The Silicon Review
The COVID-19 crisis has proven to be a challenging time for IT support teams and managed service providers (MSPs). It hasn’t only left these organizations in a vulnerable position, but also in a state of uncertainty as to what the future holds.
Against this backdrop, there lies a significant opportunity for MSPs. The global public cloud software as a service (SaaS) market reached 157 billion U.S. dollars in size in 2020, more than doubling since 2014. Since customers rely on MSPs for strategic direction surrounding new technologies, those willing to adjust their business to lean into this stand to benefit greatly.
Of course, there are certain tools that MSPs themselves need to provide SaaS-related services effectively. For one, MSPs need a way to help their clients manage an increasing number of SaaS products.
It’s an incredibly challenging process to manage manually as many organizations have lost track of how many SaaS applications they have. This in turn has created a host of risks and inefficiencies that range from data breaches to out-of-control costs.
While this isn’t news to anyone, the ability for employees to sign-up for a platform and start using it immediately means that it’s unlikely to go away anytime soon.
Augmentt is built to help MSPs solve this problem for their clients. It has created a SaaS Management Platform that enables MSPs to manage their clients SaaS ecosystem, improving security and reducing spend in the process.
Augmentt’s channel-enabled platform was designed to help organizations understand SaaS usage, optimize spend, enforce security policies, streamline operations, and make better SaaS decisions.
Augmentt was founded in 2019, and the company is based in Ontario, Canada.
In conversation with Derik Belair, President and CEO of Augmentt
Q. Why should MSPs be concerned about SaaS?
Today’s MSPs are seeing a significant shift in their client’s technology consumption patterns. Traditional hardware and software purchases are being replaced with Cloud and SaaS, which means that today’s MSP needs to evolve their business model (and their internal tools) needed to capitalize on this shift. While a few may fear the change, most are embracing SaaS and Cloud as a way to deliver cost optimization services, governance and security services, and operational support.
Q. What products are you offering today?
Augmentt Discover -SaaS Discovery and Shadow IT solution, helps organizations instantly discover all of the SaaS Applications used within their environments so that they can begin to control usage, mitigate risk, improve productivity, and reduce spend.
Augmentt Optimize- SaaS Subscription management module, allows organizations to track SaaS users, usage, and spend associated with the existing SaaS subscriptions. It allows the organization to take the guesswork out of subscription management and helps them save money.
How do you support your MSP partners through this transition?
Augmentt has created an MSP success framework designed to help MSPs quickly adopt and succeed in SaaS services delivery. This includes:
Augmentt Academy: A self-guided learning system designed specifically to help MSPs access the educational content and industry best practices needed to build and enhance their SaaS services business.
Augmentt Assist: A white-labeled SaaS services offering designed to help MSPs build their SaaS services portfolio and go to market quickly and efficiently.
Augmentt Freemium: A cost-effective pricing and licensing model designed specifically to help MSPs massively seed the marketplace.
Q. Is the Security of SaaS based offerings still a concern?
The use of non-authorized Cloud and SaaS tools, commonly referred to as Shadow IT is the leading source of security concerns for most Small and Midsized businesses today. Shadow IT has been directly linked to data breaches, data loss, cybersecurity threats, and privacy and regulatory compliance violations.
Q. SaaS is often considered to be a cost effective way of consuming technology. Is controlling spend a real concern?
Although clients are saving money by using SaaS subscriptions, this outlay still represents a considerable investment. Subscriptions for most major cloud apps are based on “Named User” licenses, meaning that you’re paying for every user who needs access. In some cases, clients might even be paying double or triple for single users. Salesforce, for instance, requires a Named User license per user per Org. If an individual user needs access to three different Salesforce Orgs, that user will require three different Named User licenses. Back when people actually bought software or developed it themselves, it could be depreciated as a capital expense. Not SaaS, which remains a constant, EBITDA-eating operating expense. That becomes a significant issue in slowdowns— tough to cut—or when you try to sell your business. Plus, what starts as a reasonable cost for a small company can be a big deal a decade down the line. Even “free” productivity software like Google’s suite of products can pull you on to an escalator of costs thanks to storage milestones that require you to spend more—or risk stalling your operations. If you are an MSP executive, this burgeoning priority to cut SaaS spend represents both an unprecedented opportunity and a challenge. To win and retain business, you must demonstrate the ability to provide value and insight, especially as organizational priorities shift.
Q. What is Augmentt’s main objective?
Augmentt’s vision is to make our MSP partners the world’s most successful MSPs. We intend to fulfill this vision by building products and programs that are easy to use, easy to acquire, and can demonstrate immediate value for the MSP and their clients.
Q. What is next on your product roadmap?
Augmentt Manage (Scheduled Beta in October 2020) - A Centralized SaaS Management and administration module. This helps organizations quickly and effortlessly automate routine administrative and management tasks associated with managing the SaaS environment, all from a central management console.
Meet the leader behind the success of Augmentt
As President and CEO of Augmentt, Derik Belair leads the vision, strategy and growth of the company. Prior to founding Augmentt, Derik was Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at SolarWinds, where he led the digital marketing strategy for the company’s Cloud and MSP division. Derik joined SolarWinds through the acquisition of N-able Technologies; a company he helped build and sell to SolarWinds in 2013. Derik has been working in the IT channel in a senior leadership role for over 20 years, having been through several acquisitions and IPOs.