When Bigger isn’t Better: Understanding Ownership by Private Equity Firms

The recent acquisition of ConnectWise by Thoma Bravo gives us a chance to think about the way that different MSP software and business management solutions are owned and maintained. In some cases, your technology or systems could be owned by one of the ‘Big Players’ of the private equity world, adding more resources or clout. However, would you prefer to have a more simple and straightforward solution that can add a personal relationship to the mix?

With ‘UN-owned’ MSP business management, we see more opportunity for feedback and transparency. What does the MSP business software solutions landscape look like today, and where does Atera fit into all of this?

Private Equity Blog Post

A Bigger Agenda


Not all companies are ‘owned’ by large Private Equity firms of course, but increasingly we are seeing a shift, where the big names in MSP software are being acquired by what we think of as ‘The Big Three.’ Insight Venture Partners owns Kaseya, Vista Equity Partners holds Datto and Autotask, and Thoma Bravo has added ConnectWise to a hand that already included SolarWinds and Continuum.

Clearly these firms have the businesses best interests at heart and are hoping to strengthen and grow their ability to provide IT management overall. However, it is important to emphasize the clear advantages of independent companies, where the main focus is always on nurturing personal relationships with the core client base. Private companies like Atera will remain loyal to there values, no matter how much clients they will have.


The Personal Touch

In contrast, any company without a parent Private Equity firm at the helm has several benefits, all of which we leverage at Atera. First and foremost, it gives you a voice. While a large or owned company may respond to your customer query with regret, letting you know that the feature you’re looking for is not supported, only a company like Atera that cares about the personal touch will look to put it on the road-map for the next quarter. If for any reason we can’t implement your ideas, there is far more transparency into how we’re working and why, something that’s rare at an ‘owned’ business.

All MSP’s are interested in the timeline from new features being just brainstorming or ideas, to actually releasing them live and seeing them make a difference to your own bottom line. We believe that this can also be much faster in a company without bureaucratic hoops to jump through on a parent company level. Our Research and Development is integrated with our market research, making change both targeted and fast, and giving us the opportunity to say ‘yes’ to the latest innovations.

In many cases, large IT services providers can lose the relationship between the decision makers and the actual customers themselves. Keeping this connection not only supports the users, but also enables the senior leadership to keep a tight grasp on information ‘from the trenches’, the real data and insight that only the MSP businesses themselves have, improving their offering from the ground up, and putting effort into software and services where it’s needed the most. Having this relationship with our MSP customers has helped us build our pricing model to be both predictable and with MSP needs at the core. Simply put, our customers are our first, and our only, priority.

That’s why you will often find our senior leadership, including our CEO Gil, answering questions directly on our community Facebook group. Once a quarter you will be invited to sit in with us via webinar as we discuss our plans for the next few months, as well as open the floor up to questions and comments about where we should be looking to next. We invite feedback using our Atera Ideas board, and welcome any opportunity to streamline the relationship and connect to our customers.

We’re so proud of our Atera community, and the relationship we have built with our MSP’s over the years. Don’t forget to check out the Facebook group, and get in touch if you’d like to hear more about our full RMM MSP toolkit.