Continuum CEO Apologizes to MSPs for ‘Poor Quality of Service’
CONTINUUM NAVIGATE — As managed services platform provider Continuum continues to grow, much of its success will come from helping MSPs expand their security offerings to their security-starved SMB customers.
That’s the belief of Michael George, Continuum’s CEO since 2011, who talked with Channel Futures here at the company’s partner and user conference in Las Vegas about its strategy and services road map.
In a keynote on the opening day of the Continuum Navigate 2019 conference on Tuesday, George said that IT security and the task of battling cyberattacks has become a “pandemic crisis” facing businesses of all sizes.
“Security is … also the single greatest challenge and will be the single greatest opportunity this industry has faced,” he told Channel Futures in an interview.
“We are disproportionally investing, leaning in and betting the company’s strategy on bolstering security for MSPs and their customers, because security is by far the most complex challenge anybody in this business has ever faced,” specifically for the MSP market, said George.
Everything that Continuum does in the foreseeable future will aim to solve the security challenges MSPs and their customers face, he said.
“We’re not looking outside of this right now,” he said. None of those other things matter right now.”
An ongoing theme here at the conference was how MSPs are often having trouble convincing SMB customers that they need to better protect their businesses against cyberattacks. For Continuum, the message is that SMBs really need to take a deep and wide look at how their operations would be affected if they were the victims of a cyberattack and saw their businesses grind to a halt, said George.
“Right now, SMBs are going to have to pay attention to an existential threat to their businesses,” he said.
The same problem exists for an increasing number of MSPs, which can surprisingly also lack adequate internal IT security to protect their operations and in turn their customers from cyberattacks.
“They can be woefully ill-equipped and just be standing flat-footed, watching this train barreling at them,” said George.
Two years ago, Continuum added its first SaaS-based security product, Fortify, to its managed services platform for MSPs, and it has continued to add features and protections for a wide range of users. The Continuum managed services platform includes other services as well, include remote monitoring and management, help desk and a wide range of support. The SaaS platform allows MSPs to remotely monitor, manage, backup and secure IT environments for their customers while also providing scalability — all without MSPs having to acquire, maintain and pay for their own data centers. The company makes it all possible by having a global workforce with highly skilled, well-educated, highly-trained employees who are not transient, said George.
But security wasn’t the only topic on George’s mind this week when he spoke to attendees at the conference. He also delivered a heartfelt apology to MSP customers who were affected by help desk slowdowns and outages earlier this summer.
“The road to success is a bumpy one,” he told the more than 300 MSP partners in attendance. “To those who over the summer suffered from poor quality of service on help desk calls, I apologize. Our legacy systems weren’t up to the task and we have been working diligently to replace the infrastructure.”
George added that the company acknowledged it had caused some of its MSP partners to suffer …