Kaseya CMO On Kaseya 365, Pricing And Owning Their Mistakes

‘Our goal is to essentially get in front of every single one of those customers and convert them all, make them all love of us over time,’ says Kaseya CMO Mike Sanders.

Mike Sanders believes that Kaseya’s new Kaseya 365 offering is “disruptively priced and gives MSPs that utilize it a competitive advantage is important.”

“I think we’re seeing a new category being built around endpoint management [as] the table stakes for endpoint management have changed,” Sanders, Kaseya’s chief marketing officer, told CRN.

Last week, Kaseya announced Kaseya 365, a product that allows MSPs to manage, secure, back up and automate all their clients’ environments through one subscription and one license.

“In this one subscription, in this one license, you get all of the functionality of RMM (remote monitoring and management), you get all of the essential things to secure your customer’s environment,” said Fred Voccola, Kaseya CEO, about Kaseya 365. “[It has] antivirus capabilities, third-party patching capabilities, ransomware detection, endpoint detection and response, MDR (managed detection and response) and managed SOC (security operations center) and endpoint backup for every single endpoint in your client’s environment. All of this in one subscription, one integrated license.”

The all-in-one solution also includes 20 automations to enhance workflow efficiency and reduce errors. All of Kaseya automations are pre-built and included in Kaseya 365. An express version of Kaseya 365 is also available but without MDR.

The Miami-based vendor also announced its partner-first pledge, which encompasses all products offered are now offered in one-year or three-year agreements, FLEXSpend for backup, catastrophic client loss protection, price lock guarantee and month-to-month contracts for Datto BDCR (business continuity and disaster recovery).

“We think this will give them back five to $10 an endpoint per month, and that’s a 50 percent to 100 percent increase on their profit margin,” Sanders said of Kaseya 365. “That's a game changer for this industry and will revolutionize a lot of things for these folks.”

CRN spoke further with Sanders about the new offering, making mistakes and how the company is trying to win over every MSP.

What was the idea behind launching Kaseya 365 and bundling everything together?

For us it’s just in line with what we’ve seen as a shift in the wire for endpoint management. If you look back at, say, 2003, we launched and really created the RMM space as it is today. There were different things that were going on back then but if you look at the overarching definition of RMM I think Kaseya played a pivotal role in creating what that is. It's changed over time what it means to manage an endpoint today. If you were doing patch management, some monitoring and a little bit of auditing to see what was on the machine, then you were doing what was required and that's no longer the case. We don’t see a lot of people who don't think that EDR is a requirement for endpoint management. With that broadening of what's required, we wanted to make sure that we had a subscription and a license that matched what we think is the baseline of the essentials that are required today for endpoint management. We also have Kaseya 365 Pro because there's still a lot of [discussion] on whether or not MDR and SOC are necessary for endpoint management across the board. I think people have two different views on that and that's why we have two different products.

Is it a different price for Kaseya 365 and Kaseya 365 Pro?

Kaseya 365 Express is cheaper than Kaseya 365 Pro. Right now we're doing a special for the launch, which is Pro is $3.99 and Express is $1.75.

The $3.99... is that for new customers or existing customers?

The $3.99 will be an upgrade price for existing customers.

How long is that promotion going on?

We’re going to do it through May. One thing to note, because it has come up, is we are going to lock that price in too. This is not something where folks will buy it at that price, and then all of a sudden see a much higher price point going forward that is not in line with what they’re expecting. There’s some different facets to that but obviously it’s important for us to make sure that everybody knows that there’s a price lock on it. We are allowing people to continue to purchase at whatever price they come in at for Kaseya 365. They can feel confident that they've got something a little bit future-proofed from a pricing and packaging perspective.

Kaseya’s partner base is very interesting. It seems like half of your partners love you and the other half are not the biggest fans. It’s almost polarizing. What’s your response to that?

We’re certainly not perfect. We’ve made some mistakes over the years in different things, most recently some of the billing stuff has made people upset and we recognize that. Our goal is to essentially get in front of every single one of those customers and convert them all, make them all love of us over time. We do different things, we do listen to the market quite a bit and I think we've done some things around that with the partner first pledge that we announced. That is directly in line with the things that we've heard from existing customers. One of the big things that I think people took issue with over the past year was the removal of month-to-month renewal options for BCDR appliances, for example. We brought them back. We don't think we get everything right every time and we're open to making adjustments where it makes sense. Our goal, for the absolute avoidance of doubt, is to win all of those customers over and we're on a mission to do it. For us, that’s incredibly important. We certainly don't think of it as, ‘Oh well it's a big market if somebody doesn't like us, so be it.’ We really want to be in front of every single partner, win them all over and have them all be raving fans.

Why is it so important for Kaseya to own those mistakes?

We're human and there's always things we could do better. Whether it’s getting better at the everyday management of the client experience or strategic decisions that we make, we're certainly fallible and we're open to learning from whatever mistakes we make. Over the years we’ve owned up to the things that we get wrong, we try not to shirk responsibility or make excuses for it. If we get something wrong we work to fix it, and I think most of the time we get there. We seem to be there now on the billing front, which is a huge relief, and when we do things that are of unpopular opinion for our partner base, we look to rectify that. I think you'll continue to see that and that's why we've done things like the partner first pledge. We’re open to saying, OK, if that’s wildly unpopular, let's fix it.’

On the partner-first pledge, was there a partner-first approach before this announcement?

I'm glad you asked. One of the big things for me with the partner first pledge is we do a lot of the things that are in there, and we've done a lot of the things that are in that partner first pledge for years. It’s a normal course of business. If somebody loses a major client and our options are to pull them to a contract, put them in a terrible position or to work with them, we're going to work with them. It doesn't make sense the other way and we've always done that. This is really a formalization of that and gives us a way to make it easier for people to understand how to work with us if they have those types of scenarios. If a partner said, ‘I’ve got a client that has a compliance need, we’ve lost that client and we don't have a need for that anymore,’ We work with the partner to repurpose that spin. Now it’s just a really easy formal way to interact with us on that.

This is a partner question: They asked what part of the big announcement was groundbreaking and would change the industry and why?

I like both the partner first pledge and Kaseya 365 and the aspects of it. They’re both pretty revolutionary. I think we're seeing a new category being built around endpoint management [as] the table stakes for endpoint management have changed. Having something that is disruptively priced and gives MSPs that utilize it a competitive advantage is important. The Kaseya 365 offering stops service providers from having to make decisions around what they're actually going to roll out for their clients. It makes it so that even clients that they've had more difficulty with in selling the value of EDR or endpoint backup, they can actually deliver the service that keeps their clients incredibly secure regardless of whether or not their clients are willing to sign up for the additional cost. That's a huge differentiator. We think this will give them back five to $10 an endpoint per month, and that’s a 50 percent to 100 percent increase on their profit margin. That's a game changer for this industry and will revolutionize a lot of things for these folks.

Why should MSPs use Kaseya over competitors like ConnectWise and N-able?

We’re obviously biased but we think that we’re building the best solutions, and we like to focus on what we do. One of the things that we've done very well over the years is built a fully integrated stack that gives people a lot of scale. When you're looking at products and solutions in this space with service providers in particular, labor is their largest cost burden. That stops them from having to spend a tremendous amount of their time managing a whole bunch of different vendors, managing all their different subscriptions and not giving them meaningful integrations that actually deliver things. That's where we've spent a lot of our time and effort and I think we've done a really good job around that. We’ve certainly seen it and the market has spoken. When I talk to partners, one after another, I hear them say those integrations and the ability to have one or two browser tabs open, instead of 12, has been a real game changer.

What is your overall message to partners going forward?

We have been, for a long time, just incredibly fortunate to be in this space. We’ve been at the forefront of a digital transformation that's impacted SMB and it's created just an incredible market opportunity for all of us. As we look to the future, that is something that is continuing to accelerate and we're seeing so much growth in the market. I don't think that trend is slowing down or that SMBs are going to walk back their digital transformation. When you look at where you want to be in business and where you want to focus your time, being in a market like this where there's just so much opportunity and so much growth and so much future in front of it, it’s awesome. We're just all super excited and super fortunate to be here.