Avanade, one of the world's most successful managed services providers (MSPs), has acquired Opstera's public cloud management software -- which has a keen focus on Microsoft's Windows Azure platform (among others). The move reinforces an undeniable trend: The best MSPs are moving aggressively to master cloud monitoring and management, and some are willing to actually enter the software market to do so. Forgive the bold text... but it's a bold move. Here's why.
According to a prepared statement:
"Opstera’s software adds to Avanade’s portfolio of cloud managed services and complements its recent acquisition of Azaleos, which was a leader in Communications and Collaboration managed services. As Avanade blends Opstera technology into its existing portfolio of cloud managed services, customers will benefit from a comprehensive choice of private, public and hybrid cloud innovation."As part of the deal, Opstera co-founders Paddy Srinivasan and Ranjith Ramakrishnan are joining Avanade to accelerate the company's managed cloud services strategy. Avanade plans to maintain its focus on private, public and hybrid cloud monitoring -- basically telling customers to "have it your way" when deciding where to deploy and maintain IT assets.
Avanade's M&A strategy has been intriguing. The company in 2012 acquired Azaleos, a top provider of managed IT services for customers running Exchange, SharePoint and other Microsoft applications.
Admittedly, not all MSPs can afford to go out and buy software companies or cloud companies. And balancing two business functions -- (A) developing software and (B) maintaining customer systems -- isn't easy. But Avanade has plenty of experience juggling multiple priorities. The company was originally funded by Microsoft and Accenture, and ultimately needed to balance directives from both companies.