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April 12, 2022
CHANNEL PARTNERS CONFERENCE & EXPO/MSP SUMMIT, LAS VEGAS — Kaseya shocked MSPs Monday morning with the announcement of its $6.2 billion Datto acquisition. We talked to partners attending the Channel Partners Conference & Expo and co-located MSP Summit to get their reactions and insights. The takeaways spanned the gamut. The reigning sentiments? Cautious optimism with a healthy amount of skepticism.
According to Juan Fernandez, co-founder and CEO of the MSP Growth Coalition, the acquisition might be an opportunity to do a good thing. If they do it right.
“This is a huge shake-up in the channel,” said Fernandez. “Kaseya has an opportunity to learn from the failures of other large vendors that have made similar snap-ups that didn’t move the needle. Kaseya has a choice to make here, to do this right. The need to overcome their track record, listen to the voice of the partner and do what’s right for the channel.”
Understandably, some partners are viewing the acquisition through narrow eyes. Again, given the examples of the past (ConnectWise was thrown around several times), the fear is now that Datto is being absorbed, service, tools and contracts are going to take a turn for the worse. Maybe …
Xperteks’ Marcial Velez
“We are now all in a ‘wait and see’ holding pattern,” said Marcial Velez, President and CEO, Xperteks Computer Consultancy. “Partners will all be holding their breath waiting to see what the actual impact of this shockwave is going to be. And then, they will make their decisions based upon how this acquisition shakes out. There are some who will remain optimistic, and those who will start dusting off their parachutes.”
The fear is that Kaseya, like large vendors before them, is just snapping up for the sake of snapping up. Solutions and platforms become stagnant, and it becomes about the grab rather than making actual hay of the newly acquired capabilities.
“It will become clear soon if Kaseya is going to play the same movie for us that we’ve seen before, or if they’re going to actually use this opportunity to truly innovate,” said Velez. “If people are forced to jump from the burning ship, this will cause a huge shift in the industry. Everyone will be fighting for the MSP, or MSPs will get together and start developing their own tools.”
Josh Weiss, president and founder, LA Creative Technologies, says that Kaseya will have to “spin down into Datto” to make this work.
“So it’s basically spinning down what Kaseya is doing; it needs to essentially fold into this integrated Datto beast in some way. If Kaseya is putting that kind of money into Datto, and Datto is the only company that has gotten this type of project right so far, it seems like the best play to use Datto as the base from which to expand. Take what ConnectWise is doing, for example. They are killing their industry-standard automation platform RMM in favor of Continuum, because they can’t have two.”
Richard King, chief strategy officer at Keystone Solutions, had a slightly more optimistic take.
“It is a wake-up call as to how much private equity plays in the market. This is both in MSP growth and the services that surround them,” said King. “It also shows that the MSP industry, in general, is mature and will be funded/merged/acquired at an even higher rate as we move forward.”
Indeed, the acquisition of Datto will have a huge impact upon the MSP space. How will things shake out? Only time will tell.
Allison Francis is a writer, public relations and marketing communications professional with experience working with clients in industries such as business technology, telecommunications, health care, education, the trade show and meetings industry, travel/tourism, hospitality, consumer packaged goods and food/beverage. She specializes in working with B2B technology companies involved in hyperconverged infrastructure, managed IT services, business process outsourcing, cloud management and customer experience technologies. Allison holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations and marketing from Drake University. An Iowa native, she resides in Denver, Colorado.
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