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Abacode CEO Michael Ferris On Unifying Cybersecurity And Compliance And Why MSPs Are ‘Missing A Massive Boat’

Steven Burke

Michael Ferris, co-founder and CEO of Abacode, which has pioneered the MCCP model, says that MSPs are in danger of losing customers because they can’t properly address cybersecurity and compliance issues for their customers.

All In With Partners To Address Cybersecurity And Compliance

Abacode is stepping up its drive to team with partners to solve the complex cybersecurity and compliance challenges facing customers, said Abacode CEO Michael Ferris.

In fact, Abacode, Tampa, Fla., is planning to use one third of a recent $8 million round of funding from its investors to build out the company’s three-year-old partnering sales offensive, said Ferris.

“We’re all in with partners,” said Ferris. “We believe it will drive at least two thirds if not 75 percent of our business (up from about 50 percent). Those partners have a trusted technical relationship. The problem is the complexity in security and compliance is deep water that they can no longer address. We can solve it.”

Abacode closed an $8 million round of funding (bringing its total funding to $13 million) in September from investors Ballast Point Ventures, Tampa, Fla. and Signature Bank, North Carolina. That funding round is going to help Abacode expand into the Northeast, Midwest and then out West, said Ferris.

Abacode has built a robust partner program over the last three years under the leadership of Abacode Senior Vice President of Partners and Sales Strategy Greg Chevalier, said Ferris.

“We can literally run the entire play from hello to customer success and everything in between for that partner,” said Ferris. “They usually will stay on with us in the front end. They own the client. It is on their paper if they want. Most of the time it is. You can think of the partners as sales and account management. We do everything else from run books to data sheets to sales enablement and qualifying questions. We handle all the proposals, revenue operations, solutioning.”

The Abacode model is opening the door for partners to drive cybersecurity and compliance services sales growth without a hefty up front capital expenditure to build out a cybersecurity and compliance practice including security operations centers, said Ferris.

“They would have to spend millions of dollars for the infrastructure alone because they would need to stand up two SOCs (Security Operations Centers),” said Ferris. “So they would need to pay for the infrastructure and the people. And it would take them at least five years to get it orchestrated and have it coming together. And then it is still not the core of their business.”

Most MSPs and VARs are still primarily selling NOC (Network Operations Center) and IT services along with help desk services, said Ferris.

“They don’t do full bore cybersecurity and they definitely don’t do compliance at all,” he said. “And both those MSPs and VARs are feeling it now. Security and compliance should be part of every discussion they are having. They are trying to have a security discussion, but it is lumpy, it is not good and it is not effective. And they can’t have a compliance discussion at all. So they are missing a massive boat.”

Ultimately, MSPs that do not address the complex cybersecurity and compliance challenges facing their customers are in danger of those customers going elsewhere, said Ferris. “If you can not have an immediate conversation at the right level around cybersecurity and compliance someone else is in that door and is going to take the entire business from you over time,” he said. “That is what is at risk.”

Steven Burke

Steve Burke has been reporting on the technology industry and sales channel for over 30 years. He is passionate about the role of partners using technology to solve business problems and has spoken at conferences on channel sales issues. He can be reached at

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