With a revamped partner program, a new white-glove service for partners and the return of a Datto favorite, Miami-based Kaseya-Datto is doubling down on its investments and enablement to continue to put partners first in 2023.
“What I want everybody to know is that we hear you,” Dan Tomaszewski, EVP of the channel at Kaseya-Datto, told CRN. “I know we have a lot of eyes on us. I know we have a lot of different MSPs that rely on us and I wake up every day wanting to develop programs and things that are going to support them. The biggest message I want people to know is you’ve got a group of people here that genuinely care.”
The return of Matt Scully to Datto is one bet Kaseya is taking on its partners. Scully was with Datto from 2015 to 2020 first as a growth sales representative then as a channel development manager. He returned to Kaseya-Datto in late January as senior channel development manager.
“My role is not going to be too much different from what my role was before,” Scully told CRN. “I’m going to be on the front line, sort of an ambassador, meeting partners whether it’s at trade shows, doing the MDF (market development funds), events roadshows… you name it. I’m the person that they’re going to be meeting, I’m going to be speaking to them about their business, about the capabilities of Kaseya and all the different skews that we represent.”ADVERTISEMENT
Internally he will be working with Kaseya reps on what the business development team is doing and how can they leverage that to the success for their partners.
Taking The Partner Program To New Heights
Kaseya also took from Datto’s partner program playbook to enhance its tiered system for partners. Now, customers can combine their Datto and Kaseya spend and, depending on their level, get free services including enablement team support, live technical webinars, 24/7 customer support, free passes to industry events and more.
Last year, Kaseya acquired Datto for $6.2 billion, shaking up the channel and becoming the largest IT services vendor in the space.
Tomaszewski saidone of the really important things that Datto brought, and one of the things that Kaseya looked at as a company, was their partner program.
“Everybody wanted to be a Blue Diamond partner,” he told CRN. “They saw the different programs and it had a starting point with some MDF and some basic things for the Blue Diamond customers, and we wanted to take it to another level. We do pulse checks with our customers and one of the things that we were hearing from our Kaseya customers was, ‘We really would love to have a partner program like Datto.’”
The enhanced program allows Kaseya to get in the trenches with partners to support and take them to new heights, he added.
Datto had about a $1.3 million budget for MDF funds. The combined program allows about $3 million in MDF funds.
“We’re not just giving you the money and saying, ‘Good luck,’” he said. “Datto did a little bit of it, but they were limited with a couple-person team. We now have a 60-person team with Kaseya and we will actually fund your event. We will send people there. If it’s a webinar we‘re on the webinar with you. If it’s a lunch and learn, we‘re flying our team out there to support you because we really want to help our customers see success at events.”
Marc Menzies, president and CTO of New York-based MSP Overview Technology Solutions said Kaseya is willing to get creative with MDF funds that he hasn’t seen before, “and that’s really encouraging because they seem like they want to invest in their partners more. It seems like they’re doing the right thing in enabling us through MDF and the other programs they have right now. They’re going in the right direction and I know that they’re investing.”
More Enablement And White-Glove Service For Partners
With the enablement team, Kaseya can help partners put together a price package or a security stack.
“A lot of folks are former MSPs or have worked at MSPs on this team, so we‘re able to help them go to market faster, go to market profitable and acquire customers, because at the end of the day
if they‘re not successful, we’re not successful as a company,” Tomaszewski said.
The enablement team is building content for the partner with no mention of Kaseya, its brand or its products.
“It‘s fully white labeled for them to go put themselves and their brand on it and really be able to go to market,” he said.
Kaseya also launched its concierge program, which is like a white-glove service, for its partners.
“The goal is you call concierge, that concierge has got access to me and my leadership team,” Tomaszewski said.“If it’s a billing problem, we’re going to the billing department on their behalf and working their issue out. If that’s a support issue, we’re going there and doing that. Our hopes are that we can reduce people’s frustrations.”
The five-person concierge team, which will grow in time, will be in Facebook groups and other forums to listen and address partner concerns and issues. There will also be an email address and hotline to call.
“One of the things I’ve seen is that people tend to go on social media when there’s an issue,”Tomaszewski said. “It doesn’t matter what vendor per se, but they tend to go on and say, ‘Hey, I’m just not getting support,’ or, ‘Hey, we have a billing issue or something and I just need to get some assistance.’
“Look, acquisitions, they happen,” he added. “[There may be] new account managers or you get somebody new and maybe [with] communication, there‘s a wire crossed. Things happen, and we know those things are going to happen. So we want to make sure that if something does happen, you have a resource that you easily know the number, email, whatever, they pick up the phone and you’re going to get results.”
Menzies said he gets that service from his account manager, “but if that’s available to more partners that’s exactly what they need to do.”
“We have a really great account manager, she actually came over from Datto, and it’s been absolutely fantastic through this entire process,” he told CRN. “Having a traffic director direct to the right people, and having that be more accessible, is absolutely amazing.”
More MSP Partner Days And A Continued Focus
Virtual MSP partner days is when Kaseya is “rolling out the carpet” for partners to ask more questions and see the company’s roadmap. There will be quarterly tracks to discuss growing MSP profit, operations, sales and marketing, to name a few.
“We want something for you to be able to come in and experience and gain some extra knowledge,” Tomaszewski said. “We’re going to have over $30,000 in cash and prizes. We want to make it fun for our partners to win some games, incentives, contests, things like that throughout the day, so we’re really going to try to go all out and let people see the experience and be able to interact with executives, support teams and product teams.”
And in the new year, Tomaszewski said Kaseya-Datto is in the integration phase.
“What we’re focused on is creating really good products for our customers to go out and grow their businesses on and build their businesses on,” he said. “It’s our job to listen to them and to make workflow integrations that are really meaningful to them that can help their teams drive efficiency and drive a better bottom line.”
Menzies has noticed over the last few weeks, “it has become easier for some of the ears to turn that we’ve been trying to get to turn for a while.”
Jason Wright, CEO of Houston-based MSP Avatar Computer Solutions, was a little hesitant to believe all of the new investment and programs but said he was already contacted by a Kaseya rep to help him in any way.
He said Kaseya was always a tool he uses, but Datto was a value-added service.
“And I thought it was brilliant that Kaseya bought Datto,” he said, adding that he hopes to see Kaseya “put their money with their mouth is.”
“I would expect them to do that,” he added. “Now that the dust has settled on the acquisition, we’re seeing better coverage from the Kaseya team and the experience has been positive.”
Tomaszewski said partners will see that Kaseya has made a significant investment into its staff and new programs going forward.
“Let me and my team have a chance to interact with you and help you drive your success that you‘re looking for,” he said. “I find that if people give us a chance, they find that we do give them the answers and they find that they’re often in a better off spot. Now it‘s time for us to go out, start interacting with our partners, letting them see the power of the investments that we made and let them see a difference. I know they will notice a change in the level of support and the level of attention that we give them in 2023.” LEARN MORE: Channel Programs
CJ Fairfield is an associate editor at CRN covering solution providers, MSPs and distributors. Prior to joining CRN, she worked at daily newspapers, including The Press of Atlantic City in New Jersey and The Frederick News-Post in Maryland. She can be reached at [email protected].
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