Kaseya turnaround focuses on customer relationships

women choosing the smiley face option on a digital satisfaction survey

Kaseya says it has fixed a host of problems that had previously beleaguered its relationship with its MSP customers.

The software vendor admits it suffered from “a lack of innovation” in the past, combined with a hit-and-miss approach to customer management. However, the appointment of new CEO Fred Voccola eight months ago marked a turning point for the company, with the exec promising to steer Kaseya back on the right path.

“There was a perception in the market that Kaseya didn’t care about its customers,” said Voccola (pictured). “That perception was there because we didn’t have a customer success organisation. We had support, account management, training and education…but there was no one person that was accountable for customer success.”

One of Voccola’s first actions was to create a customer success group, led by newly-appointed chief customer officer, Alex Cuevas.

“We found out we needed to be much easier to do business with,” Voccola told Channel Pro at the company’s annual user event, Kaseya Connect, last week. “People needed more manged service-ready, revenue-generating products. People feel the products that are running their business are over-priced and not delivering for them, and they’re commoditised. ‘And you know what, Kaseya? Get your act together and support us better. I don’t want to have to call support and wait five days, seven days, 10 days – it has to be done.’”

He added that his tenure so far has “been a lot of fun; it’s been a lot of work. We’ve made lots of changes.”

The changes are evident; Kaseya has now segmented its sales organisation into new client sales and current client management. Explained Voccola: “The people who manage new customers really shouldn’t be selling new customers. It’s a different skill set it’s taking care of someone versus hunting and getting new clients.”

Now each of its 7000 customers has a customer success manager – and the CEO is keen to point out this is not the same as an account manager. “If you’re an account manager you’re managing an account, you take money out of that account. Customer success managers are compensated purely on the success of our customers.”

Voccola added that Cuevas’ organisation is now the largest “and most invested in” outside of Kaseya’s product organisation. This includes the appointment in October of Sabine Beijk as Kaseya’s VP of customer success in EMEA.

This is good news for customers, like London-based MSP, BTA, which had been on the verge of dropping Kaseya last year. BTA technical director Darron Millar said no-one at the firm had ever met its Dublin-based account manager, or were even aware that Kaseya had an office 20 minutes down the road.

“Autotask was pushing hard,” he said, adding that a number of other large UK MSPs had already switched. “We knew it was the right product [with Kaseya] but there was no relationship.”

But he said Voccola’s appointment was a turning point – and that the relationship was saved “just in time.”

“It’s now so much better,” he said. “We’re now committed to Kaseya, which we would never have said before. We’re now excited about Kaseya again, which, again, we‘re surprised to say. With the products we know feel we’re better off than those MSPs that left.”

The prevailing view among attendees at the user event was one of cautious optimism, but that Kaseya – and in particular Voccola – was doing a good job in winning back the hearts and minds of its customers and partners.

Christine Horton

Christine has been a tech journalist for over 20 years, 10 of which she spent exclusively covering the IT Channel. From 2006-2009 she worked as the editor of Channel Business, before moving on to ChannelPro where she was editor and, latterly, senior editor.

Since 2016, she has been a freelance writer, editor, and copywriter and continues to cover the channel in addition to broader IT themes. Additionally, she provides media training explaining what the channel is and why it’s important to businesses.