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Kaseya’s New Channel Exec To Collaborate With ‘GOAT’ Rob Rae

C.J. Fairfield

‘Rob is well-respected in the channel. Our goal is to work collaboratively to ensure that Datto customers receive immediate value from the acquisition. From my end, that includes giving them access to more MSP enablement resources as it relates to sales, marketing and operations,’ says Dan Tomaszewski executive vice president of channel at Kaseya.

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Dan Tomaszewski

Kaseya’s newly promoted executive vice president of channel Dan Tomaszewski said he will be working closely with Datto’s Rob Rae in to ensure that Datto customers “receive immediate value from the acquisition.”

His promotion came on the heels of Kaseya closing the $6.2 billon deal to buy rival vendor Datto which shook the channel and caused a total stir in the MSP community.

Tomaszewski is best known for building Powered Services, a sales and marketing enablement platform that helped more than 7,000 MSPs enhance sales objectives and close deals.

His immediate focus is to give Datto customers more access to MSP enablement resources to boost their sales, marketing and operations for legacy Kaseya customers so “we can empower them to be more successful and profitable,” a task that he will work on with Rae, Datto’s senior vice president of business development.

[Related: ‘I’M NOT BEING A D*CK:’ KASEYA CEO VOCCOLA’S FREEWHEELING TOWN HALL SPOTLIGHTS CULTURE CLASH WITH INCOMING DATTO EMPLOYEES]

“They are two different positions, and we have different roles,” Tomaszewski told CRN in an emailed statement. “My focus is on creating channel programs to help enable our MSPs build a business and marketing plan so they can be successful. We will continue to develop new programs based on feedback from our MSP customers.”

He said while Rae focuses on business development for the company, his role is to help MSPs build their business and marketing plans so they can be empowered to be more successful and profitable.

“Rob is well-respected in the channel,” he said. “Our goal is to work collaboratively to ensure that Datto customers receive immediate value from the acquisition. From my end, that includes giving them access to more MSP enablement resources as it relates to sales, marketing and operations.”

As a former MSP executive himself, he said he understands MSPs’ pain points and will have more visibility into their challenges as it pertains to sales enablement, and be able to amplify that to Kaseya leadership.

“I am in constant contact with our Datto counterparts and we are working together, especially Rob, to create a shared vision for the future,” he said. “The mutual success of our joint customers is the number one priority for all of us.”

The acquisition has been met with both praise and concern from partners, and IT experts, in the channel.

 

‘Rob Rae is the GOAT’

Tom Watson, channel chief of TitanHQ, a Galway, Ireland-based cybersecurity firm, is concerned that Datto products being consumed by Kaseya “might be detrimental to MSPs.”

Before TitanHQ, he owned an MSP for 15 years before selling it.

He’s concerned that Datto products may be “cannibalized in some way.”

“It’s reducing the amount of choices they have and reducing the competitive landscape,” he told CRN. “It gives less choice, less ability to negotiate and I don’t know if that’s the right thing. And quality products, when they get consumed by other entities, seem to lose that high quality.”

He believes a company that now has Rae would embrace having him, “but some things Kaseya does are real head-scratchers. At the same time, it seems to be working for Kaseya and Fred (Voccola, CEO). They’re a powerhouse.”

“Rob Rae is the GOAT when it comes to IT channel evangelists,” he said. “I know Rob, and I know he has many opportunities. He’s an icon.”

Juan Fernandez, chief encouragement officer for MSP Growth coalition, a business consulting group, believes there’s room for opportunity with the merged companies.

“I know that there’s been a lot of noise, but I think they can do some good things,” he told CRN. “There’s going to be erosion in the culture just because you have two oceans coming together on the same beach. We just have to sit back and watch what happens, but we might as well empower it to be something successful.”

Paco Lebron, founder and CEO of ProdigyTeks, a Chicago-based MSP, said with a huge acquisition like Kaseya purchasing Datto, “you can only just be cautious and curious on what’s going to happen.”

 

Datto Partners Say Services And Support Has Remained The Same

Corey Kirkendoll, CEO of 5K Technical Solutions, a Texas-based MSP and Datto partner, believes it’s still too early to see how things will play out.

“They didn’t spend so much money, $6.2 billion, to screw up something,” he told CRN. “Just keep your ear to the ground on how it grows and how it progresses. And if it doesn’t fit your business then it’s ok to move, but right now I think it’s better to stay put and continue on that path, unless something else changes.”

When he first heard about the acquisition he didn’t panic, contrary to many of the reactions seen on social media platforms including a frowny face emoji that shook that channel.

“I wasn’t one of those guys that was like, ‘The sky is falling, I’m out!’” he said, explaining that he just became a Datto partner last year.

“The PSA and the RMM and whatever else, that’s the heart of the business,” he said. “You can’t just pick it up and remove it. I can’t cut off my nose to spite my face because I don’t like what’s going on.”

Kirkendoll said he’s staying put as a Datto partner unless there’s a dramatic shift and things get worse.

“At the end of the day, it’s about running my business,” he said. “The products no matter what, whether it’s NinjaOne, Datto, Kaseya or whoever, they all pretty much do the same thing. And we all know there’s going to be more consolidation. If you don’t believe that your stuff isn’t going to get bought up…then you’re kinda living in the twilight zone.”

Since the acquisition closed, he said his services and support has not changed.

Bob Coppedge, owner and CEO of Ohio-based MSP Simplex–IT, doesn’t care about the acquisition.

“Nothing is better and nothing is worse, except for the noise,” he told CRN. “The noise is very deafening and can take your attention off what’s important if you’re not careful.”

As a Datto customer, he said there were “cracks in the paint” before they were a part of Kaseya, and those cracks are still there. Other than that, he said his services and support has not changed.

“There’s always consolidation of vendors and consolidation of services,” he said. “Everybody getting upset about the cultural changes, of course there’s going to be cultural changes in terms of the acquisition.”

He said Datto was the “good guys in the industry” and that “Kaseya will change that” and make some cultural changes.

“By the same token, it can’t help but move Kaseya to be a little bit more accepted and not necessarily be the devil incarnate which, deserved or not, is the reputation that they’ve got,” he said.

As far as Tomaszewski working with Rae, Coppedge called Rae “the epitome of relationships.”

“Just like Datto is the good guy in the industry, Rob is the face of the good guy in the industry,” he said. 

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C.J. Fairfield

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 cfairfield@thechannelcompany.com.

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