Gartner Magic Quadrant for MSSPs: 2017 Company List, Research

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5. CenturyLink (Niche Quadrant)

Gartner Strengths:

  • CenturyLink’s enterprise and midmarket customers for network, cloud and platform services can augment security monitoring requirements with CenturyLink via their MSSs.
  • CenturyLink’s rationalization of security services across its lines of business has enabled a more focused and consistent delivery of MSSs.
  • CenturyLink recently introduced a new version of its customer portal with an improved interface and features, which is available now to U.S. customers and will be rolled out globally in 2017.
  • Customers give good marks for CenturyLink’s delivery of MSSs.

Gartner’s Cautions:

  • CenturyLink trails competitors in support for advanced threat detection and advanced analytics. User and entity behavior analytics (UEBA) capabilities are planned for 2017.
  • The vendor’s 24/7 SOC services are only available from a U.S.-based SOC. Customers in other regions with requirements for local 24/7 SOC support must request custom services until CenturyLink upgrades availability in 2017.
  • CenturyLink announced the acquisition of Level 3 Communications in October 2016. Existing MSS customers and potential buyers should monitor the situation for any changes to its MSS offerings.
  • CenturyLink rarely appears on Gartner clients’ shortlists for MSSs.

MSSP Alert Says: CenturyLink’s rapid move into — and then stumbling exit from — the cloud services market doesn’t exactly inspire partner confidence in the telco giant. But network services are core to CenturyLink, and managed security services are closely aligned with those network services.

6. CSC (Challengers Quadrant)

Gartner’s Strengths:

  • CSC has strong integration with ServiceNow, including its Security Incident Response application, after CSC’s acquisition of Fruition Partners.
  • CSC’s Audit Log Assurance (ALA) offering supports buyers that require centralized audit log collection and compliance reporting across a variety of regulations, and mandates across on-premises assets and public and private cloud environments.
  • CSC’s security expertise supports its strong presence in the international public sector, financial services, insurance and critical infrastructure industries.

Gartner’s Cautions:

  • CSC’s Pulse portal lacks features compared to those from competing MSSPs. It is oriented toward enterprises leveraging CSC for security device and application management services, while the security event investigation and workflow capabilities are lacking. CSC has plans to introduce a new portal in 2017.
  • In May 2016, CSC announced its intent to merge with the Enterprise Services division of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). Buyers should monitor the situation as HPE has a competing MSS offering in the Enterprise Services unit, and the two units will need to be assessed for effectiveness and cost consolidation.
  • CSC is rarely included on Gartner commercial clients’ shortlists for stand-alone MSS deals.

MSSP Alert: As CSC and HPE sort out their IT services merger, don’t expect a major partner emphasis in the enterprise MSSP sector…

7. HCL (Niche Quadrant)

Gartner Strengths:

  • HCL Technologies is competitive when offering MSS as part of a broader IT outsourcing deal, both for prospective and existing customers.
  • The vendor has strong partnerships with security technology vendors for product procurement and implementation that can be leveraged by MSS customers.
  • Its MSS delivery approach is customizable to customers’ requirements and existing security technology solutions.

Gartner Cautions:

  • HCL Technologies’ portal provides basic incident investigation, workflow and reporting functions.
  • The vendor’s capabilities for advanced threat detection and analytics are less developed compared to its competitors.
  • HCL Technologies is rarely mentioned in Gartner client inquiries for MSS, and it has more visibility for dedicated security outsourcing models (such as managed SIEM) than for MSS.

MSSP Alert Says: HCL has been buying up channel partners, particularly in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM sector. That’s not related to MSSPs, admittedly. But the buyout strategy means HCL is more of a competitor than partner to peer MSPs…

8. HP Enterprise (Challengers Quadrant)

Gartner’s Strengths:

  • HPE has multiregional MSS and consulting delivery resources, and support capabilities for large service engagements.
  • The vendor’s broad technology and service delivery options enable extensively customized MSS engagements, including technology bundling and hybrid delivery options (e.g., co-managed SIEM for ArcSight and other SIEM vendors).
  • HPE’s standardization on components of the HPE Security ArcSight platform for global MSSs brings consistency to its shared delivery platform capabilities.
  • Its partnership with FireEye for incident response services brings recognized advanced threat detection and incident response capabilities to HPE’s existing MSSs.

Gartner’s Cautions:

  • The current HPE MSS portal lacks several features that are available in competitors’ portals, especially in asset and vulnerability details, self-service reporting capabilities, and integration with customer ticketing systems. HPE states that customers will have access to a new portal in 1Q17 that will add many of these capabilities.
  • HPE Security Services delivers a range of security monitoring options, ranging from remote MSS to dedicated managed SIEM, which can be confusing for buyers because of the way these offerings are positioned. Prospective MSS buyers, particularly those procuring MSS as part of broader IT outsourcing deals, should evaluate the service delivery model being positioned to them.
  • As HPE shifts MSS to a consumption-based model — priced according to the number of security devices and data sources, and monthly data usage — prospective MSS customers should validate assumptions about security data volume in the anticipated scope of services, and understand the impact of higher- or lower-than-planned-for volume on service delivery and pricing.
  • Customers with contracts up for renewal in 2017 and potential MSS buyers will need to evaluate any changes in personnel and service delivery models as a result of the upcoming merger between HPE Enterprise Services and CSC.

MSSP Alert Says: Here again, the combination of HPE’s enterprise IT services and CSC raises more questions than it answers for prospective MSP partners…

But wait. MSSP Magic Quadrant members 9 through 12 await you on page three of four…

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