Network assessment tool maker RapidFire already does a good business in Canada, but thinks the Canadian market can be developed much more fully, and is making a major Northern push in 2018.
Atlanta-based RapidFire Tools, which makes a family of network assessment modules for MSPs already has a considerable amount of momentum in Canada. They think there is a lot of untapped potential for growth however, and to that end are increasing their visibility and presence here.
RapidFire makes four types of IT assessment tools, for General Networking, IT Security, SQL Server and Exchange, as well as two Compliance modules for HIPAA and PCI, and three software appliances: Inspector, Detector and Reporter. One competitive differentiation has been that their solution is very non-intrusive, with no agents or software installs. Another is that it provides more assessment information than competitor products. The company sells entirely through channel partners and has a large channel, with a little over 7000 MSPs. A little more than 10 per cent – about 750 – are in Canada.
“We have been in the Canadian market for several years, and have posted double-digit growth in each of the last three years,” said Matthew Koenig, Director, North American Sales, at RapidFire Tools. “Between 2015 and 2016, we had a 22 per cent increase in Canadian customers, and between 2016 and 2017, that growth increased to 86 per cent.”
This year Koenig said they are stepping up their efforts in Canada further.
“We have posted strong recent growth in Canada, and while some of it comes from our own business development efforts, some of it is simply because we are becoming better known,” he indicated. “Word of mouth about us has definitely increased. However, I still don’t believe we are hitting anywhere near our potential in Canada at this point in time. As a result, we are putting a more focused effort in Canada in 2018.”
The Canadian sales operation is directed out of company headquarters in Atlanta.
“I oversee all of North America, and I have a team that focuses on specific territories,” Koenig said. “I have one person based in Ottawa who covers Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces [ex-Datto Canada rep Marlene Mullowney]. She speaks French, and so gives us a presence in Quebec.” Quebec accounts for between 10 and 15 per cent of the company’s Canadian business. It’s one of RapidFire’s three largest markets in Canada with the other two being – no surprises here – the Toronto area and British Columbia, particularly the Vancouver area. The western Canadian provinces are covered by a U.S.-based sales rep.
RapidFire Tools also has an important strategic partnership with RMM provider Continuum. That brings them partners in Canada as well, although Koenig isn’t sure how many, because the partner data from Continuum isn’t broken down with that degree of granularity.
Attending trade shows to talk with MSPs is a key part of RapidFire’s expansion in Canada.
“We have done a lot of events in Canada with TechnoPlanet,” Koenig said. Their visibility with that organization’s channel clientele is increasing. In 2014, they placed second in TechnoPlanet’s Reseller Choice awards in the Best IT Assessment Category. In 2017, they won.
“We are always looking for additional shows to do, as well as additional ways to connect with the Canadian marketplace and Canadian MSPs,” Koenig said.
Koenig said that no special messaging is needed for the Canadian market, that RapidFire Tools’ value proposition in Canada is essentially similar to the U.S.
“I find that it seems to be the same across all borders,” he said. “People want to discover what’s going on in their network, and are looking for a reason to create a long-term business relationship. The compliance issues can be different, but aside from that, the Canadian and American markets are pretty much the same.”