MSP, IT management, Content

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.

Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola
Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola

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.”

The Background

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.

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.