Symantec: Ready to Buy Managed Services Software Company?

Symantec: Ready to Buy Managed Services Software Company?

Symantec is taking another look at the managed services software market, and mulling a potential acquisition in the area of remote monitoring and management (RMM) software, according to three separate sources close to Symantec. Here are the potential implications for MSPs.

First up: I have not confirmed the rumor with Symantec. I've got a phone call into the company seeking comment. In the meantime, my three sources are pretty darn reliable. They each work in the managed services market, and they each work for separate companies.

As a whole, the sources suggest Symantec is in the research stage of a potential MSP software acquisition. The sources say Symantec has not made a formal offer yet for a specific company -- but two potential target names keep coming up during Symantec's research, though the sources add that there's no guarantee a buyout will occur.

Hurry Up and Wait

Symantec's potential interest in the RMM market isn't new. The company in 2008 considered a potential acquisition, one source recalls. And more recently, Symantec has partnered with Dell on a console called Dell Management Console, Powered by Symantec.

Meanwhile, RMM companies have been a hot commodity lately in 2009 and early 2010. Recent takeover and/or investment targets involving RMM companies have included:
So, will Symantec pull the trigger on a potential deal? I'm not sure. One source says the backup and storage company is very serious about a potential RMM run, but reiterates that there's no guarantee a buyout will occur.

Missing from the MSP Ecosystem

Still, I'm frequently shocked by Symantec's lack of focus on small, next-generation MSPs. Plus, Symantec is underrepresented in the SaaS market. CEO Enrique Salem has publicly stated that the company expects to generate $1 billion in annual SaaS revenues within the next few years. But rival moves such as the McAfee-MX Logic deal caught the MSP industry's attention in 2009. MX Logic's email security service has quite a strong following across the small business managed services sector.

Also, Symantec at times has seemed out of touch with the managed services industry. A case in point: The Symantec Partner Engage 2009 conference was held in Orlando, Fla., the same November 2009 week as ConnectWise Partner Summit. Most folks at the Symantec event had no idea 1,000 managed service providers had gathered down the road, nor were they familiar with ConnectWise's software.

Still, sources indicate that Symantec is waking up to the managed services opportunity. If I hear more, I'll be back with details.

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