Yes, Kaseya's phone support lines have experienced heavy call volumes since the Kaseya 2 managed services platform launched in February 2010. But many of those calls are educational in nature, and more than 1,680 managed service providers and customers have made the move to Kaseya 2, asserts CEO Gerald Blackie.
Blackie's comments arrive amid chatter that some MSPs within the Kaseya ecosystem are evaluating alternative options. But during a phone conversation with MSPmentor today, Blackie and Kaseya Executive VP Jim Alves delivered upbeat perspectives, and downplayed rumors about some MSP defections.
"Overall, Kaseya 2 is going brilliantly," said Blackie. "When you have 5,000 customers and they're used to a certain form of consumption, and when you make a major leap it's a challenge to bring everyone along."
So far, Kaseya 2 represents roughly 1,680 customer deployments and nearly 2 million endpoints. Still, Blackie concedes that "there will be challenges getting the much smaller MSPs converted over. They sometimes pull the trigger and do the upgrade without following all of the documentation and best practices."
Meanwhile, Kaseya continues to host two webinars per week to help educate MSPs about the transition to K2, notes Alves. "It's not a trivial [upgrade]," added Blackie. "If you watch the [educational] videos and the webinars, we find that for the majority of folks the upgrades have gone just fine. For anyone who takes a shortcut and skips a step, life isn't pleasurable."
For Big and Small MSPs Alike?Blackie notes that the K2 platform is a "big system" because it's designed to scale up to large, global customers, offering a "full scope" of workflow automation, new security models, new reporting services and new database requirements.
Added Blackie: "We're not looking to leave behind small partners. If we had it over again, we’d likely wait just a little longer to make sure all the SaaS component were there for our smaller partners [from day one]."
Blackie concedes that Kaseya faced a "backlog of calls" for a couple of weeks but he says the calls didn't involve software bugs. "It's not that the quality of our support hasn't been good," said Blackie. "It's the volume of support on the same types of [educational] inquiries." He notes that Kaseya 2 hasn't required many bug fixes from the development team so far. Rather, it's all about front-line education to ensure upgrades go more smoothly.
"Our goal with K2 was broadening our appeal in the market," added Alves. "And that's exactly what K2 is doing for us. If you look at people who are doing managed services at the higher end of the market, they share our vision." Reinforcing that point, Blackie said Kaseya grew about 50 percent in 2009, and expects to shift to about 70 percent revenue growth in 2010.
Meanwhile, Kaseya recommends that smaller MSPs -- even existing Kaseya customers -- take a look at online educational resources before pressing the K2 upgrade button. Also, Alves says existing Kaseya MSPs should sign up for a hosted K2 trial to compare their existing Kaseya 5 infrastructure to the new K2 design.
Competitive LandscapeOf course, Kaseya isn't the only game in town. Multiple MSP software providers declared victory in Q1 2010, including upbeat statements from CEOs representing Autotask and N-able, respectively.
Meanwhile, a few MSP software providers claim to be winning business with former Kaseya MSPs. One prime example involves LabTech Software -- the RMM provider that recently attracted investment money from ConnectWise Capital. "You are correct that LabTech is finding quite a few Kaseya refugees at our shores," said Matt Nachtrab, CEO of LabTech, in an email to me. "It has been a VERY fun first month after the ConnectWise investment." I will follow-up with Nachtrab this week for more details.
In the meantime, we'll continue to watch closely as Kaseya's existing MSP base evaluates K2.
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