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MSP software vendor ConnectWise buys Perch, StratoZen

ConnectWise will build out its MSP security offerings by integrating Perch Security and StratoZen technology. The company also revealed plans to streamline product development.

MSP software vendor ConnectWise has bolstered its security offerings by purchasing Perch Security and StratoZen.

Perch Security, based in Tampa, Fla., provides comanaged threat detection and response platform supported by an in-house security operations center, while Salt Lake City-based StratoZen specializes in security information and event management (SIEM) products. ConnectWise said it will incorporate the companies' respective technologies into its ConnectWise Fortify security management offering, with the aim of helping MSPs reduce false positives and respond to end customers' security threats more effectively. The Perch and StratoZen acquisitions were announced at ConnectWise's annual user conference, ConnectWise IT Nation, held virtually from Nov. 10 to 12.

Brian DowneyBrian Downey

"MSPs have struggled for a long time … around trying to make sense of all the security information out there," said Brian Downey, vice president of security product management at ConnectWise, based in Tampa, Fla. "From a domain perspective, when we see any technologies that can rationalize that information and allow [MSP to use it for] intelligent action, that is something that we find really interesting."

ConnectWise's interest in purchasing Perch Security and StratoZen stemmed from the companies' focus on threat intelligence within MSP operations, Downey said. "Both of them had tuned themselves around the environment that MSPs run in [and] the problems that MSPs have."

Downey noted that an MSP's ability to identify and react to security events is growing more critical. He cited a recent ConnectWise/Vanson Bourne Ltd. study on the SMB market, which found that 68% of the SMB respondents wanted to be confident that their MSP could respond to security incidents.

"That's exactly what the platform we are building with Perch and StratoZen does," he said.

ConnectWise Fusion to boost MSP software development

At IT Nation 2020, ConnectWise also introduced ConnectWise Fusion, a platform to underpin all ConnectWise product technology.

Jeff BishopJeff Bishop

ConnectWise chief product officer Jeff Bishop said Fusion will allow the vendor to streamline product development. "The Fusion platform today … allows us to centralize a lot of our services, our data layer, our workflows [and] our reporting," he said, adding that ConnectWise has about 18 products.

The company designed ConnectWise Fusion around three pillars: business management, unified management and security management.

Looking ahead, ConnectWise Fusion will centralize user authentication and authorization to create "a platform by which all these products can be accessed, so you can log into one place and you can immediately, depending on your [user role], start to work tickets, check on devices" as well as access third-party products.

Bishop said Fusion will also provide a platform for other ecosystem vendors to build on. "You don't have to build a separate application; you can build it right there on top of [ConnectWise MSP software] portfolio."

Other updates from IT Nation 2020

ConnectWise provided additional MSP software product updates at its IT Nation 2020 event.

  • ConnectWise Manage, its professional services automation software, now features enhancements to its billing automation engine and a new reconciliation option to speed up the invoicing process.
  • BrightGuage, an MSP reporting tool, will be transformed from a dashboard to a business maturity and benchmarking platform. ConnectWise said it is launching a pilot program for the BrightGuage platform this month. ConnectWise gained BrightGuage through its acquisition of MSP software competitor Continuum in Oct. 2019.
  • The latest release of ITBoost, ConnectWise's IT documentation software, includes performance enhancements and automated capture of information from Microsoft, Amazon, Cisco and several other providers.

Next Steps

ConnectWise's IT Nation Secure explore MSP security challenges

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