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N-Able CEO John Pagliuca: Kaseya/Datto Merger Proof MSP Model Is Right

‘What the merger shows is that investors, private equity, Wall Street, they recognize the power in the model. So, from that point of view, I think it‘s very good. I think it shows that companies can be at scale, that the MSPs are scaling, that the market is growing. And overall, it supports the thesis that we believe that this is very much a golden era for these MSPs,’ says N-Able President and CEO John Pagliuca.

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Kaseya’s Planed Datto Acquisition Remains A Situation In Flux

Kaseya’s planned $6.2-billion acquisition of rival Datto has caused quite a stir in the MSP community. The bid has raised a number of concerns, including the impact of investor money on the MSP channel, coming as it does in the midst of a wave of private equity purchases of MSPs. It is also causing some anxiousness among MSPs who primarily partner with Datto given the different culture they expect from Kaseya as well as Kaseya’s direct sales of some of its technologies. Kaseya, however, has told CRN that Datto MSPs will find a good home with Kaseya.

MSPs are served by several developers of technology platforms aimed at helping their businesses provide managed services to clients, with Kaseya, ConnectWise, Datto, and N-able the most prominent. For that reason, the impact of the Kaseya-Datto deal is one that MSP industry observers are watching carefully.

One of them is John Pagliuca, president and CEO of Burlington, Mass.-based N-Able. Pagliuca, in a wide-ranging conversation with CRN, said whether the acquisition will be good for Datto MSPs or not depends heavily on the priorities of the various stakeholders in the combined Kaseya-Datto organization.

“I know that there‘s a lot of concern in the MSP community because this is a big change and a bunch of unknown,” he said. “And when you have that level of change and unknown, I think folks are worried that they can kind of be left off to the side in a couple of different ways.”

The concern of some MSPs over the direction of the future Kaseya-Datto combination is something the two will have to address, Pagliuca said.

“Historically, Datto did a very good job being MSP-first and being pretty focused on the channel and their MSP community,” he said. “Kaseya had a different strategy. Kaseya is not an MSP-pure shop, and I think that‘s where a lot of the concern is. Will the MSP channel now not be the sole focus of the new Kaseya-Datto entity? I think that’s where a lot of the concerns have been. And, frankly, it‘s not my place really to say if that concern is valid or not. It’s just the reality.”

For a look at what Pagliuca expects from Kaseya’s acquisition of Datto, and for a look at what he sees as N-Able’s differentiation in the market, read on.

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