In a blog to Kaseya's managed services partners, CEO Gerald Blackie looks back on 2011 and offers a preview of 2012. After reading Blackie's blog, MSPmentor zeroed in on at least seven themes and moves that are worth a closer look. Here's a summary for MSPs.
1. Managed Services Price Pressures: Blackie said managed services is "becoming a very competitive sector where the less professional, less organized, less automated service providers have had to revert to the age old method of trying to get more business based on lowering the price of the service." However, the best MSPs raised prices in 2011, according to an informal Kaseya survey.
Blackie's perspectives echo a recent 2112 Group study that revealed real-world MSP pricing challenges, and ongoing MSPmentor 100 research that shows the best MSPs continue to charge a premium for their services.
2. Pushing Into Large Verticals: Kaseya's own sales teams have been pushing deeper into "larger corporations, government departments, school districts, universities and other vertical markets such as banking and retail." Some deals involve "hundreds of thousands of endpoints," Blackie wrote. He pointed to a recent relationship with Safe Systems to push deeper into banking.
3. MSPs Servicing Corporate IT: Although Kaseya does sell direct to corporate IT departments, Blackie said he sees "significant opportunities" for partners to take Kaseya-based products and services to in-house IT departments. "In many cases," he wrote, "these relationships tend to evolve into recurring managed services as well as project services."
4. Network Monitoring: Blackie said Kaseya's Intellipool acquisition brings "world-class monitoring technology" to the Kaseya product portfolio.
5. Certified Kaseya Experts: Roughly 150 partners have had their Kaseya administrators graduate from a certification program offered by Florida International University. Many Kaseya marketing programs in 2012, Blackie added, will provide ways for engineers to gain certification without cost. Certified partners gain rapid, elevated support status from Kaseya.
6. Self-Service Support: Blackie said Kaseya is working on new self-service facilities to make it easier for partners to work with Kaseya 24x7. Also, Kaseya is exploring ways to more easily share its road map with partners.
7. Constructive Feedback: Blackie said Kaseya continues to adjust its business based on partner feedback. One example: Kaseya has adjusted its licensing model to "make Mobile Device Management just another agent." MSPmentor is seeking more information about the MDM licensing change.
Bottom LineKaseya continues to balance a dual focus, promoting its software to both MSPs and enterprise IT departments.
In late 2010 and early 2011, I sensed that more of Kaseya's focus had shifted to the enterprise market -- even as software competition in the MSP market greatly intensified. But by mid- to late 2011, it seemed like Kaseya was refocusing its efforts on MSPs as well.
Some MSPs have voiced concerns about the Kaseya platform -- particularly add-on module costs -- in Kaseya's forums. But overall the company seems to be speaking more with partners and adjusting accordingly. An example: I'm curious to know how and why Kaseya revamped its Mobile Device Management licensing for partners... What was the partner feedback? I'm checking.
No doubt, Kaseya's installed base remains massive and continues to grow. More than 50 percent of MSPs completing our fifth-annual MSPmentor 100 survey said they run Kaseya's software -- though the figure could be a bit inflated since Kaseya promotes our independent survey to partners (many other software vendors also promote the survey to MSPs as well). Complete survey results will debut in February 2012.
Kaseya will attempt to further bolster its MSP efforts at the Kaseya Connect 2012 conference (May 1-4, Las Vegas).