GlueX: Stand Out from the Competition with Security as a Service
(Pictured above: IT Glue CEO Nadir Merchant on stage at the company’s GlueX event in Scottsdale, Arizona, Sept. 16.)
IT GLUE GLUEX — SMB IT spending is accelerating at six times the gross domestic product with more emphasis on automation and cybersecurity, providing massive opportunities for MSPs.
That’s what Nadir Merchant, IT Glue’s general manager and CTO, told attendees at the start of this week’s GlueX, the company’s third annual user conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. About 500 attendees are at the conference.
IT Glue has more than 7,000 partners in more than 50 countries, serving more than 100,000 users and 500,000 businesses globally.
Five years ago, most partners’ revenue was from break-fix, while today 80% comes from managed services, Merchant said.
There’s been a “substantial maturing” among MSPs in that they operate more like businesses today, as opposed to IT services, Merchant said.
“A lot of MSPs were a person who was well-versed in IT, and helping their friends and family, and they ended up turning into a small business they run themselves,” he said. “They didn’t often operate like businesses; they operated more like a convenience store than a well-run and executed business. We’re seeing a lot more of that supermarket mentality in MSPs where they’re a lot more efficient, they have a lot more standardization and structure, and they know what they’re doing. They’re not just putting things on the shelves, but they’re analyzing how do we put them on the shelves. That is really what prepares a lot of MSPs to really serve this market as it grows. And the tools they’re using are substantially better.”
What IT Glue now is looking to do is “gluing workflow together,” Merchant said.
“We believe that IT Glue is uniquely positioned to really tackle this problem of the space between different products,” he said. “We can enable the automation to integrate more tightly with these tools … so they can find the answer to solving the problem, they should be able to click a button and solve their problem. It’s a big shift in the way that we’re looking at our business.”
Of the revenue opportunities cited by partners, one-half said automation is their biggest opportunity. IT Glue’s history with automation “colors everything we do,” Merchant said.
“I want everything to be fully automated,” he said. “There’s just too ambiguity; they’re not repeatable enough.”
SMBs now are more open when it comes to conversations about cybersecurity, and security as a service is much cheaper to sell to existing customers than new ones, Merchant said.
“When you tell SMBs that we’re going to fully protect your cybersecurity, we’re going to take care of you top to bottom because this is a huge problem and lay out all the risks to their business, I think that’s an easy conversation for people to have and I think they do get it,” he said. “If they don’t get it now, they’re going to get it soon because it’s in the news every day, we see it all the time. If that doesn’t wake them up, I don’t know if anything will.
In addition, DRaaS specifically is the next big opportunity for partners, he said.
Joseph Noonan, Unitrends‘ vice president of product management and marketing, told attendees DRaaS is hot in the market, with growth expected to surpass backup and cloud backup. The three ways of tackling this opportunity are building your own solution, offloading to a public cloud or offloading to a DRaaS provider, he said.
“This problem is not going away,” he said.
Priscilla Matus, security manager for Veeya, an MSP that mostly serves schools and small businesses, said the speakers were spot on in saying …