The Next Commercial Evolutions of Kaseya’s MSP Software
Kaseya is bringing MSPs together this week at the Connect IT Global 2021 conference – which also combines in-person content in Las Vegas with virtual components. In total, the physical and virtual event is expected to draw around 3,000 people, according to the company.
So what exactly should MSPs expect from Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola, members of the leadership team, and key technology partners? Check out the blog below throughout the week for ChannelE2E outlook, Kaseya updates and more.
To note: Blog originally published on October 19, 2021. Updated regularly thereafter.
11. MSP Payment Solutions: ConnectBooster introduced Secure Payments, which “enables IT professionals to quickly assess and manage the security, compliance and optimization of their customers’ payment environments.”
10. Interview – Fred Voccola, CEO of Kaseya: ChannelE2E’s October 20, 2021 conversation with Voccola focused on three areas: (1) The state of the MSP market, (2) The state of Kaseya, and (3) The state of Kaseya’s ownership. Paraphrase…
- The state of the MSP market: Voccola said leading MSPs can continue to grow indefinitely because (A) the market is highly fragmented, (B) there are always additional SMB customers to engage, and (C) private equity views MSPs as an investment. at a lower cost compared to SaaS companies.
- Kaseya’s condition: The company posted strong financial performance in Q3 2021 despite July’s ransomware attack.
- Kaseya’s ownership status: Kaseya is still owned by private equity backers including Insight Partners and TPG. In 2020, Kaseya had explored an IPO for 2021, but the ransomware attack pushed back those plans slightly. Now, Kaseya can potentially be publicly held around the second quarter of 2022, Voccola said. Still, there are many variables that could influence Kaseya’s ownership model in the coming months.
This is a very high level summary of the conversation. We’ll share a more comprehensive recap in the coming days.
9. How to create virtual office practices: Nerdio addresses this issue for MSPs at the conference and helps MSPs build virtual desktop practices on Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop and the new Windows 365 service. “We continue to receive many questions about Windows 365, and MSPs are starting to understand the importance of leaving the on-premises world and moving to the cloud,” Joseph Landes, Chief Revenue Officer of Nerdio, told ChannelE2E via email.
8. Kaseya MSP Software Suite: Before we explore the latest Kaseya product enhancements (see point 7 below), here’s an overview of the company’s overall suite of products for MSPs and IT professionals. The portfolio includes:
7. Kaseya Product Improvements: Now that you have an overview of Kaseya’s overall product portfolio (see point 8 above), here are the Kaseya product-specific enhancements that surfaced during the conference. They include…
- Computing Glue improvements:
- IP Access Control in IT Glue, which allows technicians to restrict access to IT Glue to specific IP addresses
- Security checklist templates in IT Glue to help technicians secure IT Glue.
- RapidFire tools:
- Look for details on the new portable vulnerability scanner VulScan (PVS).
- RapidFire Tools Network Detective Pro now supports Azure Infrastructure Discovery and Reports.
- Graphus Email Security: MSP administrators can now save time by managing and configuring end customer settings from a central location with just a few clicks, Kaseya said.
- Spanning Backup for Salesforce: Can now automatically repair lookup relationships when records are restored.
- myITdashboard and myITprocess: Now showcasing new integrations and features with BMS.
- Unit trends: Now includes Endpoint Backup alarming and monitoring integration with VSA.
6. MSP Documentation Software – IT Glue Security: SaaS Alerts, an independent software startup led by CEO Jim Lippie, has introduced new security features that allow MSPs to monitor user behavior associated with their instances of IT Glue. Kaseya owns IT Glue, a popular MSP documentation software platform.
Kaseya Connect IT Global 2021: Pre-Conference Insights from ChannelE2E
Ahead of the event, we ChannelE2E shared the following insights…
5. Status of MSP mergers and acquisitions: Voccola will share the latest statistics and some predictions on MSP M&A. Among the anecdotes to note before the event:
- ChannelE2E has tracked around 650 M&A deals so far in 2021.
- Dozens of private equity firms remain active in the MSP market, with more moving every month.
- Valuations have soared from a norm of around 5-8x EBITDA to all-time highs, according to our background conversations with MSPs and private equity firms. ChannelE2E is aware of two major M&A deals this year that had valuations of 18X EBITDA or more.
Still, ChannelE2E doesn’t think such high MSP valuations can continue. At some point — as interest rates rise — the cost of borrowing to finance M&A deals will also rise — forcing buyers to make offers more in line with historical norms. The Joker ? No one knows when this shift to normality in valuations will happen, or if the MSP market will experience some sort of dramatic valuation correction along the way…
… These are our thoughts. We’ll ping Voccola for his thoughts and insights as we speak.
4. Kaseya hires a CISO: Kaseya hired FBI veteran Jason Manar as CISO. The hiring comes after Kaseya suffered a ransomware attack in July 2021 (see point 3 below). Manar was most recently Deputy Special Agent in Charge of the FBI, overseeing all cyber, counterintelligence, intelligence, and language services programs for the San Diego office. Manar will oversee information security and compliance for Kaseya.
The key takeaway: yes, Manar is very familiar with the attack that hit Kaseya in July 2021. But that’s not all. During the event, Manar will present “An FBI Agent’s Perspective on the Changing Threat Landscape,” with key takeaways from his 16 years as a federal agent.
3. After the ransomware attack – Key lessons? : The REvil Ransomware attack on Kaseya VSA in July 2021 certainly dominated the mid-year headlines. The attack spread to approximately 50 MSPs and 1,500 downstream customers. When talk of the attack began to die down, word spread that the FBI had been sitting on the decryption key for a few weeks – a realization that added insult to injury for some. MSP.
Still, Kaseya for the most part handled effective crisis communications amid the attack and its aftermath. While Voccola spoke to U.S. government leaders and the major business press, Senior Vice President Dana Liedholm remained both proactive and responsive to industry media throughout the recovery process.
Fast forward to the present day and the wonders of ChannelE2E:
- What were the main lessons Kaseya learned from the attack and the resulting investigation?
- Did the company adjust its software development processes after the attack?
- Beyond hiring Jason Manar as CISO (see point 4 above), has the company adjusted its management team organization, reporting structures and/or responsibilities to address cybersecurity, information security and risk mitigation?
We will continue to answer these questions this week.
2. M&A Speculation – Will the Big Four ever become the Big Three? : In the MSP software market, Kaseya’s front-end competition most often involves ConnectWise, Datto, and N-able. From time to time, rumors pop up that the Big Four could become the Big Three in a possible merger and acquisition deal involving two of the companies. But which ones and when? (Note: We realize that players like Atera, Barracuda, NinjaRMM, Syncro, and SuperOps.ai, among others, have also gained momentum in the market.)
I am generally skeptical of Big Four/Big Three M&A speculation, as the resulting combination would likely trigger a product overlap. Nonetheless, I will ask Voccola for his opinion on whether or how the industry could potentially consolidate.
1. What is Kaseya’s financial plan (potential IPO?): Voccola in September 2020 said Kaseya should be a public company by around September 2021. Fast forward to today, and Kaseya is still owned by private equity firm Insight Partners – who acquired Kaseya in 2013 2019.
The key question of the moment: did the ransomware attack impact Kaseya’s financial performance; and/or IPO project; or any related calendar? The short answer, I believe, involves the following:
- Although RMM’s sales felt some pressure in the aftermath of the attack, Kaseya has a diversified business that performed well in the third quarter of 2021, sources close to the company told ChannelE2E.
- Rather than an IPO, sources close to the company have long expected Kaseya to pursue a potential recapitalization in the private equity market by the first quarter of 2022. This is also my own speculation. .
Admittedly, my financial speculation above is unconfirmed. But we’ll be pushing for updates on Kaseya de Voccola’s financial plan this week.
More conference news: Do you have news to share from the Kaseya Connect IT conference? Email me the details and we’ll potentially mention them in the blog post above.