Kaseya-Unitrends Merger Analyzed: What MSPs Need to Know
If the merger between RMM/PSA company Kaseya and backup vendor Unitrends is a surprise to you, then you haven't been paying attention. The merger, announced today, creates a formidable entity uniquely focused on managed service providers. But, will this deal be good news or bad news for the MSP community? Let's take a deeper look.
Kaseya – Unitrends Deal
Very little is known about the deal (both companies are privately held, and no financial data was disclosed) but we can make some educated assumptions. The merger combines one of the 3 or 4 most significant RMM vendors and adds a robust backup solution to its technology menu.
Both companies are owned by Insight Venture Partners, which explains how the deal came together. Unitrends will continue to operate out of its Burlington, Mass. headquarters with plans to invest and expand its workforce. Kaseya and Unitrends will continue to operate under their respective brands.
"The decision to merge with Unitrends was a no-brainer for us," said Fred Voccola, CEO, Kaseya. "After working with Unitrends to launch the Kaseya Unified Backup offering to our MSP customers, as well as introducing the core Unitrends product to our enterprise customer base, we witnessed the explosive adoption of these solutions and decided that it just made sense to further our relationship and to bring our two companies together."
The rationale behind the merger makes sense; it adds backup services as another service line Kaseya can offer its MSPs. Arguably, once integrated, these service lines will become seamless for any Kaseya user and encourage MSPs to ditch their current backup vendor and use Unitrends. Simple enough to understand.
RMM Vendor Consolidation
As we have said previously on this site, there has been a trend for the past several years amongst the vendors (servicing MSPs) to acquire, merge, and consolidate technologies. MSPAlliance has argued consistently that this consolidation was desperately needed to "energize" the languishing and stagnant vendor community.
M&A is the lifeblood of industry and crucial in its ability to refresh the old by consolidation and produce something new. Maybe that is what will happen here. Countless similar RMM & PSA deals have occurred over the past few years and still the MSP community thrives. So, we can deduce that these market changes have not harmed the MSP community...yet.
The trend, however, is to produce great efficiencies by offering more services through a single vendor relationship. Doing this does produce another side effect, which is the MSPs using Kaseya must now withstand the inevitable pressures of ditching their current backup vendor and moving to Unitrends.
I'm not saying there is anything wrong this approach. It's natural and it makes sense from a business perspective. But, there are always consequences, and the unintended consequences can be the most destructive.
RMM Landscape Today
Today, MSPs have the same number of choices when it comes to the RMM, ticketing, security, and backup vendors they had yesterday. If anything, there are a few new entrants into the market (mostly at the smaller end of the SMB market) attempting to secure a beachhead and establish themselves. What has changed is the market pressure to choose your RMM company carefully, because you are no longer just picking an RMM solution. You also are picking a ticketing, security, and backup vendor as well. Even if these are unbundled solutions, the marketing and sales pressures, not to mention the assimilation and integration of these technologies into a single pane of glass can become significant.
Gone are the days when an MSP made a standalone choice for a vendor. Today, they are forced choose "communities", which makes maintaining non-homogenous vendor relationships potentially more complicated.