While many MSPs today do provide some type of identity management service to their customers, these are typically repurposed enterprise solutions, while the Evo platform is designed both for MSPs and their market.
ConnectWise and identity and access management [IAM] vendor Evo have formally announced a global strategic partnership with Evo Security, which will make Evo’s Partner Identity Cloud platform available to ConnectWise MSPs. The platform was specifically designed for the MSP market, not just in its multi-tenancy but in its broader engineering design.
The news will not be unfamiliar to attendees at last month’s IT Nation event in Orlando.
“We announced the partnership in the keynote, but waited on issuing the actual press release, so it would not get lost in everything around the event,” said Raffael Marty, general manager of cybersecurity at ConnectWise.
“One of the reasons we decided to work with them, besides their focus on MSPs specifically, is that they are not just limited to MFA [Multi-Factor Authentication] and SSO [Single Sign-On],” Marty indicated. “They cover broader aspects of identity management. For instance, they are going to market right now with Elevated Access and Unified Directory, as well as MFA and SSO. Most of the MSP pain points around identity are already covered by their platform, and we will do the rest in 2023.”
The Elevated Access capability lets MSPs eliminate password and MFA code sharing amongst technicians and administrators, removing the need for third party password rotation tools and other secret vaults while also tracking activity.
“In comparing us to enterprise focus and management, without accounting for us being specifically designed for MSPs, we would be closest in the market to Okta,” said Mike Roth, Evo’s CEO. “We started out in very strategically selected areas that are the highest pain points now for MSPs. Over time we will be moving to LastPass-type password capabilities around deeper credential management.”
Roth emphasized that their platform’s focus on MSPs means much more than the fact that it is multi-tenanted.
“There’s a lot more to it than that,” he said. “Multitenancy is primarily UI based, so it is a front-end layer. We are actually partitioning information on the back end as well. It has been engineered from top to bottom for the MSP user, including things like the buttons they use and the language they use. With Partner Identity Cloud, we have engineered a very robust and differentiated identity suite.”
Many MSPs today are using something to provide security around identity, but it is not always an ideal solution for what they are trying to do.
“I would say that somewhere between 20% and 50% of MSPs have some type of identity tool, but we still see this as a huge green fields opportunity,” Roth said. That’s because MSPs who are serious about security have found a way to force-fit enterprise tools for their own use, but they are still trying to piece different tools together.”
Roth also stressed that unlike enterprise identity tools, the Evo platform is relatively simple for MSPs to use.
“What’s great about Evo is we took a very complex topic and simplified it dramatically,” he said. “We took the 5-8-10 steps needed in an enterprise tool and turned them into 1-2-3 steps. Our team is already training MSPs. We train them how to use the product. A lot of it is self service – trying to educate the market on the value of identity, and get them to think about it same way as enterprises. In the future, we may have certifications, but today it’s not necessary.”
While the new identity platform handles a key security issue for customers, Marty indicated that ConnectWise will still need to be active in helping their MSPs sell this to their customers.
“There’s always an educational component to this,” he said. “Customers get overrun with things in security because there are so many products to choose from, and their budgets are limited.”