Potential Symantec MSP Moves: Level Platforms, Others Keep Watch

Potential Symantec MSP Moves: Level Platforms, Others Keep Watch

When I heard Symantec is potentially preparing to acquire a remote monitoring and management (RMM) software company, I reached out to a range of industry executives for perspective. Quite a few executives gave me a polite "no comment" reply. But Level Platforms CEO Peter Sandiford weighed in with some bigger-picture perspectives on the evolving RMM market. Here they are.

I asked Sandiford if Symantec was looking at Level Platforms as one of its potential RMM acquisition targets. Sandiford didn't address the question directly, but he did take some time to share his views on the evolving RMM market. In an email reply to me, Sandiford wrote:

My recent blog on large companies entering the RMM market attempted to describe why I think that every technology business with a stake in the SMB market needs to have a clear strategy to deal with the fundamental channel transformation that RMM is bringing to the market. I would certainly expect a market leader like Symantec to be thinking about this.
Sandiford was quick to point out that Level Platforms continues to maintain a broad, open approach to software and hardware industry partnerships:
Level Platforms strategy is to support the full SMB ecosystem including vendors of devices, applications and services deployed by SMBs.  We continue to work on a confidential basis with more than 100 SMB vendors in order to enhance the success of their products and business strategies as a result of the  new world of possibilities created by remote monitoring and management.
Reinforcing that strategy, Level Platforms is preparing additional cross-company initiatives that should debut in April 2010. Sandiford wrote:
A significant number of our MSP partners enjoy opportunities to pilot cutting edge vendor initiatives now in the pipeline. We have several announcements of market-ready initiatives along these lines in the works right now for release in April.
Rounding back to my original question about Symantec's potential interest in the MSP software market, Sandiford wrote "Along with you and I'm sure many of your readers, I look forward to seeing any announcements involving Symantec."

Wait and See

So, is Symantec truly interested in the RMM software industry? I've heard on-again/off-again chatter for about a year. The rumors started again last week, when three separate MSP sources told me Symantec was evaluating at least two RMM companies for potential takeover. And over the weekend (April 3-4, 2010), I heard from half-a-dozen additional MSP sources who said Symantec had indeed been probing the market.

I realize there's a big difference between researching a market and actually making an acquisition. We'll continue watching Symantec closely and we've also got calls into them for comment.

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