John Harden launched Saaslio in 2020, just as COVID hit the U.S. But he had no idea at the time how much the pandemic would affect the product he was looking to develop or the demand for it.
Indianapolis-based Saaslio helps IT teams track the software their employees are using remotely, a service that’s in enough demand now that the firm has been snapped up by Waterloo, Ontario-based Auvik, which provides cloud-based network management software.
The companies did not release the terms of the deal or say how many employees will be affected. But Harden will stay on with the company and continue to be a chief advocate of Saaslio, which—for now—will remain a brand within the company.
The companies are still working out the details of the integration, Harden said.
But he said he’s confident Auvik will give Saaslio “the horsepower we need to execute and build this technology out. It’s already really good technology. It’s already in market. But they’re going to be able to take it and blow it up big from the engineering side.”
Back in 2020, when Harden was launching the company, it wasn’t clear just how much a product like Saaslio would be needed. Harden was interested in the problems that can develop when a company’s employees start using more and more software-as-a-service products without clearing them through an IT department.
It’s something not a ton of people were talking about. But once the pandemic turned nearly all offices into remote-work situations, the problem became a huge one. That’s because the use of SaaS products for communication and collaboration exploded.
“Every employee is just trying to get their job done,” Harden said. “They have a problem they want to solve, they go to Google and they find a tool that can be a solution. They sign up and they put their information in and then they do their job.”
But what they don’t realize, Harden said, is they’re leaving fragments of business information across the cloud that they never tell their IT departments about, he said.
All those bits and pieces of information are called “shadow IT” and can threaten the security of a company.
That situation is tough enough for an IT leader at a single company to handle. But when you’re a third-party IT services provider—helping dozens or even hundreds of companies maintain their hardware and software—the need to manage all that SaaS is multiplied. Saaslio is aimed at those providers.
“We wanted to bring visibility to the IT manager and to help them find where all these fragments of data are,” he said. That helps them assess risk and make changes where they need to.
Harden said that back in 2020, as he was developing the Saaslio product, it was tough to convince companies that employees’ use of SaaS was a problem they need to think about. But today, it’s a different conversation.
“We were on an inordinate growth trajectory leading up to this acquisition,” he said.
Saaslio had taken on investors as it’s grown since 2020. Indianapolis-based Start Something Ventures led what Harden called a Launch Round, but Harden did not provide financial details.
“We’re beyond excited because Auvik is going to able to take this trajectory we have and keep it moving,” he said. “And so we’re going be able to service more people with better technology.”
Auvik announced the deal on Wednesday, which it also said had acquired Boardgent, a platform for managing and protecting desktops and laptops remotely.
Auvik CEO Marc Morin said in a statement about the acquisitions that Auvik’s goal is to support companies that have what’s called a distributed workforce—essentially employees are doing their work from different physical locations—and need a centralized tool to monitor and manage the modern work environment.
“Auvik, Saaslio and Boardgent have a similar approach to the market and how we value our clients,” Morin said. “We believe that the combination of our deep expertise in network monitoring and management, experienced workforces, proprietary technologies, and innovative solutions allows our unified company to deliver the ultimate network monitoring platform.”