As the world recalibrates after the COVID-19 pandemic and is facing, what could be, another global economic slowdown, you may wonder why Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola is so optimistic. For Voccola, it’s due in large part to his belief that Kaseya is in the right place, at the right time.
Globally, small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are making up a larger and larger portion of global economic activity. The continued success of SMBs around the world is attributed to technology and the capabilities it provides them to compete with larger, more established companies. SMBs are investing in technology at a rate never before seen and will continue to do so as the global economy becomes more and more SMB-centric.
Considering that SMBs, by definition, are small and medium-sized, most do not have their own internal IT staff. To take advantage of these technology opportunities, SMBs turn to local IT service providers, often referred to as managed service providers (MSPs), to deliver the IT and security solutions that are required to fully take advantage of the potential of technology for their businesses.
This rapid adoption and investment in technology by SMBs, often called digital transformation, is still in its early stage, and Voccola’s company produces the software kit the MSPs rely on to deliver a safe, scalable, and secure IT experience to the global small and medium-sized business community.
The COVID-19 pandemic completely transformed the ways companies do business, particularly SMBs. Your local restaurant pivoted to online orders, while the gym transitioned to virtual classes, and your physician turned to the use of telehealth visits. Most, if not all, of the changes to business operating norms, were technology-enabled in one way or another.
This change was already well on its way in 2020-but the pandemic accelerated these changes due to the fact that in many instances, they were the only way that these SMBs could function for months, and in some cases, over a year.
Fast forward to fall 2022 and MSPs are more popular than ever. The reason is simple. Most SMBs have a very small or nonexistent internal staff – but still, have the same needs for comprehensive technology services as a 1,000-person company. In fact, approximately 80% of small to medium-sized businesses in the western world engage with MSPs to receive their IT and cybersecurity services. And these MSPs turn to Kaseya.
Kaseya is the leading global provider of unified IT management and security software for MSPs. Through Kaseya, they can deliver IT and security solutions cost-effectively and efficiently to their customers around the world.
Voccola, who joined as Kaseya’s CEO in 2015, had a clear vision for the company from the start: simplify IT for MSPs and solve the main challenges they face – vendor fatigue, lost technician efficiency, limited software utilization, and limited software budgets. Seven years later, his vision is beginning to become a reality with Kaseya’s IT Complete platform, an integrated platform for the overworked and under-appreciated multifunction IT professional.
“We have architected our platform – IT Complete – purposely for MSPs and the unique challenges they face,” Voccola said. “It’s the largest reason we’ve been successful to date.”
The Road to IT Complete
IT Complete is a fully integrated platform of IT management and security solutions that are purpose-built for the unique workflows and challenges that MSPs face while delivering their solutions to small to medium-sized businesses. Pre-Kaseya, the average MSP uses software from 17 different vendors. With most MSPs having less than 20 people in their company, they do not have a dedicated vendor management organization. This is a tremendous administrative burden that IT Complete eliminates.
“With all solutions commercially integrated into one platform, IT Complete provides one solution and one vendor infrastructure to cover the ever-expanding IT and security demands of businesses,” Voccola explains.
For the MSP, the most important aspect of their business is the efficiency of their technicians. The more customers a technician can service in a day, the more successful the MSP is. MSP technicians lose as much as half their working day too tedious manual tasks and research activities due to a lack of technical product integrations from the tens of unintegrated products they are forced to use from as many different vendors. IT Complete’s streamlined workflows between modules woven together increase technician productivity by up to 40%. The platform is also highly intelligent – using the Cooper Intelligence Engine, named after Voccola’s dog Cooper, to proactively guide and direct technicians to ensure they are leveraging all aspects of the solution and maximizing their software investments.
Finally, on average, each module of IT Complete costs 30-40% less than the competitive software solutions for each module cost; in short, Kaseya is saving its MSPs significant dollars that can then go directly to the bottom line of the MSP.
“By providing an integrated platform, we are able to charge less compared to an MSP having to piecemeal together 12 to 20 products from 17 different vendors,” Voccola said. “This can really make a huge impact on a three-person or 100-person MSP. MSPs are then able to invest in other areas of their business and become more competitive.”
Voccola is best known in the space for his successful acquisition of multiple technology companies to continuously build out the IT Complete platform. Under his leadership, Kaseya has experienced tremendous growth and Kaseya’s robust family of brands now includes Datto, Graphus, ID Agent, IT Glue, RapidFire Tools, RocketCyber, Spanning Cloud Apps, and Unitrends.
“Right now, we’re approximately seven years into a journey of mergers and acquisitions (M&A), and we’re still only one-third of the way done,” Voccola said. “But at the same time, I don’t know if we’ll ever be done. Technology changes at such a rapid pace; there’s no way to predict the problems people will be facing in another six years, but we are committed to serving our customers through these changes.”
A Lucky Career Break
Voccola initially envisioned a Wall Street career in his early days in university, but quickly shifted his focus to early-stage software companies after successfully starting and selling his first technology company in college.
“I did it (became a software entrepreneur) purely because I couldn’t get hired by Wall Street,” Voccola shared. “I tried and tried, but the Wall Street firms did not like me. I assume I was not ‘Wall Street’ material. However, it turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me in my professional career because, without realizing it, I jumpstarted my career into what I believe is the greatest industry to be in, software and technology. The software industry is amazing and has been great to me. I love innovation, the constant drive to challenge things and make things better, working with super smart people, and getting to build great, amazing products that add tangible value to customers. To me, the software and tech industry is the ultimate meritocracy; you get rewarded for adding value. I mean, what other industry on the planet could a 20-something-year-old kid with no industry contacts or connections get by and be taken seriously based on his merits, with no concern about, ‘where did you go to school?’ or ‘who do you know?’”
Voccola went on to co-found and serve as the EVP of Sales and Marketing at Identify Software before it was bought by BMC Software (NYSE: BMC). Voccola attributes his time at Identify Software as when he did the bulk of his early professional growth. He would go on to lead various software and internet technology companies in multiple sectors to global success. One of those was Trust Technology Corp, a fintech SaaS platform, which Voccola co-founded and served as president and CEO. Trust was successfully sold to FGI Global. Additionally, Voccola served as president and general manager of Yodle for Brand Networks, which successfully exited to Web.com (NASDAQ: WEB). Prior to that, he served as the president of Nolio, Inc., a DevOps SaaS company that sold to CA Technologies (NYSE: CA).
“At startups, you are solving problems on an hourly basis and constantly must pivot,” Voccola said. “You’re faced with thousands of challenges, so decisions need to be made rapidly and often. A successful tech company needs to constantly adjust and make decisions to stay successful because the status quo changes so often – and I was lucky enough to exercise this muscle early on in my career.”
People Come First
Fast forward to Kaseya, a global powerhouse with over 4,000 employees around the world and billions of dollars in revenue. Voccola credits a huge part of Kaseya’s success to an unwavering approach to customer and employee-centricity. The company has been built around a culture of “making our customers successful.”
“Everything we do is with our customers in mind, everything – we can never forget that customers are what allow us (Kaseyans) to provide for our families and send our children to college and live the lives we are so blessed to live … we only exist because of them,” he added.
Similarly, Voccola believes that people are the company’s most important asset, and often takes risks on employees that other companies may not.
“The best part of leading an organization is the satisfaction that comes from the positive change I get to witness in our employees’ lives,” Voccola said. “I’ve seen people go from directionless jobseekers to purpose-driven leaders, all while building their skills and empowering their peers to grow. That’s what Kaseya is all about.”
One of the initiatives Voccola is most proud of is the company’s Grow Your Own program, which offers mentorship and defines a clear pathway for people to grow within the company. The initiative has seen the rise of many first-time managers and leaders. To date, Kaseya has successfully developed dozens of first-time executives and hundreds of junior executives. People who came into the company at an entry-level role have grown and are now leading large teams.
Leading the Way
Mentorship is something Voccola is passionate about. He can often be seen walking the sales floors at Kaseya speaking with the teams. His personal motto is to leave it better than you found it, in both his professional and personal life. He believes in turning weaknesses into strengths, and steadfast grit to get things done. This philosophy was taught to him by his father, who was a pioneer in the electronic toll collection space and later helped develop in-vehicle navigation. He credits his dad as one of his first mentors, exposing him to a problem-solving mindset and teaching him how creativity can lead to innovations and change people’s lives for the better.
SMBs are growing exponentially, and IT and security is increasingly vital to the success of their businesses. Kaseya is expanding aggressively to keep pace with this explosive growth. The company is growing both its global footprint and its human capital. Just this year, Kaseya acquired Datto in June 2022 for $6.2 billion. The acquisition combined Datto’s world-class customer experience and support and Kaseya’s complementary products and strategies that drive innovation and global market development, providing MSPs around the globe with broader and better-integrated solutions. In addition to growth through acquisition, Kaseya has expanded organically in its five centers of excellence located in Miami, Florida; Krakow, Poland; Dundalk, Ireland; Sydney, Australia, and Bangalore, India.
“The fact I get to witness and play a part in this industry growth has been tremendously rewarding,” Voccola said. “I am so lucky and humbled to be able to lead a company like Kaseya with customers as amazing as ours in an industry that is always changing, evolving, and presenting new challenges. I’m looking forward to seeing what is next.”
Given Kaseya’s track record in anticipating the needs of its customers, Voccola is definitely in the right place, at the right time.