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Conferences are often a moment when a CEO and senior management can provide partners and customers with an idea of where the business is going and the major themes in the market.
For those attending the recent DattoCon, it was also a chance to hear how life would develop under the ownership of Kaseya and hear from Fred Voccola, the CEO, about his plans for 2023 and beyond.
He used his keynote to underline the benefits the acquisition would have for Datto partners, as well as his thoughts on the prospects for the managed service provider (MSP) market.
What have been the main themes at the event?
First, it was an absolute honour to be able to present onstage as the CEO of Datto. DattoCon is one of the premier MSP events globally. One of the main reasons that we acquired Datto, in addition to the great technology and the great people, was the company’s “MSP-centeredness”. Datto built an outstanding culture of making MSPs successful and happy while creating a sense of community, and it’s something that we wanted. DattoCon is one of many vehicles which enabled that, so it was an amazing experience to be the CEO presenting there.
We had two main objectives this year. One of them was that we wanted to make sure all our partners around the world understand the strategy of Kaseya, which is manifested through our platform, IT Complete.
We believe this strategy is the best for MSPs. We wanted to make sure it was clearly articulated because it is the driver behind our second objective. The second objective was to clearly articulate what I couldn’t say about the acquisition, and why it’s good for every Datto partner and every Kaseya partner. We wanted to be very direct, very transparent and very clear about what we are doing going forward.
These objectives helped fuel our main themes. When we talk about IT Complete in Kaseya, we’re all about making sure our MSPs are the most successful in the world. How do we facilitate that? We have a platform that we provide to MSPs that’s complete. It’s fully integrated and it’s more affordable than any other option. There’s more software integration, which makes the technicians much more efficient, and we charge about 30% less than other options.
We also wanted to talk about our enhanced partner program, which we’re making huge investments in. We’re doubling the marketing development funds, or MDFs, and we’re expanding the Kaseya Cares programme to all partners. The programme directly benefits our partners financially. During Covid, we invested upwards of $10m directly to our MSPs to help them deal with the cashflow issues that happened in the beginning and the middle of the pandemic.
The final piece of DattoCon was letting everyone know, without a doubt, that the conference is here to stay.
What is your message to Datto partners?
We love you. We are singularly focused on helping you, our partners, to be the most profitable MSPs. We are investing heavily in our products and integrating them. We’re increasing our support in the community and our partner programmes so we can be the best partner to you, and you can be the most successful MSPs on the planet – that is our single focus. We’ve invested more money in the MSP industry than any supplier on this planet, and we’re doing it because we want to ensure our partners are the best in the business.
What has the response been?
Great! I have personally spoken to more than 500 Datto partners, and everyone is excited about the idea of massive investment to integrate all of the products, having lower prices, and having one bill and one invoice. At DattoCon, only 11 weeks after the deal closed, we announced meaningful integrations between the products being released, and prices have already been lowered.
I love the MSP community. I love talking to partners and understanding their business challenges. The employees of Datto are great. My lifestyle as CEO is very active, and I enjoy being engaged with customers, product managers and everyone in the channel. I’m not an ivory tower executive, and I love the opportunity to be hands-on with hundreds of employees. The great things we can do together are almost limitless; it’s exciting to think about.
Roughly, what are your hopes for the rest of this year?
We’re already seeing some interesting macro-economic tides moving. The reality of the war in Ukraine is that there’s a lot of uncertainty from a macroeconomic perspective. I think a lot of people are concerned because you’ve already seen interest rates move up substantially in North America, and I think there’s a natural tightening in venture capital and private equity funding for the smaller software companies, such as those in the channel.
I think small to medium-sized businesses will fare better than large enterprises in any kind of economic downturn in the next six to eight months because they can adjust quickly. Technology enables them to do that with the help of MSPs.
As for the MSP community, no-one likes economic downturn, but when it happens, companies look to technology to automate more streamlined, low-cost processes. Small to medium-sized businesses can quickly adjust on a dime to make those decisions, and they need MSPs to deliver on it, so I think the MSP community will fare much better than the global economy and other industries in the next quarter and in the next several years.
More and more small businesses are relying on technology today, more than even a couple of years ago. A large threat to their survival is security, so they have to continue to invest as the “bad actors” around the world are getting more and more aggressive. Who provides cyber security for small to medium-sized businesses? The MSP.
Is 2023 going to be a good year for Kaseya?
You’ll see us out in the community more. You can expect us to get tons of product integration done and continue to lower prices.
We have several more exciting acquisitions. We’re investing in product, R&D and support. By the end of next year, we’ll have upwards of 30% to 50% more bodies in product and support than what we started 2022 with, and that’s assuming there’s an economic slowdown.
You’re going to see just super-cool, innovative stuff, such as amazing integration between the products, and levels of automation for engineers that will make them wonder what they did before they used IT Complete.
The partner programme is going to be so active that MSPs will wonder why they didn’t participate before. It will be an amazing amount of investment as we continue working together to build something to behold – and 2023 will be just the beginning!