Continuum expands RMM differentiation and appeals to broader MSP base with CARVIR acquisition

Late last year, Continuum decided to supplement the endpoint security embedded in their core suite with a new security unit, and new service offerings, which became available in April. The CARVIR acquisition accelerates that initiative significantly.

Fielder Hiss, Continuum’s Vice President of Marketing and Product Management

Late last week, remote monitoring and management [RMM] provider Continuum announced a significant expansion of their security initiative with the acquisition of metro Atlanta-based CARVIR, which provides security services for MSPs. Even though CARVIR is a newish company that had only been offering services since last year, it’s a transaction that Continuum sees as one of immense strategic significance.

Continuum defines itself in the RMM marketplace as having a more differentiated focus than their competitors.

“We compete against the other RMMs and define the market similarly, in that we all serve IT service providers,” said Fielder Hiss, Continuum’s Vice President of Marketing and Product Management. “However, we don’t just provide tools. We also back the tools with service through our own SOC and NOC. We bundle human capital with our intellectual capital to drive scale and efficiency in an MSP. That allows them to deploy their techs in higher value capabilities, and that in turn allows our partners to be able to scale through us. Our partners, according to a Service Leadership Institute study, have 8 per cent higher gross margins and 7 per cent higher EBITDA than MSPs generally.”

Continuum has over 5500 MSP partners, who vary significantly in size and scale.

“They go from smaller regional ones to midsize MSPs, but they also include some very large office equipment dealers who have managed service practices,” Hiss said. “They also include large OEMs like Sharp and some telcos.”

Since early 2015 Continuum has an exclusive relationship with Webroot to provide its security. Through this relationship, Webroot is embedded into the Continuum suite, and is thus the de facto security vendor for Continuum. Last year, however, Continuum decided to supplement these capabilities in its suite by offering MSPs separate security services.

“We established Continuum Security, and announced our security offerings at our Navigate conference last October,” Hiss said. “They became generally available in April. Carvir is a 12 to 18 month accelerator on our plans, which will enable us to meet the needs of partners in a more rapid way. With their solutions, we can accelerate in these areas much more rapidly than we could build ourselves. That’s why this is so exciting.”

The expansion brings two new offerings to Continuum, which will be fully supported by the Continuum SOC.

Detect and Respond – Network and Compliance is a SIEM offering, which identifies and remediates attacks within networks, to meet compliance requirements.

“We had our Detect and Respond offering, but that wasn’t a full SIEM,” Hiss said. “It’s clear the MSP community sees a need for a managed SIEM offering. This accelerates something that we needed to do anyway.”

The other new offering is now branded Detect & Respond – Endpoint, which is an SMB-focused solution that provides monitoring and analysis of endpoints.

“We offered monitoring before, but monitoring for RMM is different than monitoring for security,” Hiss said. “We are now able to offer the full stack for security and RMM monitoring to MSPs who want that. We will keep them separate so that partners have choice. We think we will get new partners who do not need our solution for RMM, but they do for cybersecurity. So we see this as letting us address a larger portion of the MSP market.”

CARVIR brings around 580 MSPs and over 4000 client sites to Continuum, the vast majority of which are in North America.

“About 20 per cent of their partners were already Continuum partners,” Hiss said. “The others were not, but they look and feel like it. Most of their partners are not actually MSSPs, but rather MSPs who know they have to solve the cybersecurity challenge. They also know that it is almost impossible for MSPs to hire experts to run these tools on their own. CARVIR, and Continuum Security, provide these tools and their management to help MSPs transform themselves into MSSPs.”

The acquisition also brings more SOC capabilities, adding two locations in the United States and India.

Hiss said that the synergies from the acquisition will enable Continuum to more rapidly develop the CARVIR security solutions, rather than the reverse.

“We are bringing a development capability that CARVIR didn’t have before,” he stated. “We have over 240 developers, to build our own technology, although we also license technology where appropriate.”

While there are many, many security vendors out there, Hiss said that their focus is not on the MSP market, and that Continuum and the services Continuum Security will provide are fundamentally different in that respect.

“We want to have a very MSP-centric lens, and that is something that security does not,” he said. “MSPs looking to solve their security problems should look at what we are doing, in a way that’s designed for MSPs, and built for SMB clients.”