Continuum partners should be patient as the RMM firm's acquisition by ConnectWise begins to unfold, former Continuum CEO Michael George told CPI in an interview during IT Nation Connect 2019.
George asked Continuum partners to take a "wait and see" approach to how the ConnectWise leadership intends to integrate the two businesses.
"I would ask [Continuum partners] to be patient and I would encourage them to wait to see over the next two months how the ConnectWise leadership decides on how to shape the organization and make some decisions around technology and platforms and everything else," George told CPI.
For the time being, partners should assume it will be "business as usual" George said, adding that if there were Continuum partners who may be seeking relevant technologies, he would "encourage them to look into the ConnectWise portfolio before they make any other choice outside of it".
"Whether it's their PSA or their automated tools or anything that might be in their ecosystem, know that once we completely join these organizations, all of our partners will benefit equally, whether they made a decision today or in a month or two from now on any decision that they made around our portfolio," he said.
The former CEO added that while partner response to the acquisition has been broadly positive, he does expect some concern among those that also partner with Autotask.
"The only thing that we anticipate is our Autotask partners - and we have many - getting a little agitated. We have very purposefully and truthfully reassured them that it is our intent to continue to have our APIs and support a multi-vendor environment. In fact, I think ConnectWise has done an extraordinary job of building and supporting an ecosystem, so I think that has allayed anybody's concern that we were going to do something that might in any way weaken our relationship or connection with Autotask."
George revealed that Continuum had considered acquiring Autotask, "which would have changed the dimensions of our business but would have precluded us from pulling ourselves together with ConnectWise". Meanwhile, ConnectWise had looked at acquiring backup assets, George said, which would have created a conflict with what Continuum has to offer.
"We got to a place where I think we both understood our place in the world. We have formulated our own organizational construct and really have two extraordinary companies that were in full formation. We found we were still not conflicting with one another and deciding that if you pull these pieces together, you would have the perfect combination of the world's greatest PSA from ConnectWise…and the lead security offering [from Continuum]."
When it comes to his own future, George said it was "virtually impossible" that he would reappear somewhere in the channel.
"They say never say never, but I think that is highly, highly unlikely," he said, adding that the tie-up of Continuum and ConnectWise means "it's over" for anyone else.
"You have in this combination - in economic terms, people terms, resource terms, technology terms and technology footprint - by far the market's dominant leader defined here in ConnectWise… They own now the four technologies that matter - PSA, RMM, security and backup. Those are the four technologies that matter and [ConnectWise is] going to be the dominant leader in fortifying and empowering the channel to win customers and own this market. I think this market's been decided."
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