Auvik Networks building up MSP channel for network management solution

Waterloo ON-based Auvik Networks added an MSP variant to their network management solution a year ago, and are working on a multi-pronged strategy for building it up.

Marc Morin Auvike CEO

Marc Morin, Auvik’s CEO

A year ago, Waterloo, ON-based cloud-based network management software maker Auvik Networks leveraged its technology to move into the MSP market. A year later, while Auvik believes there is still no real competition in that space, they also believe it is coming, and is focused on expanding its own channel as quickly as possible before that happens.

Auvik was founded in 2011 with the idea of bringing a new approach to network management. Their founding premise is that custom solutions managed by expensive technicians had become an expensive luxury in the cloud era. Auvik’s focus is on extreme ease of use, with a highly visual map-centric view that makes it easy to see what the network is doing.

The MSP Edition, unveiled a year ago at Cisco Live!, is an extra feature set on top of the main product, which integrates automated network topology, inventory, configuration management, performance monitoring, troubleshooting tools, and RMM capabilities into a single interface for MSPs.

When the MSP Edition launched last June, Auvik sold it direct, but that didn’t last long.

“We went direct at first to validate the process,” said Marc Morin, Auvik’s CEO. “We flipped that over to the channel last July, and from the fall of last year we have been selling exclusively through MSPs. We don’t do business direct any more.”

Morin said that they have had the advantage of having a relatively unique type of solution.

“There are two kinds of MSPs who are interested in networking,” he said. “One is already being compensated and delivering network services to their clients, and need a better tool to do it. That’s about 20 per cent of them. The other 80 per cent take responsibility for the network, but aren’t being billed for it. There’s a great opportunity here to take responsibility for things like wi-fi.”

Today, Auvik has several hundred resellers, but they are looking to secure a lot more than that,

“Our job is to arm the industry with tools that their clients deserve,” Morin said. “We have identified how to do a better job in managing networks on the internet and we want to own that segment. We want to get thousands of MSPs as quick as we can.”

A key way of doing that has been working with trade associations and buying groups. Auvik was at last week’s CompTIA ChannelCon event, evangelizing their MSP offering, following earlier appearances at ASCII Group, Taylor Business Group and Continuum Business Conference.

“We are also starting to work with groups that are reselling our products, particularly buying groups,” Morin said. “In June, we signed with The 20, a small Texas-based business development group for MSPs, and a number of others that aren’t public yet.” In June Auvik also reached an agreement with channel developer eTECH Channel LLC through which eTECH will market Auvik to MSPs across the United States.

Auvik also sees themselves as complementary with RMMs rather than competitive.

“We intersect a bit with traditional RMM, but the two are significantly different from one another,” Morin said. “RMM is still pretty much defined as desktop and server.” Auvik has announced integrations with ConnectWise, Slack, Freshdesk, Autotask, and most recently, Kentik.

Morin said that while they have no true competition as of yet, that won’t long.

“It’s simply software,” he said. “We made it first, and we have evangelized it, but there’s no magic here. There will be competitors. However, we have spent a lot of time and money building out the product, and our competitors will have to do the same. It’s not a weekend project.”

Auvik is focused on building up a solid stable of MSP partners before strong competition emerges.

“We are onboarding MSPs at an ever growing rate every month,” Morin said. “We expect to go over a thousand in the next twelve months.”

Ironically, for a Canadian company, their business in Canada is disproportionately small.

“It’s under 10 per cent of our total,” he said. “We do our lead generation online, and Canada has very strict rules about email marketing which work against us here. In addition, Canadian customers tend not to be the early adopters in many areas, and this is also the case here.”