Kaseya's 2009 Product Roadmap: Three Points Worth Noting

Kaseya's 2009 Product Roadmap: Three Points Worth Noting

Kaseya Managed Services RoadmapKaseya pulled back the curtains (slightly...) on its 2009 product roadmap for managed service providers and corporate IT managers.

Here are some highlights from the announcements, and some initial thoughts/reactions from me.

Kaseya's press release offered some big picture thoughts on the economy and IT trends, but the bottom of the press release included three key pieces of information about Kaseya's R&D (research and development) efforts:

1. Kaseya Network Infrastructure: Here, Kaseya plans to offer "Enhanced virtualization support, online backup and disaster recovery and policy management are just a few upgrades to the main platform."

All of those services are in high-demand among MSPs and corporate IT managers. But in some ways, I think Kaseya Network Infrastructure is Kaseya's response to Zenith Infotech, which seems to have strong momentum in the disaster recovery and contingency planning market segments.

2. Kaseya SaaS: Kaseya calls its SaaS offering a "Revolutionary solution available in several levels, including straightforward PC remote control and PC inventory applications; on-demand IT services like patch management or OS migration; and a full cloud implementation, SaaS delivery of the Kaseya Virtual Systems Administrator and add-on functionality, available as a subscription."

Yes, the managed services market is moving to SaaS. Some vendors have already completed that transition. The vast majority Autotask's professional services automation (PSA) customers use that software in a SaaS model. Roughly half of N-able's latest sales involve SaaS engagements rather than on-premise deployments. Brands like Ingram Micro Seismic offer a range of hosted MSP options. And Level Platforms is working with a range of Master MSPs that offer SaaS options.

3. Kaseya IT Services: The company says "a full range of new services will assist customers in achieving better staff utilization, providing them access to a broader range of services and reducing their cost of service delivery. New IT services will include enhanced multi-tiered automated 24x7 IT management and monitoring, a full range of onsite and offsite backup and disaster recovery services, helpdesk services, management of virtualization environments and administration of the customer’s Kaseya solution."

This is the key piece of Kaseya that will define the company for the next five to seven years, I believe. If Kaseya does this right, Kaseya IT Services will create more end-user demand for more managed services. If Kaseya does this wrong, the company could wind up competing on some fronts with managed service providers for end-user engagements.

Go to Market Strategy

Kaseya has clearly stated that it doesn't plan to sell directly into small businesses (organizations with 1 to 100 seats). The small business market, in other words, is wide open to Kaseya's MSPs. But once you get into the mid-market and large enterprises, Kaseya does intend to sell directly to customers -- meaning that MSPs may run into Kaseya's sales force on some larger deals.

I'm not pressing the panic button or screaming "channel conflict." Most major IT vendors (IBM, Hewlett-Packard and even Microsoft) have a mix of direct and indirect sales. And Kaseya intends to be a "major" IT vendor over the long haul. For that to happen, the company will need to carefully balance its direct and indirect sales efforts.

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