Kaseya and Datto have a 'huge investment' coming on the product side.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

September 14, 2022

6 Min Read
Mergers and acquisitions

DATTOCON 2022 — DattoCon 2022 likely eased the concerns of many partners who came to the conference with concerns about Kaseya acquiring Datto.

That’s according to Michael DePalma, Datto‘s director of business development for North America. DattoCon 2022 concluded Tuesday in Washington, D.C. Kaseya acquiring Datto was the hot topic during the conference.

Kaseya closed its $6.2 billion acquisition of Datto earlier this summer.


Datto’s Michael DePalma

“I think the problem was there was a gap in communication, and legally we had to [remain quiet] when that acquisition was going on,” DePalma said. “So the lack of communication just caused a lot of chatter. And we’ve seen that. But I think now they see yes, we’re coming together, we’re really adopting the idea of channel first and partner first. And [Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola’s] keynote was very focused on that. My sense last night at the lobby bar, which is where people get honest, is that it has really calmed folks down and they’re super energized about a lot of the things.”

Keep up with the latest channel-impacting mergers and acquisitions in our M&A roundup.

Partner Feedback Crucial in Datto’s Partner Program Expansion

Datto’s global partner program is expanding, offering more partners the ability to participate in the MSP growth-oriented program. This includes doubling market development funds (MDF) and tripling global partner program personnel. Much of the additional investment results from Kaseya acquiring Datto.

“The partner program has a huge emphasis on partner feedback,” DePalma said. “We’re still in the process of finalizing it, but all of the things we’re adding to it are directly requests that we got from partners. So we’ve done a good job always putting together MDF, and it was mentioned that we’re doubling that program. A lot of the other tools that we have to help bring people to market is something that Datto has always done and Kaseya as well. So to have the resources of both of us combined, we’ve got more staff and more funding behind it, and it’s going to be a huge initiative rolling into 2023.”

A recent survey of MSPs pointed to their four main concerns, he said. Those are recession, security, staffing and decreasing operational costs.

“When we looked at all of those, we said we could spin all four of those into actually really good opportunities,” DePalma said. “If it’s impacting us in finding good staff, think about a small business and how hard it is for them. So the opportunity now is to say, ‘Hey Mr. Small Business, I know it’s hard to find staff, and you have to overpay them and the turnover is tough. This is why you should outsource it to me.’ So we’re putting together the messaging so that partners can go to market with that and see the vision of where the opportunities are because all the fears and all of those things, the small business community is feeling that, too. So this is where MSPs are coming and saying, ‘There’s so much more stability for you to outsource your IT to me.'”

Partners Adopting Messaging

Many partners are adopting that messaging, DePalma said.

“So we’ll get the partner program and that enablement, and not only produce the co-branding materials, which are good, but get on the phone with folks and coach them through it,” he said. “And we’re always analytical on what we spend on MDF. So we know what’s been working in the industry and what hasn’t been working. When we jump on a call, it’s not a, ‘Hey, I have a gut feeling this is going to be good.’ We’ve got data to back it up. So that’s where our team and that partner enablement team have really been growing — and partners like it.”

In the aftermath of Kaseya acquiring Datto, the companies have a “huge investment” coming on the product side, which is critical, DePalma said.

“One of the good things about this acquisition … now we have the funding to accelerate what that road map will look like,” he said. “I think it’s really exciting that we’re putting a lot of resources into the networking side of things. We’ve had a great networking product line. But as most people know, the road map was kind of flat. And we are now super-energized and Fred is really behind getting into that space a lot more. There’s a huge potential there because there’s not a lot of channel-centric networking gear. So we’re really excited about that. And there are partner enablement-powered services — that’s been a big buzzword here, to help partners go to market. People are super-excited about it now. But when we get the message out, when we roll into 2023, those are the things people are going to be super-excited about.”

FBI Can Help MSPs During Cyberattacks

Also at DattoCon 2022, Bryan Vorndran, assistant director of the FBI’s Cyber Division, took the stage with Jason Manar, Kaseya’s CISO. VornDran talked about how the FBI can help during incident response and what MSPs can do to protect themselves and their customers.

Patch management, password protection and phishing training are the three biggest things MSPs and others in the channel can do to protect themselves from cyberattacks, VornDran said.

The best response to a cyberattack is to “lean in immediately,” he said. That’s how Kaseya responded when the REvil ransomware gang attacked it and its customers in July 2021.


FBI’s Bryan Vorndran

“When you look at the leadership success, they have leaned in from minute one,” Vorndran said. “They brought in the private sector … but they also brought in the FBI. And we open the door to other federal agencies or serve as a conduit for victim’s needs. It’s, ‘I am taking this on.’ We are basically at war with an adversary and not giving an inch.”

It’s important for MSPs and others in the channel to determine how clearly they can see downstream to their resellers, he said. In addition, they should build a relationship with the U.S. government now so that’s already in place when an attack happens.

Timely reporting of an attack to the FBI is important, Vorndran said.

“I’ve learned the FBI’s presence in the aftermath is not technical capacity; that resides in the company,” he said. “The FBI’s value is being a good human being, a good organization. We have taken all media inquiries to the FBI. That allows the victim to work and focus on what they need to work on.”

The FBI also can help determine who’s behind the attack. Moreover, the Bureau can help businesses make critical decisions when negotiating with attackers, VornDran said.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Edward Gately or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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MSPsChannel Research

About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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