MSPs, partners, vendors and many others gathered together in mid-October at the Las Vegas Cosmopolitan Hotel for Continuum Navigate 2019. The event, which combines a trade show with educational opportunities, is specifically designed for those solution providers looking to leverage ITSM and RMM solutions as part of their service offerings.
Continuum went to great lengths to demonstrate the robustness of the company's platform and featured numerous vendors that have partnered with Continuum.
Vendors such as Fortinet, Datto, Barracuda, Webroot, Netsurion, and several others, offered educational sessions, product demos, and a presence on the show floor, all sharing the common theme of working together to build a better community to support MSPs and MSSPs.
It's an important consideration for a company that now supports more than 6,000 MSPs. Continuum, which arose from the ashes of Zenith Infotech back in 2011, has had a storied journey over the last eight years, fueled by both organic growth and M&A activities, further accentuated by a change in private equity Summit Partners to Thoma Bravo. It speaks to the ongoing flux of the ITSM and RMM market, which has been the subject of numerous M&A activity, along with rebranding and partnerships.
However, few could have predicted how quickly Continuum's story would start a new chapter. Just two weeks after Navigate 2019, Continuum announced that it was merging with what was once considered a competitor: ConnectWise. Interestingly, ConnectWise and Continuum are both part of the Thoma Bravo family of companies.
The merger will result in a juggernaut that will claim something along the lines of 35,000 global users and will impact the strategies of MSPs and MSSPs for years to come. "If you look at the aggregate of this new entity in revenue, in footprint, in number of MSPs and solution providers, product portfolio, and the number of employees, this will be by far the largest provider in the space," said Continuum CEO Michael George.
"With this merger, we hope to bring the best products of both companies rapidly to the market," said ConnectWise CEO Jason Magee, who will lead the combined company. Continuum's Michael George, will be an investor in the new company but is not staying on board. While Continuum and ConnectWise are somewhat alike in several of their respective offerings, both companies have offered different value propositions to the market. Most notably, Continuum has embraced managed offerings around SOC (security operations centers), NOC (network operations centers), as well as help desk services. ConnectWise has made significant strides in the PSA (professional service automation) market, as well as the RMM (remote management and monitoring) market. Both companies have expanded their portfolios over the years with M&A activity as well.
Yet, the question remains, how well will these two companies fit together? While there is some overlap in capabilities, the merged entity could result in what may potentially become a one-stop-shop for MSPs, bringing together all of the critical components of ITSM, RMM, PSA, cyber and other support services under a single platform. It's something that may benefit MSPs feeling the pain of having to deal with multiple platforms.
"Consolidation among the platform providers has been the name of the game for the last few years," said Evan J. Leonard, president & co-founder of CHIPS Technology Group.
"To date, supporting our customers often meant we had to determine the best in class solutions from numerous vendors and then make sure those platforms worked together. The Continuum ConnectWise merger may go a long way towards reducing the heavy lifting of making disconnected platforms work together."
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