Content, Channel markets, Channel partner programs, Channel partners, Midmarket

Kaseya CEO: Unitrends Backup is 100 Percent Channel Sales Model

Fred Voccola, CEO, Kaseya
Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola

When Kaseya acquired Unitrends for its appliance-based cloud backup capabilities last week, some critics wondered if the deal would trigger direct sales competition between Kaseya and its MSP base into the midmarket. After all, the primary Unitrends customer base to date involves midmarket and enterprise customers.

Still, the Unitrends installed base was not sold direct, Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola told ChannelE2E this morning. "Unitrends sells 100 percent through the channel," Voccola says. "One. Hundred. Percent."

Voccola and his team are getting set to kick off the company's Connect 2018 conference, which starts with an MSP M&A Symposium later today in Las Vegas.

Kaseya several years ago triggered some MSP concerns by selling direct into the midmarket. The company from time to time has also sold into the higher education market -- targeting colleges and universities. Still, Voccola says only a tiny portion of the company's RMM (remote monitoring and management) software business involves midmarket customers. And he says Unitrends will remain a pure channel play.

During the early years of the MSP market, most of the successful software suppliers bet their entire businesses on MSPs as customers. But these days, many vendors have broader customer bases. SolarWinds MSP's parent, for instance, sells into midmarket accounts. And ConnectWise now focuses on technology teams -- any type of tech group that needs technology automation and management tools to improve productivity.

Within the SMB-focused MSP sector, both Continuum and Datto focus exclusively on managed services providers.

My own views on the midmarket software sector tend to be a bit softer than many pure-play channel advocates. When vendors sell directly into the midmarket, I realize that may cause some competition for MSPs. But I've always insisted: It's up to MSPs to provide truly differentiated services and quantifiable value that inspire midmarket customers to outsource some or all of their IT operations in the first place.

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.