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Managed Services Move: Autotask Acquires Cloud-Based RMM Player CentraStage

Autotask will extend its platform into the cloud-based remote monitoring and management space by acquiring CentraStage, a 40-person firm based in the U.K.

Autotask will extend its platform into the cloud-based remote monitoring and management space by acquiring CentraStage, a 40-person U.K.-based firm, the companies said Wednesday.

The deal, which is expected to close within three weeks, will allow for tighter integration between CentraStage and hosted IT management platform provider Autotask, with customers who work with both companies now able to receive a single invoice and talk with a single support team, said Patrick Burns, vice president of product management at Autotask.

Financial details of the transaction aren't being disclosed, said Mark Cattini, president and CEO of Autotask, a 300-person company based in East Greenbush, N.Y.

[Related: Autotask To Be Acquired By Vista Equity Partners]

For CentraStage, the deal will provide the market reach and capital backing needed to accelerate growth and build a true technology portfolio, said CEO Christian Nagele, who will join Autotask as the general manager of remote monitoring and management (RMM) global sales.

"We felt we have good technology, but it just wasn't on the desks of enough people," said Nagele, noting there's been a wave of consolidation in the RMM market in recent years.

The two companies have become familiar with one another over the past few years after CentraStage's suite was integrated into Autotask's IT management platform, one of 20 such RMM technical integrations employed by Autotask, Cattini said. The other RMM integrations will remain in place after the acquisitions, Burns said, but the company will work to differentiate the company's CentraStage offering.

CentraStage offerings, which include IT automation, will be rebranded under the Autotask name over the next few months, Burns said. But the CentraStage management team and workforce will be retained, Burns said, with the company's offices in Buckinghamshire, U.K., and Costa Mesa, Calif., staying open.

Over the next month or two, Burns said the combined company will explore ways to integrate each company's technology from a business standpoint to allow for more automation and efficiencies for labor scalability.

"Internal IT organizations are expected to behave more like businesses nowadays," Burns said. "It's no longer acceptable to be a silo gatekeeper of systems."

NEXT: The Deal's Effect On Solution Providers


CentraStage's Nagele expects solution providers to clamor for the type of integrated market suite Autotask can offer as traditional resellers move more into services. IT solution providers, consultants and MSPs make up the bulk of Autotask's clients, Autotask's Cattini said.

Nagele said CentraStage has been impressed by the build-out of Autotask's international business, which has gone from one to more than 100 employees over the past three years. And the June acquisition of Autotask by private equity firm Vista Equity Partners signaled to Nagele that Autotask has the financial backing needed to fuel growth.

"You can't build your own software business through the global recession and go home with the first girl from the dance," said Nagele, adding the companies share a similar culture, vision and strategy.

The combined company has bullish recruitment plans, Nagele said, and believes it can enter new markets relatively quickly and easily as it makes a global play for new customers. He believes the international market has been poorly served by RMM and IT business management software.

CentraStage is more scalable than other RMM products, Nagele said, able to service any company from MSPs with 50 customers to global system integrators with 500,000 customers.

Bang Industries, Quebec, is an Autotask partner that has used N-able for its RMM needs, said Vice President Shane Monty.

Though Bang Industries has been with N-able for a decade, the company would like a RMM system that's more integrated into Autotask's IT management platform for ticketing and documentation. Monty said his technicians have to manually enter ticket information into the RMM system since Autotask's ticketing system doesn't have an automatic tie back to N-able.

PUBLISHED SEPT. 10, 2014

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