Building Kaseya-Datto 4.0: The Next Potential MSP Software Steps From CEO Fred Voccola – ChannelE2E: Technology News for MSPs and Channel Partners

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Kaseyas MSP partners gather at the Connect IT Global 2022 Conference this week in Las Vegas. The event is particularly timely when you consider Kaseya’s acquisition of Dattowhat to expect Closing sometime this summer.

So what should MSP partners expect from Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola at Connect IT Global 2022 and beyond? Here are some educated guesses based on our ten+ years of experience with the MSP software technology company.

Kaseya co-founder Gerald Blackie

TeamLogic IT President Dan Shapero

Fred Voccola, CEO, Kaseya

1. Kaseya Business History: To understand where Kaseya may be headed, it is important to understand the company’s business history. The trip so far included:

  • Kaseya 1.0 – The Founding Years (2000-2013): Kaseya at this point was primarily an RMM (Remote Monitoring and Management) software company. Managers like CEO Gerald Blacki (now retired) and colleagues in the C-suite eventually and successfully positioned the company as an MSP software provider that helped partners manage customer networks remotely. executives like Dan Shapero (now President of TeamLogic IT) pioneered the company’s MSP go-to-market and engagement strategy.
  • Kaseya 2.0 – The Rebuild Years (2013-2015): private equity company Insight Partners acquired Kaseya in 2013. CA Technologies veteran Yogesh Gupta came in as President and CEO. The company attempted to penetrate corporate IT departments, but the results were mixed and some MSPs felt alienated. Fred Voccola came as CEO in July 2015. He immediately hired key MSPs and promised to stabilize the business.
  • Kaseya 3.0 – The Expansion Years (2016-2022): Kaseya returned to relevance and back under Voccola’s leadership started to grow again – both organically and through acquisitions. Early movements involved Buy Vorex and start a PSA price war versus ConnectWise and Automatic task (now owned by Datto and soon owned by Kaseya in 2022). Other major acquisitions included graph, ID agent, IT glue, RapidFire Tools, RocketCyber, overarching cloud apps, unigma. and uni trends. Meanwhile, a major cyberattack against Kaseya VSA in mid-2021 put some pressure on the company’s brand, although Voccola has stated that business momentum recovered very quickly.
  • Kaseya 4.0 – The Mega Merger Years (2022 and Beyond): Next, Kaseya expects to close the $6.2 billion acquisition of Datto any day now. Both companies grew in the run-up to the transaction. And Voccola certainly has a strategic plan to continue that post-deal growth. However, some MSPs question whether Kaseya can successfully onboard and retain key Datto employees.

Rob Rae, SVP, Datto

Datto founder Austin McChord,

Datto CEO Tim Weller

Tim Weller, CEO, Datto

2. Datto Company History: Here is a brief timeline summarizing the major milestones and business eras of the Datto company:

  • Datto 1.0 – The founding years (2006-2015): Founder Austin McChord and early leaders disrupted the highly fragmented backup and disaster recovery (BDR) market. The initial target was competitors like Zenith Infotech, which later imploded due to a default on payments. In 2013, Rob Rae joined to drive the channel partner program. By 2015, Datto had emerged as a unicorn — privately owned and valued at more than $1 billion.
  • Datto 2.0 – The Fusion Years (2015-2018): Amid continued growth, Datto positioned itself for something bigger. A train involved Acquisition of Open Mesh for WiFi network equipment, although that deal never lived up to its early promise. The bigger step? private equity company Vista Equity Partners acquired Datto in 2017 and brought Autotask into business. Austin McChord initially managed the combined company, which had around 1,400 employees at the time.
  • Datto 3.0 – The IPO years (2019-2022): Until 2019, Tim Weller succeeded McChord as CEO. Until October 2020, Datto launched an IPO (Initial public offering). The company has continued to grow as a public company, but the stock has never really risen — perhaps because Datto’s growth rate hasn’t kept pace with the public cloud world.
  • Datto 4.0 – The Mega Merger Years (2022 and beyond): Next, the merger with Kaseya.

3. Kaseya-Datto M&A – Closing Day?: We don’t know the exact date that Kaseya will close the Datto deal, but the progress report looks promising. When the deal was originally announced in April, both parties forecast that it would close sometime in late 2022 — although the fine print in the agreement outlined possible reasons why the deal’s completion could be pushed back to 2023. Fast forward to June 2022 and no such setbacks have happened. A Datto SEC filing says the M&A deal is now expected to close this summer.

Among the variables to watch:

  • talent: How much staff will Kaseya and Datto potentially cut after the deal? Kaseya had 1,834 employees and Datto had 2,095 employees listed on LinkedIn as of June 2022. Both numbers have increased slightly, the M&A deal was announced in April 2022. Be clear: The merger is not designed as a cost-cutting measure. Rather, it is designed to drive growth. Still, it is quite certain that some overlapping positions will be eliminated.
  • Internet security: How will the combined company prioritize security? Though Kaseya hired a CISO in the wake of the cyberattack in mid-2021, the company hasn’t spoken much publicly about potential changes to its security posture or software development practices. Datto now has an extensive security team — maybe several dozen people — reporting to CISO Ryan Weeks. Note: We’re not claiming that Datto’s software is inherently more secure than Kaseya’s, but in general Datto has been aggressively communicating various steps to strengthen its business.

4. Kaseya-Datto Product Roadmaps: Kaseya and Datto have overlapping products on several fronts – including:

  • RMM (remote monitoring and management)
  • PSA (Professional Services Automation)
  • Data protection (backup and disaster recovery, SaaS application backup, etc.).

In terms of installed base at MSPs, Kaseya is likely stronger in RMM, while Datto is stronger in PSA and data protection. In general, I don’t expect Kaseya or Datto to discontinue or end of life any of the overlapping product lines listed above, although I certainly don’t know that for sure. competitors such as ConnectWise and N-capable have both proven that it is possible to have multiple products in the same market serving slightly different use cases.

5. Kaseya-Datto Executive Meetings: Last I heard, Kaseya and Datto didn’t form a “clean room team” to discuss joint product roadmaps. But there were joint executive-level meetings between the two companies. If I had to guess, Datto CEO Tim Weller would exit the deal once the deal closes — though that’s just a guess on my part, based on tracking similar M&A deals over the years.

6th Connect IT Global Conference: This event, taking place June 20-23 in Las Vegas, should provide a bright spotlight for CEO Fred Voccola to describe the state of the MSP technology market, along with some excitement about Kaseya’s own momentum and the upcoming completion of the Datto business . If the deal doesn’t close in time for the conference, Voccola will need to carefully manage his comments as Datto remains a public company ahead of the deal. Also expect numerous point release updates for the entire Kaseya product portfolio at the conference. The company did a solid job of announcing new features and capabilities during the 2021 event, and I would expect a similar approach at this event.

7. What’s next: Stay tuned for updates on this week’s Connect IT conference in Las Vegas.

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