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Kaseya: Customer-centric attitude fuelling growth

Kaseya CEO on the company’s turnaround, further acquisitions in 2019 and plans to IPO

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Kaseya today released a statement claiming it saw record-breaking growth in 2018 - reflecting, it says, the company's "relentless focus" on its customers.

The vendor, which produces IT management and monitoring software for managed service providers (MSPs), reported 32% growth, with more than $250 million in annual bookings. At the same time, it grabbed headlines with a series of acquisitions designed to bolster its IT Complete platform: Unitrends, Spanning Cloud Apps, RapidFire Tools and, most recently, IT Glue.

Chief exec, Fred Voccola also states Kaseya's customers are growing at more than twice the rate of the market, "due to the fact that we are the only player in the industry to deliver a fully integrated suite of solutions."

Don't call it a comeback

These achievements seem a long way from when Voccola first took the reins at the software firm three and a half years ago. Speaking to Channel Pro after joining the company in 2015, the CEO admitted that Kaseya had "lost its way" in terms of communicating with the MSP market, leading to uncertainty among its customer base.

"I was floored," he said at the time. "I realised we'd made some marketing mistakes; some blatant things that organisations should not do. We weren't aggressive in forcing the market to know what we're doing."

There was also a perception, Voccola told Channel Pro in 2016, that "Kaseya didn't care about its customers...That perception was there because we didn't have a customer success organisation. We had support, account management, training and education...but there was no one person that was accountable for customer success."

Since then, Voccola says the firm has put customer success at the heart of the company's growth plans, including creating a dedicated customer success group. Kaseya's restructured approach focuses on "one-on-one, personal training supported by a team of advocates empowered to assist customers at every point along their journey", the vendor says.

Speaking to Channel Pro this week, Voccola says that "We had people in the company in the past -- good people -- that were more interested in their own world than they were in our customers' success. We had to change that thought, and in some cases, make wholesale changes."

He says within the organisation now there is "a humble group of employees...You'll find zero egos, with bigger ears than mouths. We listen more than we talk."

However, Voccola points out that "there are some things we've done a pretty good job with, and there are some things we need to do so much better. And the list of things we need to do so much better is very, very long."

"Our customers are small business owners and they deserve the best, and they use our software to run their business. So [while] we have embraced our customers and become a truly customer-centric company culture...we have a long way to go to be where we want to be, where every one of our customers thinks of Kaseya as their best partner. That's the goal."

More acquisitions and an IPO

Nevertheless, across its suite of products, Kaseya's customer base has grown to approximately 40,000 customers worldwide. EMEA is the firm's fastest growing region, where it almost doubled its business in 2018.

Voccola says Kaseya's growth was also bolstered by SMBs adopting technology at four times the rate of economic growth worldwide -- and MSPs are the primary provider of technology to that market.

"We're lucky that all the stars have aligned so we can provide a comprehensive platform for IT infrastructure management, and these MSPs are exploding because their customers are exploding," he says.

Despite its shopping spree in 2018, Voccola says the industry should expect to see at least three more acquisitions in 2019. "We want IT Complete to be a comprehensive platform of integrated solutions that allows an MSP to deliver everything that their customer wants," he says.

Wheels are also still in motion for taking the company public in 2019, despite some market turbulence over the past couple of months. "To get ready for an IPO, there's a lot of procedural, back off and financial things that need to happen," says Voccola, adding that the material acquisition of backup software vendor Unitrends last year "disrupted the cycle by four or five months".

However, Kaseya is a "great profile for the public markets" and "will provide access to so much more capital to invest in our business,". The CEO added that any IPO will be tabled for the second half of the year, markets permitting.

"This is by far the most fun I've had in my career," Voccola notes. In a fiercely competitive market, it will be interesting to see if the CEO can continue to build on Kaseya's current momentum.

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