A Tale of Two Zeniths: Zenith RMM And Zenith Infotech at IT Nation

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

Both Zenith RMM and Zenith Infotech had executives on hand at the ConnectWise IT Nation event, each promoting their separate product offerings, even as competitors circled amid Zenith Infotech's troubles.

Zenith RMM is looking to expand the functionality of its remote monitoring and management platform through acquisitions of complementary technologies.

That’s according to CEO Michael George who spoke with Channel Insider during the ConnectWise IT Nation 2011 event in Orlando, Fla. this week. 

Zenith RMM has the money to invest in acquisitions now, said George, because of the equity stake acquired by private-equity firm Summit Partners in September. Summit Partners bought the stake from Zenith Infotech, which retained the backup and disaster recovery technology and cloud technology lines of business after the sale. About the same time Zenith Infotech defaulted on $33 million in convertible bonds, which triggered a call on additional bonds for a total of $85 million, and has since been sued by the bond holder which is asking for full disclosure of the terms behind the sale of Zenith RMM.

The Summit Partners investment in Zenith RMM was one that was overdue for the line of business, said George. As Zenith Infotech built out its other lines of business beyond RMM its original RMM business floundered and partners were concerned about its future. That led to some partners questioning their relationship with Zenith and investigating competitors.

One of those partners, LevelCloud, had considered moving to another platform and was investigating competitors such as Lab Tech, said the MSP’s president and CEO Biren Shukla. In the end, Shukla elected to stay with Zenith RMM.

"We had to ask ourselves who would do the NOC? If you switch to another platform you will have to go alert by alert to configure everything manually," he told Channel Insider. But with Zenith RMM, the NOC is handled by Zenith and the configuration is already done. The month-to-month cost may be more expensive than competitors, Shukle said, but cost savings comes from reduced labor needs.

"If you quit Zenith RMM you have to staff your own NOC," he said. "Also with the NOC you have a whole lot of research you have to do yourself."

Shukle and George both used the ConnectWise event to promote the benefits of Zenith RMM over competitors’ offerings at a time when those same competitors were using the Zenith Infotech bond default and subsequent lawsuit to undermine the company’s business.

Meanwhile, Zenith Infotech Competitors Circle

For instance, eFolder delivered a BDR First Aid kit to attendees’ hotel rooms with a flyer that said: "Protect your client from bond defaults or bad service from your existing BDR vendor," and offered a rescue program that includes data migration, no forklift upgrade (letting customer previous device investments stay in place), and offering a price of 15 cents per-gigabit per-month.

Axient CEO Justin Moore, talking up his company’s new premium disaster recovery offering which can have clients up and running in the cloud minutes after a disaster occurs, said that his company has had about one hundred Zenith Infotech partners approach him during the ConnectWise event to ask about Axient’s DR offering.

Moore said that Axient had just raised an additional $15.5 million round of venture capital, for a total of $33.5 million in capitalization, and it currently has about one thousand channel partners.

Doyenz CEO Ashutosh Tiwary  was also on hand, promoting his company’s own DR offering which also promises nearly instant recovery with a return to operations by relying on their cloud servers. Tiwary said his company’s offering is the only one that enables partners to verify that it works. The company’s prices are based on the amount of data it protects, and it has about 400 to 500 partners.

Meanwhile Zenith Infotech’s Maurice Saluan, senior vice president of sales, was still on hand during the ConnectWise IT Nation event, presenting to partners and potential partners about the Zenith Infotech solutions. Zenith Infotech recently announced a road show to demonstrate its solutions.


Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com