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Continuum CEO Michael George Takes On ‘Pandemic Crisis,’ Consolidation In Five Questions

‘People are reluctant to declare something a crisis, particularly if they don't know how to solve it. … But we can solve it and that's why it's important for us to be as declarative, to let people know this is not going to blow over, this is not going to go away,’ Continuum’s CEO tells CRN.

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A few months ago Thoma Bravo bought ConnectWise. When we talked back then you said Continuum is an independent company and it would make sense to keep it an independent company. I just wanted to know if that's still going be the case moving forward or are the silos coming down?Are we going to see more integration, more cooperation between the two companies?
I'll answer that, and I'll also answer that at a macro level too. Before they even acquired ConnectWise, you have to remember Thoma Bravo is a category investor. They owned SolarWinds. They owned SolarWinds MSP. They have two properties in there, they didn't merge us with them. They own Barracuda. They didn't merge us with them.
So the opportunity to go do this has existed in lots of places for a long time. They acquired us in June 2017. Then they acquired ConnectWise in February of this year. I can tell you that it was not the investment thesis to go and merge us with any of those companies or any of those companies with each other.
They made independent economic investments around each and every one of them. Now having said that, I've said for a long time that in any of these technology markets, generally speaking, people can only count to three. Nobody knows the fourth or fifth player. Nobody cares. Markets always come down to three major players.
Today if you think about it, you have ConnectWise, Continuum, Barracuda, SolarWinds, Datto, Kaseya, so that’s six.
And I don't mean this disrespectfully, but Ninja is too small to be considered. They're not really in that category yet. They're not really a platform. But at least you have six and if the market is going to come down to three, either people have to go out of business or they're going to start to converge. And I think you're going to see over the next two or three years some of these tectonic shifts where some of these major platform providers will get consolidated and, frankly, I think that's a good thing for the market—not a bad thing.
It still remains a little fragmented. If you look at our partner base, I think the two companies we share the most in common with is ConnectWise’s PSA, and our RMM and security, and then Datto’s backup. So if you really want to know the absolutely perfect formula, and I'm not suggesting that that's what's on the horizon, but think about how simple and easy a world we would live in today for all of the MSPs.
Sometimes the best decisions are made in the absence of an alternative. When you have six major platform providers, it's still complicated for people. And they're still trying to price-optimize. You get a little from this one, you get a little from that one, but if you have ConnectWise’s PSA, Continuum’s RMM, security and Datto’s backup, I think it would probably be a pretty wonderful world you lived in.

Would Michael George be the CEO of that company?

I'll let the market determine that. I'd love to be. But regardless of who runs it, and who leads it and what name survives, no one really cares. What people care about are incredibly high-value technological solutions that solve the problems for the MSP market. But I do think over the next couple years, you’re going to see some of these things come together and I do think that as long as they’re sound and logical, it's actually good for the market. It won't be so fragmented.


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