Emily Glass is the President and CEO of Syncro, whose solution, Syncro MSP, is rapidly gaining popularity. Enterprise Times had the opportunity to sit down with her recently. Syncro recently updated its OS patch management solution, adding granularity to the solution for Windows patch management. First, we asked her to describe who Syncro is.
“Syncro is a unified PSA and RMM platform. We also provide remote access, we are a complete platform. We have a lot of integrations that provide a complete toolkit for an MSP to service their end clients, protect them, and we help them start, run and grow their business.”
Syncro, the company
Could you tell me a little about Syncro’s size, customer base, and key figures?
“We have about 120 employees around the world. Most of them are in the US. We are a 100% remote company. So we have no actual physical office location right now. That allows us to service folks, even in the UK, with our 24-by-5 support team.
“We’re growing quickly. People would probably be surprised by how large our partner base is, but I can’t share numbers. We started with servicing in our early, early days, break, fix, and have matured with our partner base to serve as MSPs. Those MSPs have been growing on our platform. We’re serving larger and larger MSPs as we add functionality and as they grow.”
What is the geographical spread of Syncro, which you recently launched in the UK?
“We are global, but it’s mostly an Anglophone user base. Our product is in English. We do have a majority of our customers in North America. We have hundreds of MSPs in the UK already using our product. Then we’re hoping that the recent focus on the product enhancements and the support and services for that region will see further growth.”
After the UK launch, do you have any further plans for international growth?
“Yeah, we already have partners around the world. We’ll continue to service them and look at different market opportunities. Right now, the UK is our focus for this year.”
The target market
There are many solutions in the market in this space. ET asked Glass what the target market for Syncro is?
“We serve what we call emerging MSPs. That’s been, traditionally, our sweet spot. That can be anywhere from 1 to 10 employees. We have a complete platform. Folks in that size range find that we have all the features, integrations and services that they have come to expect. But I will say with some of the recent changes in the space and announcements, we are seeing even larger MSPs coming to us.
“They were sold on the vision of a more complex, more mature solution for their business. They are finding over time that they are not using all of an uploaded system’s features and do not recognise the value of what they’re paying. Increasingly, and part of how we’re growing is those larger partners, upwards of 10 users are coming to evaluate Syncro and find more value in the price that we offer and the features we provide.”
Is that a risk? If you are developing your solution to meet the needs of your growing partners, does that mean you risk losing sight of the entry point for most of your prospects in that 1 to 10 sector?
“That’s an interesting question. We’ve definitely had a focus on keeping the product very simple to use and easy to set up. We have a free trial; we have a lot of resources that help people get started on Syncro. I don’t think we will lose that. It’s part of our DNA. It’s still the majority of our partner base in that emerging MSP space. But it will be a challenge.
“How do we add a more complete feature set and accommodate everybody’s requests? I think staying focused on MSPs will help because many of our competitors or other solutions in this space tried to do a lot for many different segments, like internal IT departments and VARs and other things. We are very focused on MSPs. That focus will help us maintain that ease of use as we grow. But it’s definitely something that we’re keeping an eye on.”
What is Syncro’s focus?
“MSPs today have two main challenges. That’s what I want Syncro to continue to help with. One, they need to stay on top of all the technical solutions, all the changes in the technology, the market, and what their clients need them to provide. So they have to stay on top of all the latest trends from a technical perspective.
“The second challenge is they have to run a business too. This may not be the natural tendency for many folks starting out. They need help hiring technicians, managing payroll, getting new customers and managing those relationships.
“Syncro has done a great job helping them with both of those challenges and helping them grow. I want to make sure we continue to focus on both of those elements. Some of the ways that we do and will continue to do is to automate many of the solutions to common tasks and issues. We already have automated remediation in the product. We’ll continue to enhance that area so that MSPs spend less time managing routine tasks.
“We also focus on reducing the time it takes to serve customers, communicate with them and manage those relationships. We have a lot of features in that area. From a live chat with your end customer to executive summary reports that help you manage those relationships and will continue to invest there.
“We will continue to build out our integrations. As you already mentioned, we have a lot. There are always new solutions emerging that our MSPs want to take advantage of, and we want to ensure that we’re providing those.”
On Syncro MSP, the product
You mentioned the integrations. You have integrations with QuickBooks and Xero. You’ve just launched in the UK but have no integration with Sage?
“We don’t have Sage yet, but like I said, we have an API. We’re very responsive to our partners, so if we hear a demand for that, it’s something that we could move quickly on and provide. So far, Xero has been fairly popular. We have a community where folks can give us feedback. So we take the popular suggestions and implement those.”
What is the release cadence for Syncro MSP?
“It’s agile. We release weekly when features are ready.”
What have you achieved this year?
“OS patching was one of the largest releases that we had. At a high level, it was the most requested, needed feature on the RMM that we heard from our partner base. So that drove that development, and then the launch into the UK market.”
What about Linux?
“We don’t have an agent for Linux right now, we do have a Mac agent and OS patching is limited to Windows.”
While the SyncroMSP site mentions project management, there is little detail around that and no integrations to other PMM solutions. What does Syncro offer customers in that area?
“That’s a great question. We’re always building new integrations using our API. There’s always vendors who go off on their own and build things. We have some project management capabilities within the app. It’s an area that we are interested in investing more into, but we do have checklists, and in our knowledge base, you can find how to use Syncro to do project management.”
What is coming?
“We already started to tease a little bit more of our investment in the PSA. Something we told our partner base about last week is an investment in ticketing communications. That’s the first step. What’s coming next will be more investment in ticketing workflows, more automation, and more ability to configure those.”
When you say communications, are you talking collaboration, integration with Slack or Teams?
“More rich text and more ability to interact with images in the ticket communication.”
Your last funding round was led by Mainsail partners in August 2020. Is Syncro looking for funding again in the next couple of years, and will they continue to back acquisitions?
“Mainsail is very interested in the MSP space. They are very interested in exploring acquisitions that make sense for Syncro and our partner base. We aren’t looking for any funding in the near future.”
On the market
What does the competitive landscape look like over the next year?
“It’s been interesting. It’s been changing quickly. Some of that’s driven by macro trends, the economic outlook, and the continued effects of the pandemic. MSPs are feeling pressure from that. Wars and other things in the world have things all topsy turvy this year.
“We’ll see that play out also into 2023 and continue. It’s a very uncertain time. That’s where a product like Syncro has a lot of value. It’s very affordable, and it allows MSPs to grow fast. We will capitalise on those opportunities and help our partners continue to grow, even in an uncertain environment.”
Do you see that the market is ripe for people to start their MSP?
“Some of the uncertainty poses an opportunity for folks who want to start an MSP. We’ve started to see layoffs, for example, at larger companies. They might be starting to think about outsourcing their IT or some portion of their IT to an MSP. There could be opportunities there. From what we’re seeing, we are still seeing lots of emerging MSPs coming to us for a solution and starting out. We haven’t seen that tide shifting yet, just in the glimpse of our market.”
What are your challenges?
“Keeping up with changes, making sure that our partners have all the tools that they need. There are more vendors and solutions emerging every day. Helping them keep up with that and all of the changes in work that are happening. Making sure that we’re providing solutions for them to serve their end clients.”
Over the next 12 months, what emerging technologies will impact MSPs?
“In the ancillary services that MSPs provide, there’s a lot of shifts happening with pricing, new entrants. They are necessitating MSPs to reevaluate the services that they’re providing and which vendors they’re using.
“On the security front, there’s been quite a shift from antivirus to MDR and EDR, more comprehensive monitoring and response, for example. Also, with the collaboration of MSPs, and MSSPs, we’re seeing a lot of like changes on the security side. A lot of our MSPs are working remotely now. Which is a new trend in the last two years, so less on-site visits and more managing things remotely.”
The book question
What is the latest book you read? And what is your take-out from it for business?
“I just read Jim Collins beyond entrepreneurship 2.0 (Amazon Aus, UK, US). He talks a lot about the focus on purpose. For remote working, communication and making clear a purpose and why we come to work every day is really important. At Syncro, we try to do that. It’s to make life better for MSPs. That needs to come through loud and clear and be echoed throughout everything that we do.”