When Kaseya Connect 2016 kicks off in Carlsbad, Calif., next week, CEO Fred Voccola will surely communicate signs of progress at the MSP-centric software company. Roughly eight months on the job, Voccola has taken multiple steps to strengthen Kaseya's R&D, software delivery, customer support, partner ecosystem and more.
But is a dramatic Kaseya turnaround underway? Here are five questions for MSPs and conference attendees to probe.
1. The Big Picture: Insight Venture Partners acquired Kaseya in 2013, but the deal stumbled out of the gate. Too many variables -- acquisitions, executive changes and emerging rivals -- initially undermined the deal.
Still, it's only been three years since the buyout. Typical private equity owners hang on to a business for about seven years -- and sometimes far longer. That suggests Insight has a long-term investment horizon, and could remain patient as a Kaseya turnaround potentially unfolds. My question: How is Insight feeling about Kaseya's progress right now?
2. Kaseya PSA-RMM Integration: Kaseya acquired Vorex in early 2016, as part of a push to offer low-cost PSA (professional services automation) functions directly in Kaseya's VSA platform. Vorex's technology is now rebranded as Kaseya Business Management Solution. My question: How many MSPs have adopted the PSA capabilities -- and what are their early experiences with the single dashboard approach -- especially compared to integrated alternatives from Autotask, ConnectWise and SolarWinds N-able, among others?
3. Security: Kaseya acquired Scorpion Software for Identity Management as a Service (IDaaS) in 2014. More recently, Kaseya has partnered closely with Webroot on deeper security integrations. And a lengthy list of security vendors are sponsoring the conference. My question: How are MSPs addressing the four P's of security -- people, policy, process and product -- rather than simply trying to sell endpoint security or firewalls. (Credit: The 2112 Group's Larry Walsh discussed the four P's of security during CompTIA Annual Member Meeting a few weeks ago.)
4. M&A Symposium: Kaseya and its guest speakers say a new MSP reality has arrived -- involving mergers and acquisitions. Hmmm.... I wonder how that topic made the agenda? And I wonder how long the MSP M&A wave will continue to grow before things subside a bit? Wink, wink. Kidding aside, Kaseya's M&A Symposium has some great speakers on the agenda -- including:
If I was attending, I'd carve out some serious time for that symposium.
5. Kaseya Cloud Management: I know Kaseya offers 365 Command for Microsoft Office 365 management, and Traverse for overall cloud management. My Question: How can Kaseya help MSPs to manage and monetize workloads across Amazon Web Services, Azure, Google and more?
6. Bonus - Kaseya's Own SLAs: Now that Voccola has been running Kaseya for roughly eight months, how is the company performing against it's own SLAs, service and support goals? My Question: Has the R&D pipeline delivered more predictable, more timely upgrades over the past year? And are Kaseya support lines and online forums responsive enough to MSP inquiries?
Overall, I sense Kaseya has made progress with its business over the past eight months or so. But there's a difference between stabilizing a business and returning it to growth with high-value partner offerings. We'll be poking around and checking in with attendees for their thoughts as the conference unfolds.