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Kaseya CEO reveals 2019 acquisition plans for IT Complete

Kaseya's acquisition strategy for its IT Complete platform remains a work in progress, with security, endpoint management and more on its 2019 shopping list.

Fred Voccola, CEO of Kaseya, has big plans for IT Complete this year.

As in 2018, Voccola intends to strategically acquire more companies and integrate their technologies into IT Complete, Kaseya's IT management platform aimed at managed service providers (MSPs). IT Complete unifies many capabilities onto one platform, including backup, security, compliance and disaster recovery.

The IT infrastructure management vendor reported 32% growth in 2018. Voccola credits the growth to four major acquisitions: Unitrends, Spanning, RapidFire Tools and IT Glue, bringing Kaseya's total customer count to approximately 40,000.

Here, Voccola shares how he plans to make IT Complete more "complete," the kinds of technologies and acquisitions he's aiming for, the challenges MSPs face and how Kaseya differentiates itself from its competitors.

What customer problems does IT Complete address?

Fred Voccola: We're constantly adding to IT Complete. For example, there's a big problem with backup right now where you get a lot of noise and alerts, and many are false positives. Every time an alert comes, the person has to stop their workflow and go look at something -- but nine times out of 10, alerts are just noise.

One of the technologies that we've developed in our backup [software] is Backup IQ. We gather all the machine data and customer action data of all 12,000 Kaseya backup customers, put them in an algorithm, and Backup IQ parses through all of the noise. So when Kaseya lets you know something happened, you know it's real.

What was the strategy behind your 2018 acquisitions?

Headshot image of Fred VoccolaFred Voccola

Voccola: We made these acquisitions because what we're doing is buying the best-in-class technology and then integrating it all into IT Complete. ... We're going to continue to do that as we continue to see [small and midsize business'] technology requirements evolve and change. And if we need to also evolve and change, we will either build the functionality, or we will buy the number one in the market, plug it into our platform, and make it fully integrated, under a single pane of glass. That's the strategy.

In 2018, we made a lot of acquisitions, and all the products are integrated. We operate the brands independently, but they all come together with IT Complete.

And when we do acquisitions, we're not getting rid of the brands. Most of our customers of Spanning are using just Spanning. Over the next two or three years, they may use other components of IT Complete because it's easier or might make sense for them. Right now, very few customers use all of IT Complete, but I think in maybe four years, many more will.

What companies are you eyeing for acquisitions now?

We're anticipating at least three deals in 2019. ... You'll see a lot of activity from Kaseya in security, compliance, cloud management and endpoint management.
Fred VoccolaCEO, Kaseya

Voccola: We're anticipating at least three deals in 2019. I can't talk about them yet, but I will say you'll see a lot of activity from Kaseya in security, compliance, cloud management and endpoint management.

You'll hear a lot about IT Complete.

What's in the pipeline for Kaseya in terms of product releases or business initiatives?

Voccola: You're going to see a lot of acquisition activity, as mentioned earlier.

IT Complete is going to see massive improvements to the interface, integrations between the components and implementation of machine learning and artificial intelligence.

You're seeing the manifestation of what IT in the midmarket has wanted forever but never received -- truly integrated workflow across functional areas under one pane of glass. And we're growing at a much faster rate in the markets that we're in, and we're doing it profitably. I think we're doing a pretty good job with it, and we're going to keep it going.

This article has been edited for clarity and brevity.

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What do you think of Fred Voccola's strategy of inorganic growth for Kaseya?
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We have been Kaseya partners for over ten years and have never been this excited. Organic growth will not be able to accomplish the scope of what is happening here. The IT Complete could never happen organically, so the strategy is solid and the acquisitions very strategic. For example, the last quarter of 2018 we swapped out our entire Backup Disaster Recovery fleet to Unitrends and have dramatically reduced our time spent on messing around with backup alerts. BDR is foundational for an MSP so that was a good move for Kaseya and their partners.  
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