Amid Kaseya’s acquisition of Datto, some rivals in the MSP software and technology market are preparing “special offers” to pull MSPs to alternative platforms for RMM (remote control and management), PSA (professional services automation), cloudback up and disaster recovery, cybersecurity and more.
Still, there’s plenty of reason to stick with Kaseya and Datto, especially if you run Kaseya RMM, Datto PSA, and Datto data protection together and are interested in the broader product portfolios of Kaseya or Datto.
Plus, MSP software platform migrations can be a chore. Of course, special offers and discounted prices can be tempting. But we want to remind MSPs to focus on areas like:
- Quality and breadth of the product;
- onboarding and 24×7 support;
- track record of the supplier;
- price history;
- subscription flexibility (ability to quickly scale up, scale down and even cancel contracts); and
- ability to realize product roadmaps.
Also keep in mind: the MSP technology market is both consolidating (see over 1,000 M&A deals listed here) and growing. According to research by Fortune Business Insights, the global managed services market will reach $557.1 billion by 2028, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.6% as of 2020. The result? Even as mergers and acquisitions “consolidate” the market, new MSP software options continue to emerge.
MSP software and technology platform providers
Against that background, here are some of the MSP technology platform names you should know – sorted by the number of employees as listed on LinkedIn (as of April 12, 2022). Employee numbers, while loosely reflecting company size, are not 100% accurate, as some employees do not list their biographies and company affiliations on LinkedIn. Still, here’s a look at each company and their MSP technology market positioning…
ConnectWise – 2,257 employees: Strong in PSA (professional services automation) and RMM (remote monitoring and management), with growing presence in, among others, NOC (network operations center) and SOC (security operations center) services. A major distinguishing factor is the IT Nation community. The company, led by CEO Jason Magee, is to successfully deliver its Asio unified software platform build-out and a new ConnectWise RMM build-out. Owned by investment company Thoma Bravo.
Datto – 2,053 employees: Strong in data protection and PSA, with growing momentum in RMM and various cloud services. The mainstream media keeps calling Datto a cloud software company. That’s true to an extent, but largely ignores Datto’s on-premises storage devices and networking hardware. Next, Datto must succeed with its Microsoft Azure cloud data protection strategy while integrating into Kaseya. And perhaps most importantly, Kaseya must retain key Datto employees and associated corporate culture characteristics.
Kaseya – 1,752 employees: Strong in RMM and MSP documentation software, with a growing presence in data protection, PSA, cybersecurity and a long list of acquired technologies. CEO Fred Voccola arrived in July 2015 and eventually saved the company from obscurity. Voccola gradually stabilized the struggling company, making multiple acquisitions and building a very successful go-to-market strategy. What do MSPs want now? Improved product support, more flexible licensing, steps to adopt Datto’s security practices, and assurances that Datto’s corporate culture will not disappear.
Barracuda – 1,738 employees: Perhaps better known in the enterprise IT market, Barracuda also has a growing number of MSPs. The company is strong in cybersecurity and data protection, with some capabilities in RMM. Key moves include the acquisition of Skout Cybersecurity in July 2021 for XDR and SOC capabilities that support MSPs. M&A update: KKR acquired Barracuda from Thoma Bravo on April 12, 2022.
N-skilled, 1,132 employees: Strong in RMM with growing footprint in data protection, cybersecurity and additional IT management and automation areas. State owned but also owned by Thoma Bravo. N-able released the following business performance metrics for the fourth quarter of 2021:
- Total revenue of $89.5 million, up 12% from the fourth quarter of 2020.
- GAAP net profit of $2.1 million, compared to a loss of $9.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2020.
- The net retention rate remained at 110 percent – essentially meaning MSPs are expanding their engagement with N-able.
In a statement regarding the Kaseya-Datto M&A deal, N-able CEO John Pagliuca said:
“The news that both companies were looking for change has been public for some time, so this announcement came as no surprise. We believe that a transaction of this magnitude is a clear confirmation of the industry’s value and strength to serve the large and growing SMB IT market. It is also a calculated disruption to both Kaseya and Datto, where they clearly believed it would bring a positive outcome for their stakeholders. Such transactions typically present significant challenges, such as successfully combining two different cultures and realizing potential synergies.
For our part, N-able will continue to focus on our mission to provide MSPs with the technology, training, tools and people to ensure our partner MSPs achieve their goals. The rules of the game don’t change. When your people and partners are successful, the business is successful. That’s what we focus on every day to earn more fans.”
NinjaOne – 381 employees: Originally focused on RMM, the company – led by CEO Sal Sferlazza – has used organic R&D to extend its platform into data protection and ticketing services. NinjaOne has both an MSP and a VAR channel strategy, leading to rapid growth in the SMB and mid-market IT sectors. NinjaOne is backed by Summit Partners, but the investment is a minority share of the company – meaning NinjaOne continues to control its destiny in software development and MSP partner priorities.
Atera – 185 employees: The remote IT management and MSP software provider raised $77 million in Series B financing in July 2021 at a valuation of $500 million. General Atlantic led the round with participation from K1 Investment Management.
Liongard – 138 employees: Liongard is not a traditional MSP software company, but provides MSPs with a “unified visibility platform that gives you the data you need, when you need it, so you can spend less time searching for data and more time expanding your MSP.” The end-to-end visibility strategy could theoretically disrupt traditional RMM platforms at some point, ChannelE2E suspects.
Syncro – 89 employees: A cloud startup focused on PSA, RMM and more. Syncro grew rapidly and hired Datto veteran Emily Glass as CEO in December 2021. Syncro, supported by Mainsail Partners, enables MSPs to easily try and activate cloud-based business automation and IT management software. In addition to homegrown software, Syncro recently acquired Watchman Monitoring to further support Apple environments.
SuperOps.ai – 65 employees: A cloud startup focused on PSA, RMM and AI. The company, led by Freshworks veterans, has been quietly testing its platform with MSPs around the world. The code is now shifted to production mode. Several venture capital markets creators, including former Tiger Global Management investor Lee Fixel, invested $14 million in SuperOps.ai in January 2022.
Complementary MSP Software and IT Automation Rivals
Other potential rivals and alternatives to note, sorted alphabetically, include:
- GlassHive (formerly Honey CRM) is a sales and marketing app for IT service providers. And it is gaining popularity.
- HaloPSA, which has fewer than 50 employees listed on LinkedIn, is quietly gaining momentum in the PSA market.
- Ingram Micro, which promotes CloudBlue for various PSA, ticketing and IT automation functions.
- Naverisk, which is perhaps best known in Australia and New Zealand for RMM, service desk, PSA and data backup capabilities.
- Pax8: Best known as a cloud marketplace for MSPs, Pax8’s automation capabilities will increasingly overlap with some RMM and PSA software companies, ChannelE2E believes. Pax8, backed by venture capital from Softbank, will support approximately 20,000 MSPs as of April 2022.
- ServiceNow, which MSPs use extensively for mid-market IT service management (ITSM), ticketing, and co-managed services. In addition, the M&A activity involving ServiceNow MSPs and IT consultancies is particularly strong.
- Sherweb, which now has its own ticketing and ITSM platform for MSPs.
Cloud Backup and Disaster Recovery Rivals
Additionally, dozens of cloud backup and disaster recovery (BDR) technology providers will seek to bolster Datto’s installed base. Names and sectors you should know include:
MSP software and technology: more venture capital, private equity on the way
Keep in mind: the competitive landscape is subject to dramatic changes. Numerous venture capital and private equity firms — names like Thoma Bravo, Insight Partners, Summit Partners, Vista Equity Partners and even Softbank — have massive war chests and are scouring the market for more investments and acquisitions.
With that context in mind, MSPs should focus on technologies that really solve business problems for the long haul – rather than chasing the shiny deal or special price offer of the day.