Kaseya_jim_alvesKaseya in late January 2010 will officially unwrap Kaseya 2, the company's next generation software framework. Earlier today, Kaseya Executive VP Jim Alves (pictured) described Kaseya 2 and the company's plans to push into multiple areas -- including SaaS (software as a service), online back and some low-end professional services automation (PSA). What's more, Kaseya appears to be taking aim at everyone from Citrix Systems to LogMeIn. Here's the scoop.

First, some important points: I haven't had the chance to offer rival RMM (remote monitoring and management) companies equal time regarding Kaseya's forthcoming moves. Nor have I been in touch with PSA providers today. But I'll be sure to follow-up on multiple fronts.

In the meantime, the video and analysis below describe where Kaseya is heading, and the potential implications for rivals, MSPs and the broader IT administration industry.

Kaseya 2: The Framework

This MSPmentor FastChat video gives you a feel for where Kaseya is heading...

[youtube]4pdD9lpreHw[/youtube]

The video covers...

0:00: Introduction
0:12: What is the Kaseya framework?
1:05: Kaseya promoting on-premise or SaaS -- or both?
1:40: Potential implications for MSPs, solutions providers and enterprise customers
2:20: From large enterprises to the SOHO market
3:05: Is the software framework fully baked?
3;50: When will the software arrive?
4:05: Is Kaseya moving into the online backup and PSA markets?
5:45: Existing PSA partnerships
6:22: Conclusion

Evolving PSA Strategies

I don't want to "hype" Kaseya's move into PSA. As Alves stated, Kaseya wants to serve the low-end of the PSA market. Is Kaseya PSA vs. traditional PSA sort of like Intuit QuickBooks vs. Oracle Financials? Time will tell.

In the meantime, Kaseya relationships with key PSA partners like ConnectWise and Autotask remain intact -- though you can bet all parties are watching each other closely.

Let's not forget: PSA vendors have spent years -- and in some cases, decades -- building and refining their products. Kaseya will be the new kid on the block at the low-end of the market.

Another big question: Will PSA companies ever start to offer some remote monitoring and management tools? One potential clue: Rumors circulated in 2009 that LabTech Software (an RMM company) could get acquired. And I still hear a lot of chatter about the company... We'll see...

Either way, the managed services market is looking more like the traditional software market -- where companies like Oracle and Microsoft compete on some fronts and cooperate on others.

Other Themes

I still need to cover a range of additional items:
  • Online backup and restore: It's a crowded market, and venture capitalists continue to pump money into growing brands. Where will Kaseya fit in the broader online backup market? I'm not sure yet.
  • Endpoint security: A few MSPmentor readers have been asking me to push Kaseya for an update on their endpoint security strategy. Some MSPs allege that Kaseya's efforts haven't kept pace with the broader endpoint security market. I apologize for not covering the topic with Alves this time around. But we'll explore it soon.
  • High-end competition: Will Kaseya increasingly compete with players like BMC, CA, HP OpenView, IBM Tivoli and Nimsoft? I need to check around with my sources.

Bigger Ambitions

Most of the analysis above involves the traditional managed services market. But Kaseya wants to push far beyond traditional managed services. Speak with Alves or CEO Gerald Blackie, and they often describe their previous ERP (enterprise resource planning) experience -- building software platforms that run big businesses.

They have similarly big ambitions for Kaseya 2.

You can bet Kaseya will more aggressively market to corporate IT departments. On paper it's an impressive strategy. But can Kaseya really deliver a single framework that scales from SOHO to large enterprises?

I've been asking that question for about a year. I sense that Kaseya hit some bumps building the framework and Kaseya 2 platform. By mid-2009 there were rumors Kaseya had hit some multi-tenancy snags. But sources close to Kaseya say the alleged issues were resolved.

Kaseya 2 is nearly here, so we'll finally get some clearer answers about the strategy and software quality within days or weeks.

Next Up

I also spoke with Alves about Kaseya's mobile and Linux strategies -- covering everything from Apple's iPhone to Google Android, Google Chrome OS and other Linux distributions. We'll post another blog and FastChat video soon covering those topics.