Atera CEO: Kaseya-Datto Deal Has ‘Accelerated’ MSPs’ Interest In Its Platforms

‘We are growing extremely fast, so for us we only see the positive in this [deal], says Gil Pekelman, Atera CEO. ‘We know the anxiety around it, and there might be movement of customers, but we’re looking at the macro picture here and for us it’s just validation of what we’re doing.’


Gil Pekelman, founder and CEO of Tel Aviv, Israel-based Atera, said some Kaseya and Datto partners are now “testing and trialing” Atera’s platforms in the wake of Kaseya’s blockbuster deal to acquire Datto for $6.2 billion.

“We have had a lot coming over [before the deal],” Pekelman told CRN. “The [acquisition] probably accelerated that because of anxiety surrounding it. We‘re seeing them testing and trialing [our products].”

He also said the deal, which has rocked the MSP community, is “very good” for his company.

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“We’re focused on our MSPs, so in that aspect it doesn’t really impact us,” he said. “We’re looking at it and we see the meaning of it, but we’re focused on what we’re doing, our customers and our technology.”

Atera’s technology, specifically its RMM and PSA platforms, are different than Kaseya and Datto’s in what Pekelman called the “next-generation part of it.”

“From my perspective, this acquisition just shows how huge the opportunity is in this industry,” he said. “It’s just validation that it’s a huge market and a huge opportunity. Naturally there’s a lot of anxiety around it, probably only from the Datto customers, but that’s natural.”

As a competitor, Atera is holding its own with 10,000 customers in 105 countries. Pekelman is looking to double, even triple, that customer base, “regardless of this acquisition.”

“We are growing extremely fast, so for us we only see the positive in this,” he told CRN. “We know the anxiety around it, and there might be movement of customers, but we’re looking at the macro picture here and for us it’s just validation of what we‘re doing.”

Check out CRN’s exclusive interview with Pekelman on how the Kaseya-Datto deal is good for his business, his take on industry consolidation and how he sizes up the competition.

What were your initial thoughts when the news broke about Kaseya’s plan to acquire Datto?

It‘s a huge market and what we’re doing is right. Our technology is very different from theirs in terms of the next generation part of it. We collect 40,000 technical data points per second that all go to the cloud. That’s where our algorithms are able to predict problems. For us, the first thing we said was we’re not looking to hijack Datto customers. That‘s not how we operate. We just try to understand our customers and make sure our product is what they need.

Do you think this continued industry consolidation is good for the channel or bad?

It’s good for Atera and it’s probably not very good for the channel. There are two big economic justifications for all of these consolidations. One is to reduce competition, and that’s bad for the channel. The other is to reduce costs by synergies that exist between the two companies. Datto and Kaseya will not need two big finance departments; one can do the job.

For Atera, we’re next generation and we’re growing very quickly, and we do compete with them. We’re a much more cost-effective solution and much easier to use. It‘s very good for us, and we’re seeing a lot of [their partners] coming to us.

So you have seen a lot of Kaseya and Datto partners coming to you since the acquisition was announced?

Yes, but we have had a lot coming over [before the deal]. The [acquisition] probably accelerated that because of anxiety surrounding it. We’re seeing them testing and trialing [our products].

How does Atera’s pricing compare with Kaseya and Datto’s pricing?

We are much more cost-effective. It‘s a modern world where you want to be cost-effective. You want to be efficient. The intuitiveness of Atera is such that the customers are on-boarded within an hour. When you look at Datto or Kaseya, it can be months of on-boarding. The fact that on-boarding is an hour also allows us to sell the product for a much more efficient price. Our prices are transparent. You can test [our products] for 30 days for free. There’s no contracts, no long-term commitments. You just sign up, try it and start using it on a monthly basis. That actually keeps us on edge because we know our customers can leave us immediately. There are no three-year contracts and negotiations, and that’s why we’ve grown so fast.

The reactions from the MSP community on the Kaseya-Datto deal have been mixed. Are you surprised by that?

No, I think it‘s natural. On one hand, I’m sure that some of the Kaseya customers are very happy that Datto will now be a part of the same company because Datto has a great product. On the Datto side, some of the Datto customers probably think Kaseya can augment them and the other way around. Suddenly there arenew owners; they can make changes and you knew the people and they might change, so this anxiety is natural.

What's your take on all of industry consolidation and M&A going on right now?

When we started the company, we immediately saw that there’s this need that is met by different products. Atera is the only company that uses a single code base and single database for the RMM and PSA tools. Some of these consolidations are economic consolidations, they’re synergies that can cut costs. But some of them are trying to make this single code base but out of two products. We’re the only company that has a single code base. It’s a single thing. When you look at Datto, you have Datto with backup, Datto with PSA, Datto RMM … it’s a hodgepodge of things. Atera is like Apple, it’s simple, it’s intuitive. It’s very powerful. It’s very cost-efficient.

Where will Atera see the most growth this year?

The U.S. is our biggest market and that’s where we’re seeing the most growth. It’s our biggest focus. We also received a [$77 million] investment from General Atlantic about nine months ago [that will primarily go toward] R&D. We’re doing a lot around AI and machine learning with the whole focus on making MSPs more efficient.

How do you compare your platform to Kaseya and Datto’s?

The data that we’re able to collect and the AI and machine learning that predicts problems makes our MSPs that much more efficient than any other platform. Second, the simplicity, intuitiveness, on-boarding and the usage of the product are very powerful. The third is the cost-effectiveness of Atera.