Kaseya Statement On ConnectWise PSA-RMM Integration
When ConnectWise decided to end development of a PSA-RMM software integration between ConnectWise Manage and Kaseya VSA, ChannelE2E pursued more information and context from both companies.
ConnectWise provided this perspective to ChannelE2E earlier this week, and strived to assure MSPs that they had a safe path forward either by embracing a third-party integration from MSP Assist or by switching to ConnectWise Automate.
On Thursday morning, Kaseya also replied to our request for comment. A statement from CEO Fred Voccola to ChannelE2E reads:
“While it’s unfortunate that ConnectWise has decided to discontinue their integration, I want to be clear that this does not impact the ability for customers to integrate the two products. Kaseya continues to provide a deep integration between Kaseya VSA and ConnectWise Manage, leveraging technology from MSP Assist. This integration is funded by Kaseya and is available at no cost to Kaseya customers. I think that ConnectWise’s decision to discontinue this integration should raise serious concerns for their customers. Despite ongoing claims about remaining open, this action reinforces what has been expected since the acquisition by Thoma Bravo. ConnectWise is being forced to reduce costs and they are cutting 3rd party integrations as they scale back their resources. ConnectWise customers should see this for what it is, the start of dialing-back on R&D investment, an attempt to close their platform, and the eventual raising of prices. Fortunately for our mutual customers, Kaseya continues to invest millions of dollars every year in integrations between products, and is committed to continuing this. To be clear, despite ConnectWise’s lack of customer-centric behavior, Kaseya is ensuring integrations between the two products continue.”
So what’s ChannelE2E’s perspective? No doubt, tensions occasionally run high between ConnectWise and Kaseya. As my personal coverage has mentioned for more than a decade, the duo squabbled from time to time ever since Kaseya threatened to move into PSA (2009); ConnectWise extended from PSA into RMM and launched an RMM price war (2010); and Kaseya extended from RMM to PSA (2016) and launched a PSA price war.
Fast forward to present day. Both companies have big, healthy MSP installed bases. And both companies have talented leadership — including ConnectWise CEO Jason Magee and Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola.
- Magee was running ConnectWise’s daily operations long before he shifted into the CEO seat earlier this year. He also oversaw several M&A deals that tucked new technologies into ConnectWise into recent years.
- Voccola stabilized Kaseya and restored the company to growth when he arrived to the company as CEO in 2015. He has also educated me on multiple fronts — particularly when it comes to dark web monitoring and locking down my own credentials on the Internet.
My Opinion On the Situation
Still, I sometimes don’t agree with executives and their MSP market statements. The latest example involves a portion of Voccola’s statement above — particularly as it pertains to ConnectWise’s funding. Amid any M&A deal, companies may rethink where they spend — that’s logical. But ConnectWise, backed by Thoma Bravo, has plenty of funding to pursue and maintain strategic integrations across the MSP sector, I believe.
So why did ConnectWise stop writing this particular integration? I’ll attempt to sum it up in a diplomatic way: ConnectWise likely walked away because (A) a third-party integration option exists; and (B) ConnectWise doesn’t see eye-to-eye with Kaseya in terms of ecosystem strategy and coopetition — the old Ray Noorda term for competing and cooperating. And to be clear: Those are my personal opinions based on covering and observing the market.
I may share more thoughts on item B down the road. In the meantime, MSPs can still integrate ConnectWise Manage with Kaseya VSA. They’ll just need to contact Kaseya or MSP Assist to do so.
ConnectWise and Kaseya: So What’s Next?
If you want to get a better feel for the ConnectWise and Kaseya ecosystems and management styles, check out ConnectWise IT Nation Connect 2019 in October, and Kaseya Connect IT Global 2020 in May.
The real reason that they are likely dropping it stems from past security issues that the ConnectWise written integration to Kaseya presented. This became more widely known back in February when several MSP’s had all their endpoints encrypted due to the weakness.
Hey Jay: Shame on me for not mentioning security considerations as a possible factor in the decision. We covered that particular security issue on MSSP Alert. Since that time, I have heard from several MSP software providers who are rethinking their overall API/integration strategy a bit.
The idea, in general, is to delegate all the integration work/support out to your ISVs, rather than trying to juggle all of those ISV integrations (and associated support calls/tickets/potential security issues) on your own. We’ll explore that angle more in the days/weeks ahead.
Thanks for the comment and your readership.
I actually applaud ConnectWise for doing this. No more finger pointing at each other for when something breaks. The whole issue of “Use our API” has been a struggle in the past where one things they are better than the other. Just treat each of the packages like all the others are treated and wham things start falling in line.
This also resolves the security issues where blame could be adsorbed with the current strategy.
This makes it really simple now. Automate > Kaseya BMS; Kaseaya VSA > ConnectWise Manage each can build integrations to make the connections for their partners.
The initial integration was also introduced in the beginning as ConnectWise’s MSP company was using Kaseya VSA and needed the integration.
“particularly when it comes to dark web monitoring and locking down my own credentials on the Internet.”
– Yet Kaseya has still not implemented standard 2FA for their VSA platform.
We are a mixed CW/VSA firm, and we use MSPAssist and it does the job and allows us to write API code over it. Is this even really an issue?
Curious to see if Fred’s CW accusations will really come to light. So far, I have not seen it.
Jason: Regarding 2FA… If I had to guess this will become an industrywide MSP mandate from all the major platform providers by January 2020. Late? Absolutely. Progress in terms of platform providers supporting 2FA? Fingers crossed.
Joe: We use a pretty wide array of solutions. All of the ones we use, except VSA and Webroot, have good 2FA. I get Kaseya’s commitment to the security space and I applaud it. I just do not understand how Kaseya, of all organizations, has not fast-tracked this crucial feature for their VSA product. RMM tools are some of the most powerful tools in existence in regards to exposing your client base to risk and with recent security “hiccups” in the industry I just cannot help but shake my head.
I hear you though… at least the awareness around it has been raised.