Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola is one of the few people who enjoys going to the dentist. An outwardly masculine guy—he’s a big fan of mixed martial arts (MMA)—Voccola acknowledges he can be a little neurotic about his teeth.
But what he really enjoys is the relationship he has with his dentist, who, it turns out, is an aggressive user of digital automation—the kind often managed by Kaseya technology. Voccola’s dentist uses technology to help run, promote and secure his practice. When he visits, Voccola marvels at the innovation that the professional leverages on a daily basis.
“My dentist sends me a text with a promotion reminding me to get my teeth whitened,” says Voccola. “Eight years ago that’s only something that Citibank could dream of doing.”
Today, it’s commonplace for SMBs to leverage martec, fintec, and ERP technology, and demand that their MSPs offer dual-factor authentication and single network sign-on. There are several reasons why, but the key one, according to Voccola, is the secure, manageable and scalable infrastructure put in place by the MSPs, VARs and ICT consultants of the world.
Thanks to this infrastructure, SMBs are poised to do great if not transformative things with technology in 2018, Voccola says. This includes leveraging new apps, deploying new devices and making better use of the data they have at their fingertips.
In a one-on-one interview with the head of Kaseya, which develops IT management solutions for managed service providers (MSPs) and mid-market enterprises (MME), Voccola (pictured below) weighs in on what he thinks will be the big trends in 2018. (To no one’s surprise, he believes that the increased use of management solutions will unlock new value for customers and partners alike.) He also hints that his company will make two blockbuster announcements that will strengthen its position in the market and further distinguish it from other Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) and Professional Services Automation (PSA) companies, ConnectWise and Autotask, especially.
Before I get to Voccola's predictions, here’s a quick recap of the milestones his company achieved in 2017.
Overall, Kaseya grew its business more than 40 percent. In addition, it added more than 1,000 new PSA customers. Finally, Kaseya estimates that it completed 1,000 competitive displacements, as well.
In addition to these milestones, Kaseya announced the acquisition of Unigma, a developer of cloud management solutions, in May. It also unveiled what it believes is a “game-changing” technology, “Powered Services,” which allows MSPs to more easily sell security and network monitoring services.
2017 also saw Kaseya introduce “MSP Insights,” which is a new business intelligence and benchmarking tool that helps MSPs better understand how they stack against their peers in terms of efficiency, pricing strategies, services bundles and more.
In 2017, Kaseya also got into a sparring match with ConnectWise, which of course we showcased on our site, MSPmentor. The back and forth got so heated that Adam Slutskin, the Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) at ConnectWise, felt compelled to call on Kaseya to tone down rhetoric over the firms' PSA solutions for the greater good of the IT service provider community.
Kaseya’s response was pure Voccola gold: “We agree that our industry should focus on the customer first,” Voccola replied. “That is the entire point of Kaseya speaking out against the practices of other vendors that claim to be putting the customer first, but who, in reality are not.”
Of all of the things Kaseya did in 2017, Voccola says the one that made the biggest difference was to simply the lives of its MSP customers. The updated Kaseya RMM suite, for example, provides “50 times” the automation of the competition, he boasts.
Predictions for 2017
In addition to continued growth in the SMB market, Voccola offered plenty of other insights. For one, he does not expect to see MSPs en masse jump into business applications next year. The reason is two-fold: MSPs have yet to crack the code on how to sell to line of business buyers, and prevailing business models and SaaS partner programs still lack a clear ROI for practitioners. What’s more likely to happen in 2017, Voccola says, is continued investment into the service of end customers’ infrastructure needs.
“I think what you will see is some partners who sell Office 365 embrace the whole of the Microsoft suite such as Dynamics,” says Voccola. “But when you move upstream and start selling to hospitals, for example, what you find is that their internal IT guys are getting crushed by security regulation, network complexity and HIPPA compliance. … What they are looking for is MSPs to outsource their infrastructure to.”
As for the new opportunities, Voccola believes selling “compliance-as-a-service” will only grow in popularity in 2018. It’s a natural for MSPs that already sell security and data protection. And it’s what customers want most, he adds. (Voccola jokes that his dentist is as focused on HIPPA compliance as much as Voccola’s dental work.)
When it comes to business trends, Voccola says “co-sourcing,” which he describes as the outsourcing of discrete portions of IT infrastructure such as network management or security, will only grow in popularity in 2018.
Voccola expects to see in the new year more merger and acquisition (M&A) activity, but not necessarily more consolidation due to the number of new startups that are getting into the business. They are being propelled by a number of private equity companies that now see the MSP market as a vibrant place to make consistent returns.
Finally, Voccola says 2018 will see increased investment in tools and platforms used by MSPs to improve the efficiency and productivity of their companies.
“We see more and more MSPs run their organizations like a business and not a technology shop,” he says. This is why products and services such as IT Glue, ServiceNow and even Salesforce.com have become so popular among channel companies, he adds.
As for those “industry-rocking” announcements I hinted at, Voccola left me mulling about this prediction: in the aftermath of the blockbuster acquisition of Autotask by Datto, which he believes was good for the industry, Kaseya will not sit still.
“You’re going to see some super cool stuff from Kaseya in 2018. I’ll make a bold statement: there will be at least two, industry-rocking acquisitions completed by Kaseya in 2018. You can write that down. Without a doubt, I’ll bet my career on them,” he says.
Love his style or loathe it, you cannot ignore Voccola (or his well-kept teeth), which is why I’m happy to bring my year to a close featuring his insights.
Here’s wishing you a joyous holiday season. May your days be merry and bright.