Will Kaseya Make an Industry Shaking Announcement, Is It AI?

MSP | 0 comments

Fred Voccola has been marketing a major announcement at Kaseya Connect.

…in November, he previewed a Powered By Kaseya branding campaign that would roll out at this month’s Kaseya Connect Global 2024 conference. The CEO said the campaign “will disrupt the entire industry and that’s why end customers are going to start to look for MSPs powered by Kaseya, the same way that we bought a PC 15 years ago powered by Intel. We’re going to make it impossible for people not to be ‘Powered by Kaseya.’”

At the Kaseya+Datto M&A Symposium for MSPs in London last December, Voccola added that Kaseya would deliver news in 2024 that will make the Datto acquisition “seem insignificant.” He certainly wasn’t talking about layoffs.

At Robin Robin’s Bootcamp in Nashville in April of 2024 he said:

We’re announcing in Vegas and three or four weeks, we believe we will fundamentally alter [the industry]. That’s a big statement. [This is a] 20, $16 billion bet, and this is my career bet — that we will fundamentally alter our industry for the better, change the dynamics of it, so this will be one of the most lucrative and rewarding industries on this planet period. 

I think we found the way to do that, it’s a combination of a lot of things… it’s a culmination of everything we’ve done over the last decade. 

I think the most interesting portion of those two quotes is “this is my career bet.” A $16bn bet would be a career bet for Vocolla for sure. A few months ago it would have been the Datto acquisition. With a valuation of nearly 10x ARR, it was a big bet that Datto would significantly outperform the market.

Let’s talk about why it can’t be anything special, and then how it could be ground-breaking AI.

The Pessimist

Of course, for those of us in the industry, it is not remotely clear how “Powered by Kaseya” could “fundamentally” alter the Channel. Kaseya has a mixed reputation in the industry and virtually no reputation outside of it, except for those who remember its mammoth cybersecurity incident a few years ago.

Honestly, it isn’t clear how any single announcement from any single company could “fundamentally” alter the MSP industry. AI has the biggest potential to transform how things are done — as in take tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of low and mid-level tech jobs — but that will be a transition with incremental progress made by multiple companies.

The second most interesting thing is him throwing out $16 billion dollars. Kaseya does $2 billion in ARR1, which means it isn’t anywhere near a $16 billion company,2 and nearly a third of that ARR came from the Datto acquisition3. It also doesn’t seem likely that this is simply more acquisitions, if for no reason than there are no rumors of deals remotely that big circulating, at least that I am aware of.

The Optimist

Let’s take two of the pessimistic ideas and flip them on their head: Kaseya doesn’t have that kind of money and AI doesn’t move that fast. In fact, the two of these together make more sense than other options, AI still attracts lots of money and high valuations, and Insight Partners has (or can raise) the money.

I believe the biggest challenge to applying a general AI to IT is data: you need a lot of data to train on from a wide variety of industries, and Kaseya has that.

  • Kaseya owns two PSAs, full of 10+ years of tickets, solving processes and the ultimate solutions, from hundreds or thousands of MSPs serving probably every industry in the US (or the world?)
  • Kaseya owns two RMMs, also full of 10+ years of information
  • Kaseya owns the industry-leading IT documentation platform — IT Glue — which is full of documentation and SOPs for tens of thousands of IT environments

In fact, Kaseya is probably one of only a handful of companies globally that has this much IT data from such a wide variety of sources. ConnectWise would be the only competitor here. Not even Microsoft has this kind of data.

If Vocolla was talking about $16-$20in in R&D over several years both the total expense would make sense, and why he wasn’t sure if it was $16bn or $20bn, kind of a big gap to not know otherwise.

Critically, Kaseya also has all of the pieces needed today. An interface for customers and AI (PSA), an interface between the AI and the endpoint (RMM), and documentation including passwords (IT Glue). And all of these are already validated tools. If you use Datto (Kaseya) Networking or are using their M365 RMM plugin, Kaseya also has network and cloud visibility into client platforms.

Finally, Kaseya doesn’t need to invent a model from scratch. It’s possible to take an open-source model and fine-tune it, or partner with OpenAI/Microsoft to fine-tune a general LLM to work for IT. If you had a multi-model model you could ingest screen captures and, possibly, return keyboard and mice commands in an RPA-like product.

It would be slow to start, sure, but well within the realm of possibility. It would also be expensive, but probably less expensive than a tech.

It would also be one of the few products that might attract enough attention that “Powered by Kaseya” could mean something to a general audience.

Now use your imagination and start tying all of these together: a client sends in a ticket to a PSA. KaseyaAI looks at the ticket and responds, possibly scheduling a remote session. Next, KaseyaAI remotes in with the RMM. It has access to passwords in IT Glue, along with client documentation. Between specific documentation, general IT knowledge and publicly available KBs it can solve most low level issues by itself. Finally, validating with the client that the issue is solved and closing the ticket.

Kaseya could also automate RocketCyber (their SOC) this way. Get an alert, research it, and automatically remediate on the endpoint.

Insight Partners currently lists 82 investments in ML/AI/Data on their portfolio page, and their news is absolutely dominated by AI stories. They have 99 investments in IT Infrastructure companies, although some of those overlap with AI.

We’ll see in four weeks if my predications hold water.

The second quote is my transcription, as always, I’ve lightly edited it for clarity.

  1. Per Robin Robins at the 2024 TMT Boot Camp. I’m pretty curious how Kaseya got to that level. ↩︎
  2. At least not shy of massive valuations ↩︎
  3. From the December 2021 Datto annual report: “As of December 31, 2021, our ARR was $658.4 million and our revenue for the year ended December 31, 2021 was $618.7 million, of which approximately 93% was recurring subscription revenue.” ↩︎


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