How Kaseya Believes its Stadium Naming Deal Will Eventually Pay Off
And not just for itself. Brand recognition will drive more business for MSPs too, the company predicts.
No one ever got fired for choosing…Kaseya?
You’d be hard pressed to find an SMB business owner today who says of Kaseya, and Kaseya MSPs, what enterprise CIOs once said of IBM. But spending $117 million to attach Kaseya’s name to the former FTX Arena is one of many eventual steps toward changing that, according to CEO Fred Voccola.
“IBM has a big brand, a trusted brand,” he told me for a story about Kaseya’s “Powered by Kaseya” campaign that I wrote for ChannelPro this week during the Kaseya Connect Global event in Las Vegas. “They spent a long time building it. That’s what we’re doing.”
Allow me to attempt something almost certain to win me ridicule from everyone who views Kaseya’s nine-figure investment in NBA venue naming rights as waste, foolishness, or both. I’m going to explain the logic of that move from Kaseya’s point of view and place it in the context of a larger, albeit still amorphous, brand strategy aimed at making “Powered by Kaseya” the second coming of “Intel Inside.” Then I’ll raise some questions about that strategy only the passage of time can answer.
As my ChannelPro coverage indicated, the deal that resulted in FTX Arena becoming the Kaseya Center is the first, and likely priciest, measure in what Voccola says will be a multiyear initiative aimed at turning Kaseya—a brand few outside the MSP community recognize at present—into a household name, much as the famous Intel Inside campaign led consumers to look for Intel-powered products when shopping for PCs.
“Consumers didn’t know anything about CPUs,” notes Mike Sanders (pictured), Kaseya’s CMO and the executive who first suggested pursuing the stadium deal. “There was not a whole bunch of knowledge for the average person who was going in to buy a computer as to what made a computer good or bad.”
“Intel Inside” made “Intel” synonymous with “good” based on little more than name recognition. Slapping the Kaseya name on a basketball arena, the company believes, will accomplish the same end. Remember, Sanders notes, that while only the Miami Heat play home games at the Kaseya Center, every other team in the league plays away games there. And every time they do, NBA fans and SportsCenter viewers all over America will hear the words “Kaseya Center” repeatedly and see the logo on their TVs.
“You’re always getting aerial shots of every stadium or arena,” Sanders observes. That’s exactly what leagues like the NBA want too, he adds, because featuring stadium sponsor names and logos prominently in telecasts makes spending large wads of cash on naming rights more attractive for companies like Kaseya.
“There’s no arena in the U.S. in a major sport that doesn’t get a tremendous amount of exposure all the way around the country,” Sanders says. In time, according to Voccola, that exposure will translate to widespread (if vague) familiarity with the Kaseya name and enhanced brand image.
“If there’s recognition to just the name, people will say that’s a premium brand because I’ve heard of it,” he predicts.
Partners have a role to play in the process as well, Voccola continues. MSPs who use Kaseya products can tap into the name recognition produced by Kaseya’s stadium affiliation by placing a “Powered by Kaseya” logo on their website and business cards.
“We’re going to encourage them to leverage the brand as much as they can, and we’re going to make it very valuable for them to leverage that brand,” Voccola says.
Sales leads are one way they plan to do so. In fact, Kaseya has already rolled out a revamped homepage designed to educate IT outsiders about Kaseya and put them in touch with a Kaseya partner.
“That’s something that they can do on our site today,” Sanders says. “That’s going to get significantly bigger over the next few months.”
Neither Voccola nor Sanders has many examples at hand, but both insist the stadium and the “Powered by Kaseya” partner logo aren’t where the branding campaign stops. “There’ll be other things for sure,” Sanders says.
What those other things are, how many there are, and when they start arriving all matter, and none of this is certain to succeed. But it’s also no crazier than it once was to think that putting a bunch of “Intel Inside” stickers on PCs would help keep AMD in Intel’s rear view mirror for decades.
So now the questions:
Will MSPs really get asked someday in sales meetings if they’re Kaseya users, as the company believes, because they’ve seen the name on TV? “They do get asked quite frequently who they use even today,” Sanders says of MSPs. “It comes up more often than you’d expect.”
Will Kaseya MSPs really call out their “Powered by Kaseya” status someday the way Microsoft partners with elevated status make that a selling point?
Way too early to say, of course, but feel free to chime in now, fellow channelholics, via the thought-sharing vehicle that made Elon Musk crazy, Substack Notes.
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Sales automation is coming to Kaseya BMS and Autotask
To the extent every good journalist hopes to have plenty to write about when they attend a conference, this week’s Kaseya show was a “careful what you wish for” affair. There was a lot of news worth covering.
Here’s an interesting news nugget I didn’t have time or space for, though, in my ChannelPro coverage. I mentioned in a story about Kaseya buying audIT that founder and CEO Frank DeBenedetto will be heading up a new sales automation product suite that includes audIT’s sales presentation solution. I didn’t mention that DeBenedetto will be collaborating with MSP guru and Kaseya exec Gary Pica (pictured) on building sales automation functionality into the vendor’s two PSA solutions, Kaseya BMS and Datto Autotask.
“audIT is the presentation layer for proposals and demonstrating value,” Voccola explains. “The MSP sales automation engine that we’re building will allow the MSP to put rules in place to automate how their account management is done and how their follow up and management of prospects is done.”
The goal is to accelerate deal velocity and stretch sales productivity, especially for smaller partners. “We recognize that most MSPs don’t have the luxury of having 5-, 10-, 15-, 20-, 30-person sales enablement and sales training orgs, so we’re going to try to provide that for them with technology methodology and assistance,” Voccola says.
Look for the new functionality to begin arriving (at no extra charge to users) either in the fourth quarter of this year or the first quarter of 2024.
Product and partner program quickies from the RSA show
In addition to attending Kaseya’s event this week, I spent a single whirlwind day meeting with security vendors at the 2023 RSA Conference in San Francisco. Lots of writing to come about that on ChannelPro, but I’ll whet your appetite with four bits of especially interesting news:
1. Huntress’s MDR solution for Microsoft 365, currently in beta, will become generally available “pretty soon,” according to Chief Product Officer Nadya Duke Boone. Like the vendor’s physical endpoint security solutions, the new system will provide specific, prescriptive guidance on resolving threats.
“We’re not sending you alerts, we’re sending you answers,” Boone says. Unlike the endpoint security tools, the cloud solution will be priced per user rather than per device.
2. The EDR solution Acronis first previewed last November will ship next week. Drawing on machine learning, the new system is designed to assess issues automatically and explain them in language clear enough for busy MSPs to grasp quickly.
“It’ll tell you, ‘an attacker came in through an email, he stole this and this information, and sent it to that domain,” says Candid Wuest, the company’s vice president of cyber protection research. Technicians can then resolve the problem with a single click.
“It will stop all the required processes, isolate machines if necessary, and restore files that have been tampered with from the backup,” Wuest says.
3. SonicWall has a unified partner program coming toward the middle of the year. Intended to provide a single home for everyone in the vendor’s channel, the new program is one of several measures SonicWall has brewing to attract and engage with MSPs, according to Jason Carter, the vendor’s CRO and channel chief (pictured).
“We know that with our solution, we’re a great fit for the MSP community and we haven’t been as active in that space as we needed to be,” he says.
Coming next month, meanwhile, is an incentive offer aimed at luring MSPs away from SonicWall competitors. “We will match the margin that they’re getting from their current vendor, plus one,” Carter says.
4. Barracuda is courting MSPs too, and the two subscription-based application protection plans the vendor officially introduced this Monday are just one small example, according to Chief Technology Officer Fleming Shi.
“It’s important for Barracuda to create a platform they’re comfortable to operate on,” he says. “More products are coming, more packages are coming.”
Coming as well, round about September, is a converged partner program for MSPs, resellers, and everyone else Barracuda goes to market with.
Also worth noting from RSA
SentinelOne is using generative AI to help security teams get quick threat-hunting answers and execute complex management updates with natural language.
Arctic Wolf has a new portal designed to help cyberinsurance brokers and carriers asses risk and handle incident response.
Also also worth noting
Included among a slew of updates from GoTo are new integrations between its RMM solution and Zendesk on the one hand and between its customer service solution and ChatGPT on the other.
Intermedia is using AI too to summarize and document contact center calls automatically, so reps can move on to the next customer quickly.
TeamViewer’s new solution aims to make remoting into devices as single-click easy as joining an online meeting.
Splashtop makes remote access software too, and you can now get it through Pax8.