Continuum, as expected, has named Bob Barnes (pictured) as its vice president, Global Service Delivery. In this newly created position, Barnes will oversee Continuum's network operations center (NOC) and help desk services. It's a safe bet Barnes also make sure that Continuum's partner technologies -- particularly Datto and LogMeIn technologies -- integrate deeply into the Continuum NOC and help desk offerings. Here's the deeper story.

Continuum, formerly Zenith RMM, has undergone a rapid transformation in the past six months. Summit Partners, a private equity firm, acquired Zenith RMM from Zenith Infotech in September 2011.

Continuum is pushing beyond its NOC, help desk and RMM (remote monitoring and management) heritage. Recent moves have included:
  • Launching a backup and disaster recovery service, called Continuum Vault, in partnership with Datto.
  • Inking a remote control relationship with LogMeIn.
  • Creating several new positions, including the post for Barnes.
According to a prepared statement:
"Barnes brings more than 20 years of technology and operations management experience and has served as global head, technology services & IT security at Celgene Corporation, global vice president, technology support at JP Morgan Chase, and program director, managed services at Siemens Business Services."
Continuum CEO Michael George has hinted more moves are coming, including potential strategic acquisitions that bolster Continuum's positioning with managed services providers.

NOC and Help Desk Services for MSPs

Meanwhile, the NOC and help desk markets have been heating up in recent weeks. A few examples:
  1. NetEnrich has built a partnership with N-able Technologies while also productizing NOC services for mid-market customers. NetEnrich has also been careful to steer clear of help desk services, preferring instead to assist MSPs with IT infrastructure, business application and database management services.
  2. Level Platforms has introduced NOC and help desk services for MSP partners.
  3. Live Virtual Help Desk appears to be building new relationships with distributors.
For MSPs, NOC and help desk services are often basic foundations of the business -- though many MSPs are struggling to decide whether to keep such services in-house or to outsource them. For third-party NOC and help desk providers, the challenge is trying to scale such services while supporting MSPs' increasingly diverse customer bases. MSPmentor will be watching to see how Barnes addresses that challenge at Continuum.