Kaseya Strikes Back at Datto with Purchase of Spanning

RMM platform company Kaseya® today announced the acquisition of Spanning Cloud Apps, a provider of SaaS data protection. Founded in 2010, Spanning has more than 10,000 active MSP and enterprise customers worldwide, 50 percent year-over-year growth, and in 2017, the company’s solutions backed up more than 110 billion items. Spanning will retain its headquarters in Austin, Texas and will operate as a stand-alone, independent business-unit under Kaseya.

This is not Kaseya's first acquisition of a data backup vendor. Earlier this year, Kaseya acquired Unitrends MSP, a provider of business continuity and disaster recovery/backup solutions for MSPs. The Spanning deal likely was designed to strengthen Kaseya's Office 365 backup offering.

Now a part of the Kaseya Unified Backup Suite, Kaseya Office 365 Backup fully integrates with the Kaseya IT Complete platform and is available as an integrated module within VSA by Kaseya, the company’s award-winning remote monitoring and management solution. The offering provides a single, unified solution designed from the ground up to empower Kaseya users to fulfill their Office 365 backup needs.

Acquisition Analysis for MSPs

What does this deal mean for MSPs and the managed services marketplace? This will probably be viewed as a positive step for Kaseya MSPs. Office 365 is still a commonly seen application being managed by MSPs and backup is a cornerstone managed service.

Kaseya's strategy of keeping core acquisitions separate but integrated, allows the company to build a robust platform without being seen as forcing their acquisition on existing partners. By integrating these "arm's length" acquisitions into the Kaseya technology core, the company has a compelling message to MSPs which has less to do with an "all or nothing" platform strategy and more to do with a "take what you need" approach.

For years, MSPs have voiced concerns with RMM platforms taking too rigid an approach to acquiring technologies and forcing those choices onto the MSPs. Kaseya, at least so far, has done an excellent job at making these technologies work together without forcing MSPs to bundle these tools together.

RMM Platform Cold War

What this deal does accomplish is it places even more pressure on ConnectWise and SolarWinds to keep up with the rapid pace of M&A activity between Kaseya and Datto. We have officially entered what I will label the RMM cold war. It is clear, as of the beginning of October 2018, that Kaseya and Datto have staked out positions of dominance regarding their technology acquisitions and expansion of their relative spheres of influence.

Each subsequent acquisition by Datto and Kaseya allows them to reach further into the SolarWinds, Continuum, and ConnectWise platform communities. Why? By keeping these service enabling technology companies separate operating entities, the platforms can more easily market and sell into other RMM and PSA ecosystems.

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