Do you ever wonder why achieving simplicity is so hard? I certainly do. Everyone tends to recognize simplicity when they see or experience it. However, simple to manage and use technology remains elusive. Further, making multiple technologies, as opposed to just one, simple to use and manage rarely happens. That said, Kaseya may have identified a simple answer to this challenge of managing IT complexity. Its strategy entails providing companies with a management console that centrally monitors and manages multiple disparate technologies.
Kaseya’s Acquisition Spree
Kaseya may not exactly be a name many companies initially recognize. However, many will readily recognize the brands its portfolio contains. Over the last two years, it quietly acquired or merged with numerous leading technology companies. These include: ID Agent (2018), IT Glue (2018), RapidFire Tools (2018), Spanning Cloud App (2018), and Unitrends (2018).
While I was aware Kaseya made these acquisitions, I was unsure what it planned to do with them. Further, I always have concern about the future of individual product lines when such acquisitions occur.
Unfortunately, once acquired, synergies between different, complementary products rarely occur. If anything, product lines tend to stagnate until the acquirer once again sells them off at some later point. These concerns prompted me to tune in for yesterday’s video presentation by Kaseya’s CEO, Fred Voccola, to understand its strategy.
IT Challenges in the 2020’s
During his presentation, Voccola did something I rarely see take place. He did NOT talk about Kaseya’s plans to integrate all the acquisitions into one seamless product. Rather, he spent most of his time discussing the IT complexity challenges that SMBs and SMEs (Kaseya’s target market) face.
Throughout his presentation, he discussed how these individuals must quickly and efficiently move from task to task accomplish each one. Even if the tasks within each product are simple to perform, IT complexity emerges as they move from task to task. This becomes aggravated as IT staff in organizations take on more responsibilities entering the 2020’s. These new responsibilities will include:
- Cloud Data Management
- Data Loss Prevention
- Disaster Recovery (DR)
- Electronic Document Management
- Legal Holds
- Office 365 Data Protection
As this occurs, there is no single product to which SMBs and SMEs can turn to address all these challenges. Aside from such a product not currently existing, even if one did exist, they likely could not afford it.
Best Products, Centralized Management
Based on this premise, he revealed Kaseya’s strategy: Make IT staff in these organizations more efficient and effective in performing individual tasks to reduce IT complexity. To accomplish this, equip them to do the following:
- Give them access to the best products in each classification (backup, cybersecurity, DR, etc.)
- Ensure each product efficiently and effectively delivers on its capabilities
- Centralize and accelerate the time it takes IT staff to switch between these disparate tasks
Adhering to this principle accomplishes two objectives:
- The products under Kaseya’s umbrella can continue to focus on being best in class in their respective categories (which DCIG has found to be true in backup and DRaaS)
- Kaseya as the parent company can focus on delivering and producing a management solution that centrally monitors and manages all these disparate products
This tactic eliminates the time and energy wasted on trying to integrate products that will likely fail anyway. This, in turn, frees each product line to continue to develop features that deliver simplicity. Individual product lines can also spend more time focusing on underlying product innovation and less time worrying about the management interface. Creating a simple to use management interface for its product falls more squarely on Kaseya as the one delivering the management console.
A Blueprint for Success
Whether Viccola successfully delivers on this strategy remains to be seen. Eliminating the overhead and stress of trying to integrate multiple product lines to work as one certainly helps. Continuing to support each product line as a standalone offering also helps ensure the continued success of each line. Further, this approach opens the door for Kaseya, the parent company, to introduce its overarching management console and complementary products as companies purchase individual products.
In short, the onus falls on Kaseya to deliver an overarching management console that provides the simplicity and value SMBs and SMEs expect. IT staff and their management at SMBs and SMEs should eagerly embrace it, especially if it makes them 25 percent more efficient as Kaseya suggests. Assuming its console and products work as advertised, this strategy sounds like a blueprint for success for both Kaseya and the companies who adopt it.
Blog entry updated on 5/22/2020 @ 2:00 pm to include mentioning Kaseya’s acquisition of ID Agent.