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Sienna Group’s portfolio includes managed data security services, governance, risk and compliance assessments, sensitive data discovery and classification, and security awareness training.

Edward Gately

December 6, 2018

4 Min Read
Acquisition
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ConnectWise has acquired MSSP Sienna Group as the first step in its effort to lead MSPs into cybersecurity.

Sienna Group’s portfolio includes managed data security services, governance, risk and compliance assessments, sensitive data discovery and classification, and security awareness training.

This summer, Arnie Bellini, ConnectWise’s CEO, said with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) now in force and similar regulations likely to follow, MSPs will need all the help they can get in providing their customers with sufficient security to ensure compliance.

Keep up with the latest channel-impacting mergers and acquisitions in our M&A roundup.

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ConnectWise’s Arnie Bellini

“The acquisition of Sienna Group will enable us to form the Cybersecurity Center of Excellence to educate MSPs on best practices of every aspect of cybersecurity,” he said. “The Sienna Group has more than 130 years of combined cybersecurity experience and understands how to provide those services to SMBs. Our mission is to leverage this expertise to educate, support and consult MSPs in the delivery of cybersecurity services because we want every MSP to learn how to safeguard its clients’ systems and critical data.”

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The 2112 Group’s Larry Walsh

Larry Walsh, CEO and chief analyst of The 2112 Group, and member of the Channel Partners Editorial Advisory Board, said it’s no surprise that ConnectWise acquired Sienna.

“Many have speculated for a while that ConnectWise would acquire a security or backup company to round out the portfolio of managed services offerings under its umbrella, anchored by its professional services automation platform,” he said. “Security was a big gap in the ConnectWise portfolio and Sienna, being a managed security service provider with broad capabilities, fills that gap nicely.”

Rik Turner, principal analyst at Ovum, said there is definitely a trend for MSPs to beef up their security capabilities for a number of reasons.

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Ovum’s Rik Turner

“The volume and variety of attacks continue to grow, making the defenders’ work ever more challenging, and there is a well-publicized shortage of qualified security professionals, making them hard to find and possibly even harder to retain,” he said. “This scenario underpins the growth of security services, in particular stuff like managed detection and response (MDR), which is all the rage at the moment.”

ConnectWise said the capabilities and expertise that Sienna Group offers will provide a means for its partners to assess their own business’ cyber vulnerabilities and to learn how to better protect themselves from liability when their customers are targeted by cybercriminals.

The acquisition also supports ConnectWise’s strategy to provide an “ecosystem of security solutions that are accessible…

…and affordable,” especially for its SMB partners that are looking for new ways to expand their set of offerings at “a time when these services represent the next big revenue opportunity for MSPs,” it said.

“MSPs already have a trusted relationship with their customers, so they are well-positioned to provide managed security services,” Bellini said. “At ConnectWise, we will continue to build our set of security offerings – both through acquisitions such as the one announced today and through partnerships with the channel’s best security vendors – to make it easier than ever for our partners to take advantage of the revenue opportunity that comes with being able to keep their customers safe from cyberthreats.”

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Sienna Group’s John Ford

“We’ve been working with ConnectWise for years, and we share both a vision and a commitment to ensuring that MSPs have the tools they need to protect themselves and their clients in a time when a disastrous cyberbreach is often just a single click away,” said John Ford, Sienna Group’s CEO and founder. “We’re looking forward to being part of ConnectWise’s journey to provide a robust end-to-end security solution that will benefit the entire industry.”

Mike Suby, Stratecast vice president of research at Frost and Sullivan, said the same customers that require an MSP for their IT environments are increasingly concerned about cybersecurity, but it’s not core to their operations.

“It’s critical, but they don’t have the talent or wherewithal to be effective in cybersecurity,” he said. “That’s why they’re looking for a MSSP, but that does’t necessarily mean they’re looking for both a MSP and a MSSP, so why not all of those capabilities from one provider. That’s the primary reason for this acquisition. They’re looking for the opportunity to provide a comprehensive solution set to their client base as well as businesses.”

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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