Kaseya’s Success Amid Economic Challenges: Greg Jones Foresees Tech Opportunities

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Taking opportunities

Kaseya has enjoyed a buoyant year, helped by investment in its MSP partner programme.
And, while the economic outlook may be uncertain around the world, Kaseya’s Greg Jones is confident that with it will come opportunities for growth.

The economic outlook for the UK, as well as the rest of the world, has not been optimistic for some time. While in the UK a recession has been avoided, economic growth is small, which means that businesses are looking for any way they can get a competitive advantage. 

This growing economic pressure is creating opportunities for tech firms such as Kaseya, something that hasn’t been seen to such a degree before, according to Greg Jones, VP of business development, EMEA at Kaseya. “We’ve seen very different trends this year than what we normally see in the marketplace around downturns or recessions,” he says.

“Technology is always in a great place to ride any economic storm. But when we look back at 2008, the last big dip, is it is a very different marketplace now to then. Then, one of the first things to go was some of the IT budget around what some businesses saw as luxuries back then, whereas we are seeing the opposite now; many businesses are leaning into technology to drive growth, automation, profitability and productivity. 

“While some larger scale enterprise projects may be being delayed, we’re not seeing that in the SME space. There are still huge opportunities out there and we believe we are in a golden age for our managed service providers (MSPs), and that will continue for a long time.”

This has helped 2023 to be a very successful year for Kaseya. The company has grown organically by 30%, with staffing increased to more than 5,000 in 33 offices across the world, according to Greg.

“It means we can support partners on the ground in the regions that they need,” he says. “We’ve had a very buoyant year, even though we are said to be on the edge of a global economic downturn.”

Looking to MSPs

Greg adds that some of this desire for technology from end users is a continuation from the COVID pandemic, where many businesses adopted more technology in their everyday operations such as videoconferencing and cloud networking and have become more productive and profitable as a result and want to accelerate this. 

As a result, they are looking to MSPs to achieve this. “SMEs are looking more than ever to MSPs to help them with digital transformation,” says Greg. “It’s not around leading edge or bleeding edge technology, some of it is basic technology improving business processes, such as using the likes of Teams and Zoom, but changing business processes and driving automation to make operational efficiencies and free up staff to do other things. That’s key. We’re transacting with more than 55,000 partners across the globe now and we’re seeing issues around staffing has been challenging.”

Another growth area for Kaseya’s partners – in all regions – has been in co-managed IT security, Greg adds. “The co-managed space is really interested,” he says. “Co-managed is basically where an MSP works with a business that either has an IT department, an individual or a champion, on their security.

“Larger players and SMEs alike are now asking for co-managed help from MSPs because off the back of COVID they realised they were not as agile as some of the competitors. The smaller players in the market were slower to get up and running and operational, because they didn’t have the in-house expertise. It can also be expensive for smaller businesses to cover an IT function in terms of holidays, sickness, maternity, paternity etc and they are looking for that outsourced co-managed function.

“Whereas the larger ones weren’t driving efficiencies, arguably because they’re big ships and it takes longer to turn, and need the high-end skills help.

“Many organisations are now saying they need help and support for digital transformation to make them more agile, but also, at both ends of the spectrum, to automate the lower valued work – the mundane, laborious stuff – to free up employees’ time within their business, or the very high end of the skill set that they don’t have within their business to deal with.”

To help MSPs to take advantage of such opportunities and attract new customers to grow their business, Kayesa has revamped its partner programme this year. “We’ve put more money than ever before into our marketing development funds to help partners attract new business,” says Greg. 

“We also launched our remote IT and security management certification (RITSM). That is to help attract new tech talent, talent that we possibly wouldn’t have drawn in in the past, and helping them understand what an MSP is, what a service provider is and how to deliver a service. That’s a huge programme.

“We’re passionate about making sure that our business model is aligned to support our partners, because if there’s a disconnect between those, it has a huge impact on our business because MSPs are our go to market strategy,” says Greg. “All our products and services, our enterprise grade technology that we supply to the SME world needs to be fit for purpose in terms of what they want and as does everything around that in how we support them. 

“Our partners are saying to us they are struggling making decisions around business continuity and disaster recovery today and signing contracts because they don’t know where their customers are going to be in six months or a year. They don’t know if they purchase on premise devices, if it will move to the cloud or vice versa? So we’ve introduced flexible spend around our devices now, so that customers can make decisions today and it doesn’t matter where their end customers devices go because it’s flexible enough to accommodate that.” 

Cyber threats

Another priority for MSPs is cybercrime, which is accelerating quickly. “The threat landscape is evolving faster than ever and will continue to accelerate with the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning helping bad actors and criminal organisations,” says Greg. 

“So while this is worrying, in one way it is good for MSPs and service providers protecting businesses. About £40 billion now is being spent in the UK SME space on security alone. 

“MSPs should be focusing on security and cyber resiliency irrelevant of where they are in the market: they should all be allocating time to work on cyber resiliency. If a business has zero in their budget or millions, they still need to allocate time to security issues for every employee of the business, not just the security team, not just the helpdesk, but also the executives, back office, admin, finance function because you are only as strong as your weakest link. Only by allocating time can you improve or measure or monitor it. That is my tip to all MSPs – there are so many cyber threats out there and the development of AI and machine learning is helping bad actors to provide ever more convincing threats, so it must be a focus.”

Seizing opportunities

Another key area of opportunity is in automation, he says. “Automation is going to be the gift that keeps on giving for businesses – it’s not a one off because the technology is developing quickly. 

“For many businesses, rather than having money in the bank, they are better off spending that to drive automation as it will create more value for the business than just being sat in an account.”

Greg adds that outsourcing is another growth area. “It’s very unusual now to find a business that doesn’t outsource something, whether that be sales, marketing, HR, admin or legal services,” he says. “That is going to continue to accelerate because the world is changing in terms of the younger generation coming through into the workplace and getting into positions of spending power, that they get the outsource culture and the ‘as a service’ model. We’re seeing a lot of opportunity around outsourcing for many MSPs.

“With good documentation and business processes within your MSP business, the opportunities are endless around outsourcing. It can accelerate your business faster than anything else.”

Adaptability is another key consideration – for MSPs and customers alike, he adds. “For me adaptability and agility are paramount in businesses in today’s digital age,” he says. “Businesses must be able to adapt and pivot on the fly. The pandemic showed the world that things can change overnight and businesses need to be that agile now.”

Taking opportunities

This is indicative of the opportunities that are in the market for MSPs and Kaseya to make more sales and grow, despite the prevailing economic conditions.

“Many businesses flourish on the back of chaos,” he says. “For me, it’s a time to get rid of that head trash and look at things differently, to look for opportunities in different places.”

“When making big plans around anything, I consider it from three perspectives: what does my plan look like if the world stays the same today when I’m working on the plan? What does that look like if we enter some uncertainty or there’s massive pullback in the market for whatever reason? What happens if it goes the other way and we’re in a kind of business utopia? That’s the way I’m looking for it for SMEs as well as service providers.” 

With careful planning, then MSPs can continue to find and take advantage of opportunities in the market, backed by the expertise of Kaseya. Greg is confident that Kaseya can look forward to another years of strong growth, as can its partners, whatever the economic headwinds.