Kaseya 6: Blending On-premise with SaaS
On the one hand, Kaseya remains committed to on-premise managed services software. But on the other hand Kaseya is preparing a Software as a Service (SaaS) strategy. The secret sauce to the hybrid on-premise and SaaS strategy is Kaseya 6, a forthcoming "new product" that seeks to serve a broader range of market segments than previous Kaseya releases. I spoke with Kaseya Executive VP Jim Alves and President Mark Sutherland for more perspective.
The goal with Kaseya 6, Alves and Sutherland asserted, is to ensure Kaseya serves multiple product segments such as:
- Break-fix resellers
- Remote trouble-shooters
- VARs with heavy managed service provider expertise
- Pureplay MSPs
- IT outsourcing specialists
Kaseya 6, Alves and Sutherland say, will address all of those segments because the software platform is actually a framework for services. Customers can pick and choose the services that best fit their needs.
Reaching New Markets
Both executives say Kaseya has a strong track record with pureplay MSPs — noting inhouseIT of Costa Mesa, Calif. as a prime example of Kaseya's traditional customer base. But Alves and Sutherland concede Kaseya's current products weren't designed for break-fix resellers who need pay-as-you-go options for simple automation tasks.
That's where Kaseya 6 enters the picture. Both executives insist that Kaseya 6's technology and pricing model will address the broad range of bulleted market segments listed above.
Kaseya's customers will be able to pick-and-choose from a range of services — some available in Kaseya 6 on premise, others available in a SaaS configuration (also based on Kaseya 6 running in Kaseya's cloud).
What's Coming — When?
Kaseya expects to launch an expanded Kaseya 6 beta the week of June 1, 2009. Then a controlled release will debut at the end of June or in July. When the final release ships, it will be available to selected customers that want to work closely with Kaseya to ensure a smooth product debut.
This is in stark contrast to the former Kaseya 5 roll out; customers had universal, immediate access to that upgrade and Kaseya was briefly overwhelmed with customer deployments and requests for product fixes.
Generally speaking, Kaseya Connect User Conference attendees sound happy with Kaseya's recent performance. But Kaseya will need to work carefully as it prepares to offer targeted Kaseya 6 releases for specific market segments. And Kaseya will need to prove the company offers the right balance of services on premise and in the cloud.
Kaseya 6 reminds me a bit of Microsoft's Windows Server segmented product strategy: There's Windows Azure (in the cloud), plus Windows Server releases for enterprises, the mid-market, small business, home, etc.
Much in the way that Microsoft had to carefully weigh product features and pricing for each targeted Windows Server release, Kaseya will need to do the same for the Kaseya 6 product family.
Alves doesn't sound worried about the segmenting challenges. He expressed confidence that Kaseya understands its customer base and target markets.