From The Editor | February 25, 2010

Kaseya Partners With ASCII, Lenovo and others to offer SaaS Partner Program

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By Gennifer Biggs, security, storage, and managed services editor

With so many VARs still tentative about jumping over the fence and adopting the managed services recurring revenue business model, some well-recognized names in the IT industry have joined forces with a managed services vendor to give those business owners a push. Kaseya, an IT systems management software provider, has unveiled its SaaS Partner Program (KSP), which it will offer through industry partners such as the ASCII Group, Cloud Services Depot, Ingram Micro (Australia/New Zealand), Jamcracker, Lenovo, and the Virtual Administrator division of Network Depot. KSP includes hosted applications (starting with IT Toolkit and two other offerings coming quickly), access to experts, customized landing pages for branding, a customer portal for billing and support, and training.

"This SaaS offering is a way to lower cost hurdles, and to simplify the migration to managed services, since it can be overwhelming," says Dan Shapero, senior vice president of business development and channel marketing at Kaseya. "This is turnkey, plus we are offering educational offerings tailored for each partner's audience. So, if you are an IT business owner and thought you were too small, you couldn't afford it — those are no longer reasons to not become a managed services provider."

While Kaseya has been concentrating heavily on offering educational webinars for MSPs all year (you can listen to Robin Robins' advice free next week!), it is now working with its new partners to extend that effort. For example, ASCII has a handful of regional events that include a presentation by Gary Pica, who will offer advice on how managed services can transform an IT business.

Shapero adds that Kaseya is working with its industry partners to not only extend the product offering further and faster, but also to tailor the solution for each partner's population, which entailed surveys and focus groups during a beta period. Jerry Koutavas, executive director of ASCII Group, explained that more than 100 of that group's members offered feedback. "We wanted the opportunity for our members to have input and Kaseya was open to that since the idea is to make this offering easy to use right out of the box," says Koutavas. "This is a new way for resellers to try managed services; they can worry less about taking that first step, and that is important because there are just so many out there who are still on the fence." Koutavas says that while the new, lower price point allowed by the SaaS delivery model vs. the traditional software/hardware model helps its members move forward with managed services, it is the SaaS model itself, which is easier to manage, that is especially useful to smaller resellers.