In a recent interview with Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola, he shared his insights on the challenges and opportunities that await Managed Service Providers (MSPs) in 2024. With the ever-evolving landscape of technology and cybersecurity, Voccola shed light on the benefits of the Kaseya and Datto merger, the role of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation, and the exciting developments in store for MSPs.
“Better Together” – The Kaseya and Datto Merger
When Kaseya acquired Datto, the concept of “better together” was emphasized. However, Voccola clarifies that it goes beyond just the combination of Kaseya and Datto. It extends to the partnership between Kaseya, Datto, and their mutual MSP partners. Prior to the merger, 60% to 70% of Kaseya and Datto partners were already joint partners. This collaboration has resulted in remarkable innovation, improved technology, deeper integration, and increased automation.
Notably, Kaseya has leveraged its AI capabilities to provide free artificial intelligence tools and services to its partners. The integration of AI into the platform has empowered MSPs to optimize their operations and enhance their overall efficiency. Furthermore, Kaseya has made significant financial investments in its partner program, quadrupling the amount of Market Development Funds (MDF) and encouraging more partners to participate.
The Value of the Datto Partner Program
Fred Voccola expressed admiration for the Datto partner program and acknowledged its superiority over Kaseya’s previous program. “It was just really smart. They had a good pulse on creating value-add programs and components – programs that can move the needle for MSPs of all types, small, medium and large.”
Voccola says that Datto understood that many midsize and small MSP partners lacked marketing expertise and resources. To bridge this gap, Datto’s MDF program went beyond just providing funds; it also offered support in program execution and logistics. This pragmatic and entrepreneurial approach resonated with Voccola, leading him to adopt the Datto partner program across the Kaseya companies. Under the guidance of Gary Pica, president of Kaseya company TruMethods, the program has received a significant boost in funding, resources and leadership.
The Pragmatic Approach to AI
While AI is often seen as a complex and abstract concept, Voccola believes in taking a more pragmatic approach to its implementation. Kaseya’s journey with AI began three years ago with the development of the Cooper Intelligence Engine, named after Voccola’s dog. By giving the AI engine a relatable name and taking a practical approach to its development, Kaseya aimed to make it more accessible and less intimidating for its engineers and users. This strategy has proven successful in encouraging and increasing exploration and utilization of Kaseya’s AI capabilities.
The Cooper Intelligence Engine analyzes usage patterns and maps them to specific individuals, helping MSPs optimize their utilization of Kaseya’s tools and services. Building on this foundation, Kaseya introduced Cooper Bots, which automate common business processes identified through data analysis. The integration of AI and automation is a key focus for Kaseya, as it enables MSPs to streamline their workflows and enhance IT and security management.
The Future of Cooper Bots and Workflow Integrations
Voccola emphasizes that Kaseya’s Cooper Bots will continue to evolve and expand in the future. The uniqueness of Kaseya’s bots lies in the fact that they can build automation between different processes within the Kaseya ecosystem. This level of seamless integration is not possible with bots that operate across multiple vendor products. Kaseya’s focus on workflow integrations enables MSPs to achieve higher levels of automation, which is crucial in optimizing IT operations and managing security effectively.
The Introduction of the M&A Concierge Service
Kaseya’s M&A Concierge service aims to facilitate relationships and connections within the MSP community. While Kaseya is not a broker, it provides assistance to MSPs who wish to sell their businesses or explore acquisition opportunities. Through joint webinars and targeted invitations, Kaseya helps potential MSP buyers and sellers connect without disclosing specific names or details. This service is part of Kaseya’s commitment to supporting the growth and success of its partners.
The Opportunity of Cybersecurity Awareness
Fred Voccola also highlighted the increasing awareness among non-IT professionals about the real threats of cybersecurity and says that this growing consciousness presents a significant opportunity for MSPs to educate and guide small to midsize businesses in investing in robust cybersecurity measures. As the primary experts in the field, MSPs play a crucial role in protecting businesses from cyber threats.
Running an MSP Business Like a Business
Voccola emphasizes the importance of MSPs running their businesses with a strong focus on business operations. As the competition in the industry becomes more mature, MSPs need to move beyond a purely technical approach and adopt a more strategic mindset. Engaging with tools and technologies is essential, but it should not overshadow the need for effective business management. Voccola urges MSPs to invest time and effort in developing their business acumen to stay competitive in an evolving market.
In conclusion, the future of MSPs in 2024 is filled with opportunities and challenges. The collaboration between Kaseya and Datto has yielded remarkable results, providing MSPs with enhanced technology, integration, and automation. AI, in the form of Cooper Bots, is empowering MSPs to streamline processes and improve efficiency. Kaseya’s commitment to its partner program and the introduction of the M&A Concierge service further demonstrate its dedication to the success of MSPs. Voccola says that the industry can anticipate game-changing developments at Kaseya which will shape the future of MSPs and that as cybersecurity awareness continues to grow, MSPs have the opportunity to play a vital role in protecting businesses. However, it is crucial for MSPs to approach their operations with a business mindset to remain competitive in an ever-evolving landscape.