Behind Kaseya's Small and Midsize Enterprise Push

Kaseya this week launched a Small/Medium Enterprise Edition of its IT management software. Several readers reached out to me, asking if the new SMEE offering means Kaseya plans to sell directly into small businesses. I reached out to Kaseya Executive VP Jim Alves for comment. He said Kaseya's channel strategy remains unchanged. Here are Alves' thoughts, plus some more perspectives.

First, the official press release. Kaseya says Small/Medium Enterprise Edition is:

designed "with the needs of small and medium-sized IT departments in mind, SMEE is ideal for the cost conscious IT department that needs to deploy a systems management solution rapidly and achieve ROI quickly."
Apparently, the SMEE reference raised a few red flags among some MSPs. When I checked my email during Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2010 (WPC10), I had three messages from Kaseya MSPs asking if the company planned to promote SMEE directly into small businesses (circumventing the channel).

Kaseya CEO Gerald Blackie has previously told me the company has no plans to sell directly to accounts with 100 or fewer seats. But Kaseya does sell direct to customers with 100 or more seats, Blackie said.

Has the company's strategy changed? I checked in with Kaseya Executive VP Jim Alves for comment. In an email reply to my inquiry, Alves wrote:
"Our strategy is same as we explained to you earlier in the year when we discussed our enterprise market strategy.  It holds true to our strategy in selling to over 100 seats in addition it is targeted at IT departments."
Alves says any rumblings about Kaseya potentially selling direct into sub-100 seat accounts is industry FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) rather than factual. He added:
"The fact is we have sold to the enterprise market since our inception and in fact sold to the enterprise prior to selling to service providers.  We always work very cooperatively with our service provider customers and take great care to make sure there is no conflict.  We are up front with what we do and do not try to mask things."
I checked-in with a few long-time Kaseya MSPs and they didn't seem concerned by the new SMEE release. Asserted Rob Leon from inhouseIT, "They're commitment to smaller IT companies and they're listening to their clients.   SMEE is great platform built on their mature Kaseya framework."

Varying Channel Strategies

No doubt, channel strategies vary from one MSP software provider to the next. A few examples: N-able leverages a channel strategy to sell into mid-market IT departments; Level Platforms doesn't target IT departments, and instead sells purely to MSPs and service providers; and companies within the ConnectWise Capital ecosystem sell purely through the channel.

There are additional examples. But I'm running to a flight. Back later today with the Seven Managed Services Blog Entries we didn't have a chance to write this week...

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