The Next M&A Wave: IT Help Desks, Service Desks and NOCs
The IT help desk, service desk and NOC (network operations center) markets seem primed for merger and acquisition activity. The latest example involves GMS Live Expert buying Dove Help Desk. Is this the start of a bigger M&A trend in the managed services market? MSPmentor is betting yes.
First, the news: GMS Live Expert provides outsourced Help Desk and NOC services for MSPs. Dove Help Desk of Lexington, Mass., has provided outsourced live help desk support to MSPs across the U.S. for about six years. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
According to a prepared statement:
“The contribution of Dove Help Desk’s resources and experience creates significant opportunities for Global Mentoring Solutions Inc., and their consolidated MSP Partners, to benefit from greater economies of scale, enhanced PSA system integration, service coverage and extended NOC capability.”
On the one hand, the vast majority of MSPs need to offer customers help desk and NOC services. But on the other hand, there are numerous routes to market. And some vendors are blurring the lines between help desk support (personalized support for PC issues, etc.) and NOC services (vast infrastructure monitoring and management services).
Some RMM (remote monitoring and management) like Level Platforms are pushing into NOC and help desk services. Others are partnering up on such services. Either way, an industry of help desk and NOC service providers for MSPs has emerged. Larger names like NetEnrich and Continuum (formerly Zenith RMM) come to mind, as do upstarts like Live Virtual Help Desk (among many others).
Continuum was acquired by Summit Partners in September 2011. And Nimsoft acquired a service desk software platform in 2011 as well. Now, I think the next wave of consolidation is coming, as small help desk and small NOC providers weigh the merits of remaining solo or M&A.