CEO Michael George of Continuum on serving as foundation for IT needs of small businesses

MichaelGeorge
Michael George is making a success of his latest tech venture. (Image: Continuum)

CEO Michael George’s Continuum is the service delivery backbone for small businesses’ IT needs, including cybersecurity.

“We build the tools that enable IT service providers to serve small and midsized companies,” George told FierceCEO.

Continuum has built a service-enabled technology platform that empowers IT service providers to serve their clients. But unlike other companies in the space that rely solely technology tools, Continuum has built a company that seeks to rapidly and profitably grow IT service providers’ businesses, George said.

Continuum has developed sales, management and training programs for providers with the aim of growing their businesses into profitable, successful enterprises able to deliver leading IT services to their clients through Continuum’s SaaS platform.

And on Thursday the company rolled out cybersecurity tools to Continuum’s MSP partners including a Security Operations Center (SOC) to protect and remediate small businesses with a growing need, George said. “Small businesses are under attack.”

Continuum employs more than 1,400 professionals worldwide and monitors more than 1 million desktops and servers for its 5,800 partners, empowering MSPs servicing more than 65,000 small businesses and web hosting providers protecting more than 250,000 servers.

“Any business today has an IT infrastructure, but we have a skills gap of people that can support it,” George said. “There are more millennials in the workforce than baby boomers and we’re behind in STEM education. Millennials are very tech savvy putting high demands on corporate IT systems and are not inclined to pursue careers in IT fixing them.”

George is a veteran technology executive. He served as CEO of OATSystems, Bowstreet and Interlynx, and held executive leadership positions at TALX Corporation and DEKA Corporation, always drawn to high-technology.

“I was always a bit of an unconventional learner,” he said. “I stumbled into things through experimentation. Rather than crack a book, I would go to RadioShack and get parts to try things.”

George took the reins of Continuum in 2011 under an alliance with private equity firm Summit Partners. Summit, through a spinoff, bought a line of business out of an India-based company that was traded on the Mumbai stock exchange. They then brought the business line to the U.S. and created Continuum Managed IT Services.

Another milestone came when Continuum was bought by private equity firm Thoma Bravo in June of last year.  The price was not disclosed. While transactions of this type can put a company on a path towards a public offering, George, who is part owner, is disinclined.

“At the moment I don’t think the public markets are as favorable a place for 100% recurring revenue, SaaS  companies in excess of $100 million annually as much as the private equity leaders are,” George said.

Fast Five with Michael George

When did you know you wanted to be a CEO?

It was a little less than wanting to be a CEO, but a propensity to lead.

What is your favorite job interview question?

What’s the most misunderstood thing about you?

What is a key trait for a leader?

To be self-secure, not insecure.

What keeps you up at night?

The thought we don’t seize this unique opportunity we have.

What’s the best way to motivate employees?

Figuring out what’s important to them and then articulating what the mission is in a form that figures out what gets their emotion.