MSPmentor 250: Matt Bolton, PacketTrap MSP Prep Next Moves

MSPmentor 250: Matt Bolton, PacketTrap MSP Prep Next Moves

Matt Bolton, leader of the product development team at Quest Software and member of the MSPmentor 250, has made a career out of making moves and changes at the right time. He made a successful early career out of analyzing investments for a start-up venture capital firm, yet knew when it was right to make the jump into the technology space as he saw a need for more innovative solutions surrounding data backup and recovery in the 1990's. So Bolton joined a team that built Lasso Logic. He knew the right time to sell Lasso to SonicWALL. Then he began a new venture called PacketTrap, which Quest Software acquired in 2009. Now Bolton and the PacketTrap/Quest team are helping service providers identify the right business model for their needs.

"MSP's have to craft their services around customer relationships," Bolton said. "We are helping customers map together their business with their technology. We don't look at managing a server or a router. We look at what type of services businesses need to run their business effectively."

Many MSPs today are servicing businesses in several different verticals. It's a way for them to expand their client base and regional presence. It makes them appealing to many more businesses. But Bolton, always quick to recognize trends before they fully come to fruition, believes that there will be a verticalized integration movement within the MSP community, both in terms of on-premise and hosted solutions. And Bolton is doing everything he can to help PacketTrap clients stay ahead of that verticalization curve.

That's the premise behind PacketTrap MSP, a remote monitoring and management platform that Bolton spearheads. PacketTrap released PacketTrap MSP 6.0 in early 2011. Bolton said the PacketTrap team got into the MSP space in the first place because of their network management background. And in an SEC filing earlier this year, Quest suggested that PacketTrap MSP has been exceeding sales expectations.

"We were hearing from customers that they had a gap in their service offerings around routers, switches, internal traffic, etc.," he said." So PacketTrap started to evolve as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings became more prevalent. The company has been monitoring virtual machines for over 1 1/2 years. Today, Bolton tries to keep his team at the forefront of new technologies and problems that are coming on to the network. "We can monitor traffic, but also VoIP systems themselves," Bolton continued. "We saw that becoming an issue with MSPs running VoIP on top of their data networks."

Bolton sees the managed services industry moving toward reselling hosted services and applications instead of installing hardware-based solutions. To that end, Bolton said we can expect PacketTrap to do more service delivery in the future. And as we speak, PacketTrap is developing a service delivery platform that he says will "deploy, monitor and support whichever way clients want to take their business."

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