Some 10 weeks after the completion of Kaseya’s epic $6.2 billion acquisition of Datto, efforts are progressing rapidly to turn two one-time rivals into a single organization that preserves and expands each organization’s strongest assets.
“We’re really one company now, and we’re operating as one company,” said Kathy Wagner, Kaseya’s CFO, during a conversation with ChannelPro today at Datto’s 2022 DattoCon conference in Washington D.C.
By next month, she noted, all Kaseya partners will have a single account management relationship with the company. That will be the same rep as before for Kaseya partners without a Datto account manager today and Datto partners without a Kaseya account manager.
Partners who currently have both a Kaseya rep and a Datto one will find out which of those persons continues to support them moving forward within days, according to Wagner, who says Kaseya completed an elaborate process for determining those assignments last weekend. Decisions were based on factors like how many Kaseya and Datto products a given partner uses and how much money they spend with each company. Account teams from both organizations provided extensive input, and could appeal decisions they disagreed with.
Joint Kaseya/Datto partners will similarly be allowed to object to assignments before the new and fully unified account management scheme goes into effect on October 1st. “We’re really trying to work to make sure that everybody gets the account manager they want with as little disruption as possible,” Wagner says.
Work is underway to build a unified post-acquisition business development organization as well. That effort is being spearheaded by Rob Rae, Datto’s senior vice president of business development, and Dan Tomaszewski, Kaseya’s recently named executive vice president of channel, under the leadership of Gary Pica, who joined Kaseya last year following the acquisition of his managed services consultancy.
Top on the team’s agenda is turning what was previously Datto’s partner program into a global partner program for everyone in Kaseya’s channel. According to Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola, that program will ultimately be staffed by a little over three times as many people as today and have twice as much MDF to distribute to members.
“We’re expanding it and we’re investing in it,” he said this morning during a keynote address that outlined other forthcoming investments.
The upshot for pre-acquisition Kaseya partners will be access for the first time to a partner program with defined tiers and benefits, including not only MDF but training programs, sales and marketing resources, not-for-resale licenses, and more.
Datto partners for their part will gain access to Kaseya’s Powered Services sales and marketing enablement team for help in planning and executing local demand generation events. “One of the biggest things that we heard from Datto customers and from the Datto business development team is that people love MDF, but they don’t always know how to spend it successfully,” Pica says.
The new Global Partner Program will feature the same levels as Datto’s former program, and the same set of qualifications for attaining those levels. Members will now get credit toward those requirements, however, for everything they buy either from Kaseya or Datto.
“Folks that were only getting credit for their Datto spend, if they’re a Kaseya customer too, might jump up two levels,” Wagner says.
Pica hopes to have initial tier assignments finalized for Kaseya partners not already in Datto’s partner program by end of the year. “We’re still sorting through the numbers,” he says.
Unlike account management and partner programs, Kaseya will not be unifying or otherwise changing Datto’s current contract terms and licensing options, Voccola emphasized this morning.
“We are not eliminating any business models,” he said. “We’re not forcing there-, five-, seven- year contracts on anything. We will continue the existing business models and we are offering enhanced savings for longer-term commitments to all of our partners.”
Kaseya, which modified its policy for auto-renewing subscriptions to managed services solutions last month, stressed at the time that the new rules apply only to products from Kaseya and its other business units, including IT Glue, ID Agent, Graphus, and RapidFire Tools. No changes have been made to Datto’s contracts or renewal terms since the acquisition closed, and none are currently scheduled to arrive in the future.
Partners will be able to pay for both Kaseya and Datto products, however, through a single monthly invoice when Wagner’s team completes a “commercial integration” process currently in development. The biggest remaining obstacle is merging two separate Salesforce CRM implementations and NetSuite ERP environments into a single back-office infrastructure.
“My goal would be to have that done as early as possible next year, hopefully in the first quarter,” Wagner says, adding that the result for partners will be reduced operational overhead. “Anytime you can take the friction out of the back office stuff, it just leaves people more time to pick up that phone and service their customers, more time to work on their business.”
Though plenty of post-acquisition onboarding lies ahead, Wagner hopes to see Kaseya and Datto “working together as one cohesive team in one operating model” within the next six months.
“We did not let any grass grow under our feet,” she says. “Uncertainty is not good for our customers, so we just decided we’re going to go fast.”