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Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola: 10 Next MSP Moves

Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola kicked off the company's Connect 2018 conference for MSPs today in Las Vegas. So what did he cover? Here are 10 potential next moves, challenges and opportunities facing Kaseya and its MSP partners, according to his keynote.

1.  SMB Market Shifts: The percentage of revenue that SMBs devote to IT continues to grow, and that means great upside for MSPs, he asserts. However, the average fee MSPs receive for traditional PC endpoint monitoring has fallen for the first time, and the majority of MSPs now face rival MSPs when bidding on customer deals. So MSPs have to shift their businesses, as does Kaseya, he asserts. Many of the moves mentioned below are designed with those realities, shifts and opportunities in mind.

2. Kaseya Unified Growth Platform Strategy: The strategy has three requirements/deliverables, he said. It has to be:

  • Comprehensive: It has to be an integrated service-delivery solution that's ready to generate revenues for partners.
  • Collaborative: "You need to be open. You need to work with third-party solutions." He included all the major MSP software providers in that example.
  • Contextual: "Everything must be only a click away to improve automation and efficiency."

The overall Kaseya solution, he asserts, must deliver a 20X revenue opportunities vs. the cost of the products from Kaseya.

3. Kaseya Business Health: "It's no longer about catching up; now, it's about moving forward."

4. Single Pane of Glass: Kaseya is finally ready to deliver one. It's called KaseyaOne. "It's a version one product. Like any version one product, it will be enhanced exponentially in the weeks ahead." But he promised: MSPs are gonna love it.

5. Backup and Disaster Recovery: Voccola reinforced that last week's Unitrends acquisition involves a BDR company that sells 100 percent through the channel. The company absolutely will not compete with MSPs, he said. Instead, MSPs will have the opportunity to both consume and resell Unitrends. While Unitrends offers an appliance-based system, Kaseya will continue to offer a file-based cloud backup service that involves an Acronis integration.

Among the big opportunities, he claims: Backing up Office 365, since the majority of customers will be seeking a third-party backup solution to achieve corporate compliance, according to Gartner research, Voccola asserts.

BDR Pricing: The Kaseya Unitrends offering, by the way, will cost 5 percent to 20 percent less than rival BDR offerings, Voccola added. We have not independently confirmed that claim. Plus, the BDR offering will be billed monthly with no upfront costs for the MSP.

6. RMM 2.0 -- Endpoints Include the Network: Kaseya is integrating its Traverse network monitoring platform directly into VSA. It's a $10 million effort, and it will take time for the integration to come together. Voccola expects a December-type release to fulfill the overall vision.

Traverse will still be available as a standalone product. However, it will also be available in VSA; network monitoring will be priced as a simple per-agent add-on to VSA. My reaction? It's a major attack against Auvik Networks, the fast-growing network monitoring provider, though Voccola didn't mention that potential rival by name.

Update & Auvik Comment: Here's some more perspective on the potential Kaseya vs Auvik competition, along with Auvik's perspectives.

Meanwhile, the message is clear: The endpoint monitoring market (traditional PCs) is commoditized and pricing for such services are falling. MSPs must expand their definition of endpoints to include the network and cloud workloads. Kaseya will spend $28 million on its RMM efforts this year, up from $22 million last year. He didn't disclose how much of that $28 million goes to R&D, marketing, support, etc.

7. Managed Security Services: "It's the highest-margin managed services offering today." He pointed to multiple third-party security integrations into VSA. We're also reaching out to Kaseya GM Jim Lippie for updates on the the Kaseya AuthAnvil efforts.

8. Documentation: Every MSP should leverage a documentation platform, and a new IT Glue integration provides true documentation capabilities right within VSA, he said.

9. Professional Services Automation: V

Voccola softened his tone here. When Kaseya entered the PSA market, Voccola often beat up the value of the PSA sector, and said PSA software overall should be priced far more aggressively. These days, he's preaching the true value and importance of PSA, but still maintains that most third-party options are too expensive  -- especially since end-customers don't pay for PSA-related services.

In terms of migrations, Kaseya "learned the hard way" and screwed up some PSA migrations for MSPs. "It wasn't a pleasant experience. We're past that point. We've learned." And the team is now well-positioned to assist MSPs with PSA migrations to Kaseya's offering, he asserts.

10. Competing and Cooperating  -- Cold War Ending?: Voccola has changed his approach to the market and rivalries. He didn't say it word-for-word. But the clues are everywhere. He vowed that the company will be collaborative, integrating with third-party rival offerings for the long haul.

During an MSP M&A session yesterday, he also tipped his hat to both Kaseya Co-Founder Gerald Blackie and ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini, essentially calling them the fathers of the modern day MSP industry. It was the second time I've heard Voccola credit Bellini's vision in recent months.

Somewhat similarly, Bellini a few months ago vowed to open up IT Nation 2018 to third-party rival companies, and he personally reached out to his CEO counterparts at multiple rival companies. The competition remains fierce, no doubt, but the tone and approach -- especially between the two companies -- seems to be changing.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.