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Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.


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News & Articles

September 27, 2018 |

Enablement and Integration Are Next Steps for Continuum’s Security Strategy

Now that it’s launched security systems, Continuum plans to teach MSPs how to sell them and link them more tightly with its RMM product and outsourced help desk, according to Chief Revenue Officer Bob Kocis (pictured).

Building and launching managed security solutions was job one for Continuum, the Boston-based provider of software and services for MSPs. Job two is enabling partners to sell those systems.

That’s according to Bob Kocis, chief revenue officer at Continuum, which held its annual Navigate partner conference this week up the street from its headquarters at Boston’s Seaport World Trade Center. Speaking with ChannelPro at that event, Kocis reported encouraging initial numbers for the company’s security portfolio, which it introduced at last year’s Navigate event and officially rolled out in June.

“We’re already eclipsed a hundred thousand endpoints in a very short period of time,” he said. What’s more, over 600 MSPs are already using the new offerings, which span from profiling and protection capabilities to threat detection and response, and another 330 are evaluating them.

Few of those partners are fully prepared to sell the new systems at present though, Kocis continues, noting that most channel pros are newcomers to managed security. “Sometimes they’re not even sure how to price and package it,” he says.

Brian Downey, Continuum’s senior director for security product management, agrees. Closing managed security deals, he notes, requires skills most channel pros lack.

“They have to actually educate the clients to be able to help them understand why more security is needed and why things have changed, and be able to distill a very technical, very complex concept into something that a law firm or a restaurant owner or someone like that can understand,” Downey says. “That’s a much different challenge than what they’ve had in the past.”

Kocis plans to spend much of his time in the year ahead helping partners tackle that challenge. “It’s a huge priority,” he says.

Already, Kocis notes, Continuum is hosting twice weekly webinars on building a security practice and guiding selected partners through in-person instruction. In 2019, the company will dedicate its Sales Academy training events to security as well. “We are going to pivot it to a cybersecurity sales academy,” Kocis says.

Continuum made a new step-by-step business planning guide available to Navigate attendees as well. “The idea behind it was let’s give them a framework where they can walk through, build a business plan, and they’d be able to launch the offering to market with some confidence,” Kocis says.

Longer term, Continuum plans to make safeguarding customers easier for its partners by weaving its security solutions together more tightly with its RMM system, outsourced help desk, and other offerings.

“We want to kind of take the pieces and continue to make them more valuable together,” says Fielder Hiss, Continuum’s vice president of product. “We’re not going to require everyone to buy all the pieces, but the more we can make them cross-aware and connect them, the more value our partners will get from our platform solutions.”

According to Downey, much of that effort will focus on equipping Continuum’s management offerings to act on evidence of security risks automatically. “In a security incident, seconds matter,” he says. “You need to have automated processes.”

As an example of what that could mean in practice, Downey cites a scenario in which Continuum’s security solutions observe suspicious logins to a user’s email account from multiple overseas locations.

“Every second that account’s still active, people can be doing things,” he says. Continuum’s vision is to equip its security products and RMM platform to suspend the account and then notify the help desk for further remediation.

Partners can also expect to see the security platform gain entirely new capabilities, like the compliance management feature Continuum unveiled this week, according to CEO Michael George. “This is a rapidly evolving category,” he says. “We are continuing to invest very heavily in [it].”

Though he declined to discuss the specific kinds of functionality potentially on the way, George indicated that Continuum will build some of it in house and either buy or partner with third-party vendors for the rest.

“We have efforts moving forward in all three of those directions,” he says, noting that the deep pockets of Thoma Bravo LLC, the Chicago-based private equity investor that has owned Continuum since June of last year, make the “buy” portion of that formula significantly easier.

“They have given us tremendous financial wherewithal to make acquisitions,” George states.

Though security dominated the agenda at this year’s Navigate, as well as the market analysis George presented during his opening keynote address on Tuesday, Continuum also previewed new capabilities aimed at helping MSPs manage and backup cloud-based resources for their customers at the show.

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