Anecdotal evidence -- including momentum statements from LabTech Software and Paessler -- suggests the managed services software market continues to grow. But will the worlds of RMM (remote monitoring and management) and PSA (professional services automation) ever achieve mass deployment across the broader IT channel? And amid continued market growth, will we see a new round of MSP software mergers and acquisitions? Here are some guesses.

First, the news:
  • LabTech grew 176 percent in 2012 vs. 2011. I believe that figure involves annual revenues, though actual revenue figures were not disclosed. The company has been growing about 179 percent per year since 2010, and now has more than 2 million software agents deployed across 2,400 MSPs. The company is also part of the broader MyOfficeBundle push promoted with ConnectWise and Quosal.
  • Paessler AG, which makes network monitoring software, says its sales rose 57 percent over the past 12 months, and 40 percent of total worldwide sales now involve channel partners. Generally speaking I believe that means most channel partners are selling Paessler's software into corporate accounts, but there are MSPs using Paessler to monitor customer networks.
Plenty of additional companies -- for instance, ConnectWise and N-able Technologies -- issued 2012 momentum statements during Q1 2013. Also, Kaseya CEO Gerald Blackie says the company successfully transitioned to a subscription software model in 2012 while continuing to grow the company (more on that soon). And BDR-centric companies like Axcient and Datto offer a steady drumbeat of growth news.But it's sometimes tricky to nail down each company's exact performance because so many players are privately held and therefore don't need to disclose revenue or profit figures.

Still, publicly held CA Technologies recently praised the accelerating growth of its CA Nimsoft product line for MSPs. And LogMeIn CEO Michael Simon said his company added more than 2,000 MSP customers in 2012.

A few years back we saw a range of MSP-oriented companies get gobbled up -- GFI Software acquiring HoundDog (now GFI Max), Citrix buying Paglo, Quest Software purchasing PacketTrap, etc. But more recently, the investment landscape has involved private equity firms buying or investing in such companies as Continuum Managed Services and N-able.

Overall I believe the MSP software market continues to enjoy solid growth. But I'm still wondering: Will there be a Big Bang moment -- a merger, acquisition or big vendor move -- in 2013? And will VARs finally learn that this software applies to their businesses as well?