As he prepares for a quarterly company management meeting in Miami, Kaseya CEO Gerald Blackie sees plenty of upside -- and a few challenges -- awaiting the managed services industry.
"If we don't shine as an industry [during the economic crisis] we're missing the boat," said Blackie. "Companies that enable new productivity and levels of efficiencies are more inclined to do well during a recession."
Amy Katz (my business partner) and I sat down with Blackie on October 21 in Miami. During our conversation, Blackie expressed continued enthusiasm for managed services, but conceded smaller MSPs could face economic challenges.
"I’d be the first to tell you it’s not all roses for industry," said Blackie. "Some of the smaller guys having a bit more difficulty. MSPs that are two- or three-man shops are having a bit of a challenge [clearing the economic hurdles]. But those who have scale seem to be doing very well. I've spoken with a few of customers over last few weeks. In the higher-end managed service market, where MSPs manage 2,000 to 10,000 machines, they’re seeing an increase in Grade A customers."
The reason: Some mid-size companies may wind up losing IT staff and could therefore need more managed services help, said Blackie.
Healthy Global ViewEven as the US financial crisis spills into foreign markets, Blackie sees continued international momentum for Kaseya.
A prime example: In the Australian market, which has been in a recession, Kaseya has generated "record business there and our MSPs are doing very well," said Blackie.
Still, Kaseya will closely manage its cost structure in 2009. "We've grown pretty strongly this year," said Blackie. [In 2009] we will not make the investments in new head count. We're a little more cautious."
At the same time, Kaseya has begun "preparing for the bigest set of new product offerings in our history," said Blackie. "We've got 30 requests for announcements that are being prepared.
The entire focus will be "on software and the way software is delivered," said Blackie.
Translation: Kaseya will continue converging managed services with Software as a Service.
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