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Kaseya Acquires Unitrends, Integrates Data Protection To IT Management Platform

Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola said the acquisition was long in coming, and not a reaction to storage vendor Datto's acquisition last year of rival Autotask.

Kaseya on Thursday became the second developer of IT management technology for managed service providers to become tied to a storage vendor with the acquisition of data protection technology provider Unitrends.

Kaseya's acquisition of Burlington, Mass.-based Unitrends is the culmination of a search for a good storage OEM partner that turned into an acquisition, said Fred Voccola, CEO of the Waltham, Mass.-based Kaseya.

One thing it is not, Voccola told CRN, is a response to last year's acquisition of rival IT management company Autotask by Norwalk, Conn.-based storage vendor Datto.

[Related: CRN Exclusive: Kaseya CEO On Unitrends Integration, Partnering With 'Best-In-Class' Companies, And Why 'Data Is King']

"We started talking about an OEM relationship before Datto and Autotask talked about the acquisition," he said. "I think we both have similar strategies. For the last couple years, Kaseya's overall strategy was to develop a comprehensive platform we call IT Complete."

The decision to originally sign an OEM agreement to make Unitrends' data protection technology a part of its management platform started with a search which led to conversations with several prospective partners, Voccola said.

Kaseya found the Unitrends technology to be the best, and signed it up for the base of a new product called Kaseya Unified Backup, he said. At the same, Unitrends expressed interest in integrating Kaseya's endpoint management technology.

"We have not just integrated the two products," Voccola said. "We made them a part of each other, as it was easier to flow the data with the same user experience. Our customers are gobbling it up."

Kaseya eventually realized the synergies of the two vendors working together, and decided to build a way to utilize each other's products across a wide range of technologies, Voccola said.

"To get that integration, we decided it would be better to be one company," he said. "That would eliminate the risk of one company changing its strategy."

Voccola declined to discuss terms of the agreement as both companies are privately held. Combined, the two have over 1,000 employees and a $200-million revenue run rate. It is an accretive acquisition for Kaseya, which Voccola said means the value does not come from reducing costs.

Before the acquisition, Kaseya was working with about 15,000 channel partners, while Unitrends had about 13,000 to 14,000 channel partners, Voccola said.

Kaseya, with headquarters in New York and Miami, already has several other partnerships with storage vendors including Veeam and even Datto, and has an OEM relationship with Singapore-based Acronis, Voccola said. These relationships should not be impacted by Kaseya's acquisition of Unitrends, he said.

"Unitrends does not compete with Acronis," he said. "They do different kinds of backups. Unitrends is appliance-based, while Acronis does file-based backups to the cloud."

Voccola also said he expects the acquisition will not impact Kaseya's relationship with Datto, which owns Autotask, a Kaseya rival developer of RMM (remote monitoring and management) and PSA (professional services automation) platforms.

"Kaseya and Autotask have both expressed interest in remaining open to working with any partners," he said. "I think in the interest of our mutual customers, we will stay open. We won't close our hand or limit choices."

The acquisition of Unitrends by Kaseya makes giving the data protection technology vendor a second look, said Kevin Willette, partner, president, and CEO at Verus, a Coon Rapids, Minn.-based MSP and Kaseya partner.

Verus has been partnering with Barr, Switzerland-based Veeam, which has very good technology but low margins, Willette told CRN. "This may make me change the way I look at Unitrends," he said. "We have a couple of customers already using Unitrends."

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