The managed services landscape has been transformed permanently too, Voccola continued. The enormous surge in ticket volumes most MSPs saw in the early weeks of the COVID-19 crisis have persisted and are likely to endure.
“We saw the initial spike in March of 2020 as the work from home panic hit and everyone tried to reassess IT, but in the months following we’ve seen in April, and the May data’s trending, and the June projections are showing that this is going to continue moving forward. It’s a new norm. There’s more demand on IT.”
Meeting that demand is going to be increasingly difficult for channel pros, moreover, as recession-shocked businesses with more options than ever shop around for providers who meet high standards but charge low rates. In recent years, according to Voccola, no more than 5% of end users said they were actively looking to change MSPs.
“It’s almost half in April of 2020,” he said. “The reason for that is poor service pricing.”
Add all of those developments together, Voccola argued, and the resulting implication is that the platform MSPs use to run their business must have three characteristics: “It has to deliver all of the essential technologies that are required for IT to digitally transform their customers, their employees, and their customers. Secondly, it has to increase the technicians’ efficiency, because the demands on IT are about 50% higher than they were two months ago. And finally, it has to be very cost effective.”
That, perhaps unsurprisingly, is precisely the set of attributes that Voccola said defines IT Complete, the integrated, multi-function platform Kaseya has been building for years through both organic product development and acquisitions of companies like BDR vendor Unitrends, assessment and compliance vendor RapidFire Tools, cloud backup vendor Spanning, documentation vendor IT Glue, and security vendor ID Agent.
Though still available on a stand-alone basis, products from those companies work together as integrated components to provide comprehensive functionality efficiently, Kaseya says, by reducing what the company refers to as “the space between” applications technicians use every day.
“The space between is the time it takes for a technician to switch tasks, shift the function, retrieve a new password, look up new information, orient to a new interface, try to find some documentation from somewhere,” Voccola said during his keynote. “It’s manual and it’s hard and it takes up about 50% of what a multifunctional technician does.”
Eliminating it saves MSPs money, Voccola continued. “If you have 10 technicians today, you’ll only need eight to get the same work done.” Meanwhile, the economies of scale that an integrated platform provides and a point product doesn’t allow MSPs to further raise profits by spending what Kaseya says is approximately 33% less on software.
Much of the virtual event after Voccola spoke was dedicated to outlining the latest IT Complete integrations, as well as some additional ones due soon. There will be more to come beyond those, as well, because Kaseya now requires all of its business units to dedicate at least 20% of their R&D budget to integration. The company can afford to invest further in such efforts, Voccola told ChannelPro Weekly, because its financial footing remains solid despite the recession.