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ChannelPro Exclusive: Kaseya Addresses Datto Acquisition: Page 2 of 3

Days after the world learned that one of the top names in MSP solutions is buying another, Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola (pictured) spoke with ChannelPro about what the future holds for Datto’s products, people, prices, culture, support, and channel-only sales model. By Rich Freeman

In fact, much as almost every company Kaseya has bought in the past continued to operate afterward as a distinct business unit with its own identity and management team, Voccola vows, so too will Datto.

“We’re not shutting down Datto offices,” he says. “The strategy here is not about layoffs or cost reduction. We believe this is a growth play just the same way every single company we’ve bought, every single one, no exception, we’ve continued to invest in.”

Voccola is well aware that assertions like that aren’t likely to quell concerns among some nervous Datto partners. Without making legally prohibited “forward-looking statements” about Datto specifically, however, he offers these comments on some of the most widespread apprehensions within the channel. 

On concerns that price hikes will be part of how Kaseya recovers its $6.2 billion investment
Not worth worrying about, Voccola suggests, given that affordability is a core element of Kaseya’s competitive strategy. “Every acquisition we have done, every one, we’ve lowered the price of the products for our customers,” he says.

On the prospect that Kaseya will sell Datto products directly to end users, as it does its own solutions
Without specifying whether that will or won’t happen, Voccola says that when Kaseya sells software directly today, it’s not to the same customers as you.

“The people who buy our software direct are internal IT shops that don’t use MSPs,” he says. “If Citibank wanted to buy RMM technology or anti-phishing security technology, we sold it to them. We’re not competing with an MSP for that.”

Or not most of the time, anyway. Given the increasing popularity of co-managed IT arrangements, in which MSPs share administrative responsibilities with in-house IT departments, Kaseya’s salesforce does target the same customers as its partners on occasion, Voccola acknowledges.

“When that happens, we immediately call the MSP and we tell them if you lose to the internal IT shop we’re paying you a reseller fee on whatever kit they buy so you’re making the profit on [the sale],” he says, adding that the policy is necessary perhaps 500 times a year at a company that processes some 175,000 sales transactions annually.

On concerns among partners that use both Datto and Kaseya products about being too dependent on one vendor going forward
Kaseya believes that fewer vendor relationships to juggle and tighter product integrations benefit MSPs. Those that disagree, however, needn’t feel trapped using the RMM, PSA, or other products they run now, Voccola argues.

“If they don’t want to work with Kaseya or Datto, there’s 50 people that do all those areas,” he says, adding that any new third-party solutions an MSP buys will interoperate with the Kaseya and Datto products they keep.

“It’s important for large software vendors to stay open,” Voccola says, pointing not only to Kaseya and Datto but ConnectWise and other rivals as well. “We all integrate with dozens and dozens if not hundreds of our competitors. We do that because if we don’t do it, we make customers really pissed off.”

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