MDR, Channel partner programs, Channel partner events, IT management

MSP Update: Dell’s AI Plans, OpenText Acquires Pillr MDR for MSPs

Michael Dell at Dell Technologies World 2024
  • OpenText Buys Pillr Multi-Tenant MDR Platform
  • HaloPSA and NinjaOne Ally to Improve MSP Efficiency
  • Your Guide to MSP Investment Platform Companies
  • Dell Expands Partner of Record Program to Include PCs
  • Dell Delivers AI Factory Vision with PCs, Storage
  • From Networking to Acquisition: How Ntiva Integrates New MSPs

This week MSSP Alert affiliate site ChannelE2E traveled to Dell Technologies World to bring you news about one tech giant’s AI revolution, including the release of five new AI PCs and enhancements to the company’s partner program.

We’ve also got news for you about an important acquisition in the cybersecurity market. OpenText has acquired managed detection and response platform Pillr from Novacoast. What’s so special about Pillr?

This MDR platform was designed with MSPs in mind as a cloud-native, multi-tenant offering. OpenText says it plans to introduce key features to the platform including API integrations. MSPs are getting more choices when it comes to MDR, and we’re witnessing what looks like the beginning of consolidation in the MDR market.

This week we also rolled out the landing page for our new series of stories that profile the MSPs that serve as investment platform companies by acquiring other MSPs. The goal is to provide a helpful overview so that MSPs will learn about potential acquirers including elements such as investment philosophy, whether the sellers tend to exit or stay on, whether the acquired MSP retains its brand and tech stack, and more. We’ll be updating this landing page on a regular basis as we profile more of these platform companies, so be sure to bookmark the page (linked below).

OpenText Buys Pillr Multi-Tenant MDR Platform

OpenText Corporation has acquired managed detection and response (MDR) platform Pillr from Novacoast for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition is part of OpenText's strategy to accelerate its cybersecurity product roadmap. 

Pillr is a cloud-native, multi-tenant MDR platform designed for MSPs and includes capabilities for threat hunting and response, including 24x7 Security Operations Center (SOC) services.

OpenText, which trades on the NASDAQ under the ticker OTEX,  plans to introduce key features to the platform including API integrations and product/pricing bundling, which it says will provide MSPs with a more comprehensive solution to protect against cybersecurity threats. 

Read the full story here.

HaloPSA and NinjaOne Ally to Improve MSP Efficiency

HaloPSA and NinjaOne have announced an integration of their software platforms to enhance the efficiency of managed service providers (MSPs). 

The integration combines NinjaOne's remote monitoring and management (RMM) with HaloPSA's professional services automation (PSA), aiming to streamline device and service management for MSPs, the companies said.

The integration of HaloPSA and NinjaOne's platforms is designed to simplify the management of devices and services for MSPs, which the companies say will save time and resources, allowing MSPs to better serve their clients.

One distinguishing feature of HaloPSA is its commitment to avoid external investments and mergers for ten years. This pledge is included in contracts with MSPs, signaling a focus on stability and innovation. Tim Barton-Wines, an executive at HaloPSA, reported that 300 MSPs join the platform each month.

Read the full story here.

Your Guide to MSP Investment Platform Companies

 Have you ever contemplated an exit from your managed service provider, selling the company you founded either to another MSP, MSSP or private equity firm? Plenty of MSPs have done just that over the past several years. Monthly recurring revenues make MSPs an attractive investment for private equity and other investors.

You may even have been contacted by bigger MSPs or by private equity firms asking about whether you plan to sell.

If you are ready to sell or getting ready, what’s the next step? How do you decide which “platform” company is a fit for your MSP? Will you choose an exit, or do you want to stay with the company after it is acquired? Will the acquiring company fully absorb your company into its existing operations or will it maintain your brand and IT stack? What’s the acquirer’s culture and business philosophy? And has the acquirer discussed their own exit plan? What happens if and when they decide to recapitalize or sell?

These are key questions as you evaluate which MSP platform company is right for your ultimate exit.

To help you answer these questions, ChannelE2E, the destination for MSP merger and acquisition news and insights, has launched a series of company profiles that take a deeper look at MSP platform investment companies.

Read the full story here.

Dell Expands Partner of Record Program to Include PCs

 Dell is expanding its Partner of Record server and storage programs to include the company’s client offerings – including PCs, the company announced during Dell Technologies World in Las Vegas this week.

The announcement builds on some powerful partner announcements the company has made in the last year as Dell has increasingly embraced channel partners and delivered on what partners care about.

Last year at Dell Technologies World, the company rolled out Partner First for Storage. Darren Sullivan, Dell Global Partner Program and Operations senior vice president told ChannelE2E that the announcement was the “biggest go-to-market announcement I remember at Dell,” and he’s a veteran at the company, having joined when Dell acquired EMC in 2016.

Sullivan said that the announcement demonstrated the importance of partners to Dell’s storage technology sales. He said that 99% of accounts in storage are partner-first accounts.

There are three components of Partner First for Storage.

Read the full story here.

Dell Delivers AI Factory Vision with PCs, Storage

Last year, the focus at Dell Technologies World was on multi-cloud, with AI receiving just a mention.  But this year, Dell took that nascent AI product roadmap and demonstrated that it has gone all-in. AI is now its unifying theme and the driver behind a key concept in the company’s strategy, the Dell AI Factory.

That AI Factory comes in the form of products across the company’s huge portfolio of products and services from the edge to the cloud, together with technologies from strategic partners, too.

“We are unleashing technology that will accelerate scientific discovery and development with the power to transform our organizations, our lives, and our world,” said Dell CEO Michael Dell in the opening keynote address, noting that earlier this month marked 40 years since he started the company building PCs in his college dorm room.

He called this moment with AI a generational opportunity for productivity, innovation and growth and advised customers and partners “to reimagine and reinvent your organizations to harness this hyper intelligence.”

Read the full story here.

From Networking to Acquisition: How Ntiva Integrates New MSPs

Ntiva, a platform MSP, began expanding through acquisitions in 2017 after securing private equity backing. Ntiva’s M&A process aims to maintain service quality and client relationships while leveraging Ntiva’s broader resources and expertise.

Like many platform MSPs, an important aspect of Ntiva’s strategy is its emphasis on cultural fit and building trust. According to Christopher Vollmond-Carstens, Ntiva’s chief M&A officer, the company prioritizes building a strong rapport with potential acquisition targets before finalizing any deals. 

"You've got to establish the connection, build a foundation for trust, rapport, etc., before you can really start to contemplate bringing two organizations together, or bringing your life's work into another organization," Vollmond-Carstens explained to ChannelE2E.

This approach ensures that the merging entities share similar values and business philosophies, according to Vollmond-Carstens. 

Read the full story here.

Jessica C. Davis

Jessica C. Davis is editorial director of CyberRisk Alliance’s channel brands, MSSP Alert, MSSP Alert Live, and ChannelE2E. She has spent a career as a journalist and editor covering the intersection of business and technology including chips, software, the cloud, AI, and cybersecurity. She previously served as editor in chief of Channel Insider and later of MSP Mentor where she was one of the original editors running the MSP 501.