When the Kaseya Connect 2012 User Conference kicks off this week (May 1-4, Las Vegas), it's safe to expect the managed services and IT automation event to focus on at least five technology categories for MSPs: (1) Business management and automation software, (2) cloud backup and disaster recovery services, (3) infrastructure management, (4) managed print services and (5) cloud security and managed security services. Here's a closer look at each category.

Heading up to Kaseya Connect 2012, MSPmentor promised to ask these seven questions; the answers to those inquiries could help managed services providers (MSPs) to more clearly understand Kaseya's long-term strategy.

The Kaseya Connect 2012 event will also attract a range of hardware, software and cloud-oriented technology partners. For easy tracking, I've organized the vendors into specific product or services categories:

1. Business Management, Automation, Integration and Reporting Software: Familiar names from the PSA (professionals services automation) market like Autotask, ConnectWise and Tigerpaw Software are joined by:
  • BrightGauge: The company develops develops cloud-based customer reporting software for MSPs. BrightGauge caught MSPmentor's attention in January 2012, partly because it launched as a spin-out of an MSP.
  • ConnectSmart: The company claims to give MSPs a clearer view into their PSA data, presenting the information in easy-to-read dashboards and reports.
  • devIO: devIO creates commercial integrations between Kaseya and enterprise third-party applications. I'll be checking in with the company to learn which integrations it has completed. (Side note: Anybody got a web address for the company? Are they a startup?)
  • Scorpion Software: In some ways Scorpion is a security company but in others it is an IT management company. Scorpion offers password management, two-factor authentication and single sign-on solutions. Scorpion was one of the first companies to plug into the Kaseya 2 platform.
2. Storage, including cloud-based disaster recovery, online backup and more: A hot market that's also extremely competitive. Some of the players have shifted from traditional online backup messaging to disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS), virtualization protection and more. Those on hand will include:

  • Advanced Backup Solutions: The company offers an on-site/off-site DR platform that's integrated with Kaseya Backup and Recovery/StorageCraft. MSPs, Advanced Backup Solutions claims, gain end-to-end DR that MSPs can manage using the Kaseya Management Console. But... I need deeper information and will seek it at the Kaseya event.
  • Axcient: If I had to guess, Axcient is one of the fastest-growing companies in the cloud storage market, working closely with companies like Hewlett-Packard to transition VARs toward recurring revenue opportunities. Axcient CEO Justin Moore has been careful not to hype the MRR (monthly recurring revenue) journey, pointing out a five-year path that can potentially build to $700,000 in MRR.
  • Dell: The company has pushed beyond its old MSP monitoring platform (formerly called Silverback) and is now promoting AppAssure to MSPs. Acquired in February 2012, AppAssure cross-platform virtual and physical server recovery -- from physical to virtual servers, virtual to virtual, virtual to physical and physical to physical.
  • Doyenz: The company has aggressively promoted DRaaS. The Doyenz rCloud system recently gained an agent for VMware vSphere.  The solution allows Doyenz to replicate and recover vSphere virtual machines in the cloud for channel partners and their SMB customers. Plus, Doyenz rCloud now works with Veeam, a popular virtualization management and data protection system for VMware.
  • Heroware: The backup and disaster recovery specialist announced an MSP initiative in November 2011. But we need and update and we'll seek one at the conference.
  • Intronis: The cloud backup and recovery solution provider unveiled a new ConnectWise integration in January while extending out to mobile devices like Google Android and Apple iOS. Back in October 2011, Intronis CEO Kent Plunkett told MSPmentor that he expected Intronis to grow about 50 percent in 2011.
  • StorageCraft: The company, which promotes ShadowProtect backup and disaster recovery software to MSPs, has generated at least 100 percent annual revenue growth each of the past three years. And StorageCraft expects to repeat that feat yet again this year. StorageCraft VP of Marketing and Business Development Curt James shared the story with MSPmentor in April 2012.
  • Symantec: The security and storage company surfaced at last year's IT Nation conference. Since that time, Symantec has been busy integrating its Backup Exec storage software with a range of RMM (remote monitoring and management) platforms. New Symantec Channel Chief John Eldh specifically mentioned MSPs when he stepped into the channel leadership post in March 2012.
  • Vembu: A familiar name in MSP circles, the storage company has made some acquisitions and we'll be seeking updates at the Kaseya gathering.
3. Infrastructure Management: Intel continues to plow ahead with its vPro messaging to MSPs, while the Cisco OnPlus Service seeks to help MSPs monitor networking equipment without displacing traditional RMM software.

4. Managed Print Services: Perhaps the most intriguing, most overlooked and most challenging of all MSP markets. Hyped for years, but only 30 percent of the world's top MSPs offer managed print services, according to our fifth-annual MSPmentor 100 report, published in February.

Eager to educate MSPs about the manged print service opportunity, watch for DocuWise, OkiData and Xerox to network heavily at the Kaseya event.

5. Security: Here, keep an eye on three companies...
  • Kaspersky Lab: The anti-virus and endpoint security company recently expanded its channel leadership and Kaskerspky is set to host its own partner summit next week in the Bahamas.
  • Spam Soap: The email security and filtering company is a close McAfee/Intel partner. And Spam Soap has had a pure channel strategy, working with MSPs, from its inception.

Live Coverage

I land at Kaseya Connect on Tuesday night, and we'll be blogging live from the conference throughout the day on Wednesday. Got a news tip or a question you'd like us to investigate? Just drop me an email: Joe [at] NineLivesMediaInc [dot] com.