to see them become more of a trusted advisor for the overall business over the coming years,” he states.