At first blush, several things about last week’s announcement that Continuum, the software and outsourced services provider for MSPs, had acquired managed security vendor CARVIR might seem perplexing.
After all, Continuum’s strategically vital security suite, which the Boston-based vendor officially unveiled last October, already included endpoint detection and response (EDR) capabilities. Why purchase a company like CARVIR that first made its name as a provider of EDR services for MSPs?
As for CARVIR, why would a company scarcely two years old and growing rapidly, from zero customers in November 2016 when its first product shipped to more than 580 now, agree to an acquisition at such a relatively young age?
The answers to those and other questions become clear, however, with a little extra background information. For starters, while the original edition of Continuum Security included an EDR component, beta testers wanted detection and response capabilities for firewalls, network devices, and other essential hardware as well as endpoints.
“The one thing that people came back universally and resoundingly on was, ‘hey, you really need a full SIEM capability,’” says Continuum CEO Michael George. “That was one element we did not have.”
Closing that gap as quickly as possible meant buying a solution rather than developing one, so George and his team began researching potential acquisition targets. They quickly noticed a pattern when asking MSP customers about their favorite security vendors.
“CARVIR just kept coming up time and time again,” George says. Though originally an EDR specialist, the Cumming, Ga., company added a managed SIEM offering based on technology from EventTracker, of Columbia, Md., last December.
Purchasing CARVIR was an idea with immediate appeal to George, who has known and respected CARVIR CEO and former MSP Jay Ryerse for some time.
“He was a partner of Continuum’s originally,” George explains. “Jay’s just somebody who’s lived in the shoes of the MSP and knows all the challenges that they have.”
That prior business relationship also influenced Ryerse, making him more open to a sale that hadn’t been part of his short-term plans when Continuum first reached out to him early this year.
“I’ve known them for a long time,” he says. “There’s a lot of value in that from a comfort standpoint for both of us, because I know what we’re getting, I know how they deliver service, and I’ve always respected that.”
Plus, Ryerse continues, the two businesses were already closely aligned. Indeed, from the very beginning, Ryerse had based CARVIR’s business model on Continuum’s software plus services approach to managed services generally and security specifically.
“It was a perfect fit, because we’re able to plug right into existing product structure that they were trying to roll out,” he says. “It was a very natural next step for both of us.”
It would also accelerate the evolution of CARVIR’s platform, he notes. “By connecting us into Continuum’s ecosystem, we’ve got immediate access to more talent, more people, and more resources to help grow our U.S.-based SOC,” Ryerse says.