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Kaseya boss looking for strong 2022

After a difficult 2021, the boss of IT software provider Kaseya is looking to make this a year that will be remembered for the right reasons

Kaseya hit the headlines for the wrong reasons in 2021, but ever since it was a victim of a cyber attack last summer, the firm has been open about improving its defences – and is determined to get the narrative back to one of growth and the benefits for managed service providers (MSPs) of its platform approach.

Fred Voccola, CEO of Kaseya, is at the forefront of those efforts, and is once again sharing his vision for a company that has and will continue to add depth to its business as it extends its platform capabilities.

Before any discussion of the future, that attack is where Voccola starts, and he describes the decisions that the business took to choose the path of being open and transparent with users about the problems.

“As a business, we had a phenomenal financial year; we grew about 33%,” he said. “In 2022, we expect our ARR to be north of around $550m. We had a huge growth year this past year, and there’s always bumps in the road and operational challenges, but that’s every company every year. We did have a very, very large security situation that hit in July, and I think it has focused our company.

“When something like that [happens] a company can do one of two things, it can talk and run, or it can stand up and say, ‘All right, let’s, address it, let’s get better from it, let’s learn from it’. We’re lucky that we have the kind of people that said ‘No, we’re not going to let this bring our customers down, we’re not going to let this bring us down, we’re going to fight and we’re going to do everything we can to get better to rally around it’,” said Voccola.

At the height of the crisis, Voccola was producing video reports and the company was issuing regular updates, and although a very small number of its customers – around 57 – were impacted, that still caused distress to the company. “Even though it only impacted the 57 of our 37,000 customers, that’s 57 too many,” he said. “It sucks. It scared a lot of people.”

“When that incident happened, people said ... we owe it to our customers to get better,” said Voccola. “And the company rallied around, and it created an ‘us versus the world’ kind of thing – us being Kaseya and our customers versus the world – and they created momentum,” he said.

Acquisitions

That momentum has seen the business continue to complete acquisitions, including RocketCyber on the security front, hire 550 people across the year and promote 200-plus to reward internal staff efforts.

The firm was also continuing to invest in the Kaseya One platform and has that in a position where it can offer a single option that MSPs can get behind.

“We’re going to continue to expand on it,” he said. “You’ll see it complete the levels of integration of our products together. It is the number one focus of our research and development initiatives, making it easy for our customers, making our customers’ lives easier. With Kaseya One we released a unified billing, unified invoicing, unified purchasing and unified support portal right in our platform. That’s a huge step. Our customers don’t have to get seven bills or go to seven different support areas.”

This year is likely to hold more of the same in terms of a couple of acquisitions and more focus around improving the tools that MSPs can use, with a particular emphasis on improving security.

Threats of increased regulation are looking to tighten up the data protection rules that MSPs will have to follow, and Voccola is also expecting more to come on that front.

“Regulatory bodies around the world [are] starting to tell people, ‘OK, you have to do this’,” he added. “The MSPs are being forced to demonstrate for their clients that they are compliant with various compliance [regulations]... our compliance is exploding and our security business is now the largest part of Kaseya.”

SMEs reaching out

The positives for those that do get compliant is that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are reaching out more than ever to get an MSP to take the strain, and the market opportunity will continue to grow.

“We believe that by the end of the decade, about 75% or so of that [SME] market will be outsourcing IT and security infrastructure management to MSPs,” said Voccola. “That opens up and quadruples the total addressable market.

“Most of these traditional VARs are now, to some degree, having some kind of a managed offering for some of their clients, so the traditional MSPs that are serving small business are looking to move upstream to offer managed offerings for small internal IT teams.”

Kaseya is heading into 2022 with a sense that it has experienced the worst, and not only survived, but grown as a business.

“[Regarding that security incident ... I hate to say this because I feel genuinely embarrassed it happened because it hurt our customers – even [if] most of them (99.99%) weren’t impacted by the breach – it changed our company a little bit,” he said. “[It refocused us on the idea that] if our customers aren’t happy, we don’t have jobs.”

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