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Memo From ConnectWise to Kaseya: Welcome to PSA

Adam Slutskin

Adam Slutskin

As Kaseya strives to ramp up its newly acquired PSA business, rival ConnectWise says it welcomes the competition — but has a warning for the new PSA (professional services automation) entrant.

“Competition can be fantastic for everyone and we welcome it,” says ConnectWise Chief Revenue Officer Adam Slutskin. “So, welcome to the PSA market, Kaseya. But remember. We’ve been at PSA a long time. And I challenge the notion that business management platforms like PSA, ERP or CRM in general are commoditizing.”

Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola made the “commoditization” suggestion when he announced a PSA platform — called Kaseya Business Management Solution — earlier this month. As part of the launch, the company disclosed aggressive pricing and free one-year subscriptions to Autotask, ConnectWise and Tigerpaw Software customers that jump to Kaseya BMS.

fred voccola

Fred Voccola

Slutskin’s reaction to Voccola’s assertions? He says Kaseya doesn’t realize that PSA is the “nerve center of a company.” Slutskin also believes it’s far more difficult for MSPs and IT service providers to switch out PSAs rather than RMMs (remote monitoring and management) platforms.

In recent years, several MSP software vendors have either acquired or launched blended PSA and RMM systems. ConnectWise led the charge when it expanded from PSA to RMM with the 2010 investment in LabTech Software. More recently, Autotask, SolarWinds N-able and now Kaseya have expanded their offerings into both market segments.

Still, Slutskin insists ConnectWise’s experience  — balancing and integrating PSA and RMM for six years — gives the company a leg up against Kaseya.

My overall reaction? Now that I’ve had a few weeks to digest Kaseya’s move, I think the company’s blended RMM-PSA approach will potentially help Kaseya to more effectively retain its RMM base, and to potentially win business from VARs that are just making the jump to managed services. But I’m curious to see if established MSPs make wholesale transitions away from rival PSA options.

As for rival ConnectWise: That company definitely remains in growth mode.

Another key question I need to ask Kaseya (but failed to think of during interviews earlier this month): Is Kaseya ramping up its support desks for PSA customers that may wind up embracing the free 12-month offer? Hmmm…

PS: Pardon the boxing graphic up top. Slutskin certainly didn’t declare war during our conversation. But it’s good to see some competitive sparring in the market.

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4 Comments

Comments

    Jim Barnet:

    Hi Joe:

    I think Mr. Voccola did a very good job at generating media coverage with his provocative statements regarding the Kaseya acquisition of PSA vendor Vorex, in fact look.., we’re talking about it again ; -).

    To suggest that a 20, 30 or 50 employee technology solution provider buys their PSA solution, which is basically ERP software for Professional Services companies, based primarily on “lowest price” buying criteria, is just as ridiculous as saying that low price is the primary buying criteria to select their RMM software (in which case Kaseya’s market share would probably be significantly lower than it is).

    As Mr. Slutskin from Connectwise implied, you don’t automate your Sales, Order Fulfillment, Project Management and Help Desk departments with the cheapest solution possible. Most customers make their PSA buying decision based on the best possible “fit” (and value) for their company’s current and future business software needs, that fits into their budget.

    I have yet to come across a prospective PSA software customer who said “Jim we recognize that the Promys Enterprise PSA software offers significantly more value and is a much better fit for our users needs than any of your competitors, but one of them is slightly cheaper so we’re going in that direction..,”. I’m sure this isn’t what Mr. Voccola intended, but one of the impressions that could be created based on some of his statements, is that “Vorex isn’t the best PSA software, or the best value, but it is the cheapest…, “.

    And finally, as per your comment Joe, “buying” a PSA solution (or getting one for free), is not the same as successfully implementing, incorporating best practices, training & driving user adoption and supporting a PSA solution. And that may be even more important than which PSA software a customer buys (or temporarily gets for free).

    Regards,
    Jim Barnet
    PROMYS
    Director Sales & Marketing
    Tel: 905-847-6539, ext. 2972
    Cell: 647-239-2942
    jbarnet@promys.com
    t: @PROMYS_PSA

      Joe Panettieri:

      Hey Jim:

      Thanks for adding some timely views to the conversation. And thanks for the briefings over the years. I think the various vendor statements will certainly drive more multi-vendor test drives. But I’m still not sure if/how market share will shift. We’ll be watching.

      Best,
      -jp

    Dustin Bolander:

    I am late to the comment party but its the same thing I tell all the RMM vendors that call me: my PSA or RMM has to be causing a huge amount of problems before I even think about switching. 3/4 of our team has CW & LT running all day, all our billing processes run through LT, our project management & sales, etc. There are a number of big complaints I have about CW (both product and company) but nothing that makes me even consider switching. Kaseya could offer 5 years of free service and it would not make a difference, the amount of time, training and pain involved is going to be huge. Also if you’re spending time flip flopping between PSA & RMM (or other products), you may be neglecting other parts of your business…

      Joe Panettieri:

      Dustin: Thanks for your note, readership and insights. I agree. Swapping out business platforms isn’t for the faint-hearted. For those that do make a platform switch, I’d love to hear about the business drivers behind the decision… and the outcomes.
      -jp

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