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Kaseya Connect 2018 Preview: 8 Potential Moves for MSPs to Watch

Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola

Even before Kaseya Connect 2018 kicks off this week, we’re documenting what may happen, taking inventory of recent moves, and pinpointing where the IT management software company is heading next with its network of MSPs and midmarket IT pros. Here’s a preview of the conference.

8. MSP Mergers and Acquisitions: An MSP M&A Symposium will kick off the conference on Monday. MSP buyers will describe their most recent deals, KPIs (key performance indicators) that sellers need track, and potential valuation tips. We’ll be on hand to document all of it. PS: Track our MSP merger and acquisition perspectives in our Friday’s Exit Strategy column.

7. Potential IPO?: Last year at this time, CEO Fred Voccola indicated that Kaseya may make an IPO filing in the second half of 2018. Parent company Insight Venture Partners, a private equity firm, has owned Kaseya since 2013. The typical PE firm holds onto a business for five to seven years, generally speaking. I don’t know if Kaseya is truly ramping up for an IPO, or if a potential SEC filing will be a red herring — intended to attract potential strategic buyers. I’ll ask Voccola for an update when we sit down.

Kaseya GM Jim Lippie

6. End-to-End Strategy:  Perhaps best known for its RMM (remote monitoring and management) software, Kaseya now controls a long list of additional tools that offer such capabilities as PSA (professional services automation), BDR (backup and disaster recovery), cloud management and monitoring, security and more. To shine a brighter light on the broader portfolio, the company launched a “Powered By” push in the July 2017 timeframe. The initial focus areas included Kaseya’s AuthAnvil Security-as-a-Service (SECaaS) and Traverse Network Monitoring-as-a-Service (NMaaS). We’ll check in with GM Jim Lippie for an update on those efforts, and to see if the Powered By initiative will expand to additional platforms.

5. Recent Acquisitions: Kaseya and Unitrends confirmed their merger last week, basically giving the IT management company control of an appliance-based backup platform. But don’t overlook last year’s deal to acquire Unigma for cloud cost management across Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure.

4. BDR Partners: While Kaseya digests Unitrends, several BDR partners will also be on hand at the conference. The coopetition — companies that both compete and cooperate with Kaseya — includes names like Acronis, eFolder, Datto and Spanning. By the way, Kaseya’s parent also owns Spanning. PS: I could be wrong, but I think StorageCraft is noticeably absent from the event’s lineup.

3. Midmarket Strategy: The Unitrends acquisition pulls Kaseya deeper into the midmarket — serving midmarket IT professionals directly. Some MSPs may be concerned about head-on competition with a direct Kaseya and Unitrends salesforce. I’m not alarmed, but I will track the topic closely for our readership.

2. Next Acquisitions?: Back in September 2017, Voccola hinted that Kaseya was set to make roughly three acquisitions. By December 2017, he said at least two “industry shattering acquisitions” are on the way. I don’t know if Unitrends fits the “earth shattering” description. Hmmm…. We haven’t specifically documented the next deals. Perhaps it’s time, ahem, to take inventory of our sources to discover what may be brewing across Kasaya’s, um, network of relationships…

1. Strategic Partners: Key strategic partners like IT Glue, RapidFire Tools and dozens more will be on hand. We’ll be checking in with those firms for updates on their partner strategies, milestones and key industry trends.

Bonus: Want to potentially meet or check in with each other at the conference? Please email me your request (Joe@AfterNines.com) and perhaps we can find some time together on Tuesday afternoon or evening.

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