Kaseya CEO Voccola explains importance and uniqueness of Rapidfire Tools acquisition

The acquisition immensely strengthens Kaseya’s compliance offerings, and they immediately announced a new compliance solution from the RapidFire technology, which was sufficiently important that they delayed announcement of the acquisition for two months, until the new product was ready.

Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola

Kaseya has formally announced the acquisition of Atlanta-based RapidFire Tools, which makes network assessment tools, and has compliance capabilities that Kaseya considers to be unique in the market in terms of their suitability for MSPs. Much like Unitrends, Kaseya’s last acquisition, RapidFire tools will remain as a standalone independent business unit. Mike Mittel, their CEO, and his staff will remain. Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola talked with ChannelBuzz about why they did the deal, what it will do for Kaseya, how it will impact RapidFire tools, and what customers can expect.

RapidFire Tools, was previously a deep strategic partner of Kaseya, which led to the decision to acquire them.

“We have worked with RapidFire Tools for the last five years, but in the last 14 months, we made it a much deeper relationship,” Voccola said. “We made the decision to acquire, and started building the new Kaseya Compliance Manager product, which uses the technology from RapidFire Tools’ Audit Guru. We actually made the acquisition two-plus months ago, but are just announcing it now. We wanted to wait until the integration around Kaseya Compliance Manager was truly there. This isn’t just an integration of Audit Guru into our IT Complete Suite. It is having the complete compliance management capability as a core part of our RMM.”

Voccola said that Kaseya achieves multiple advantages by acquiring RapidFire Tools, rather than simply partnering with them.

“One of our major strategic reasons for acquiring is that we can guarantee for our mutual customers that the partnership is permanent,” he stressed. “Often, companies form close partnerships and for various reasons those partnerships end. There’s a million reasons why that can happen. That’s a big risk for our customer. Buying RapidFire Tools lets us tell a customer that we will be shoulder-to-shoulder with them for the next decade and that the customer can bet their business on it – literally.”

Voccola also emphasized that RapidFire Tools is unique in the value they bring MSPs to compliance, something that becomes ever more critical as compliance requirements grow, and increasingly affects smaller companies as well as enterprises.

“The compliance market now has small to midsize businesses facing the same demands that the big guys faced in the past,” he said. “Compliance has come downstream. These businesses often go to MSPs for their technology. What is important is that while many vendors offer compliance solutions, RapidFire Tools is really the only one that offers the capability specifically designed for the MSP market. They allow MSPs to be able to deliver compliance-as-a-service. We believe, given the increasing importance of compliance for SMBs, that the MSP who can deliver them compliance-as-a-service will become the provider where the customer will look for delivery of the rest of their IP.”

Kaseya had some compliance capabilities before, as do all RMMs, but Voccola stressed that the RapidFire technology that is now in Kaseya Compliance Manager is on another level entirely.

“Compliance as an area is like ‘financial services’ – it’s so broad,” he said. “People have used Kaseya for various aspects of compliance around networking monitoring, and we have also been able to do compliance pieces like GDPR report building. What RapidFire Tools had with Audit Guru is at a completely different level than us, or any other RMM. Now we have built that technology right into our RMM, so Kaseya Compliance Manager allows a tech not to have to master two products.”

Kaseya is emphasizing that keeping RapidFire Tools as a standalone company is intended to preserve their capability to sell to all the other RMM vendors.

“We have been trying to message this very specifically,” Voccola said. “We believe our IT Complete platform is the way every MSP should go, because it gives them the most efficient way to get an efficient low-cost suite. That’s our strategy. But it’s not realistic to expect every MSP to go the complete Kaseya stack route. So we would be the biggest fools if we tried to force people just on Kaseya.  That’s why Unitrends is run as an autonomous business unit – so they can continue to integrate with, OEM with, and co-market with other RMMs. Our customers demand it. It will be the same with RapidFire Tools.”

Voccola pointed out that Kaseya has lived up to this commitment itself with their internally developed PSA product.

“We have a good track record of remaining open,” he said. “We spent millions of dollars making sure our PSA integrates with other RMMs. It’s the best thing for the community.”

RapidFire Tools has had a strong relationship with Continuum, another RMM vendor. Voccola said that he not only expects that this will continue, but that it will deepen Kaseya’s own relationship with Continuum.

“Their partnership with Continuum is a great partnership, and the acquisition will help the two of us work closely together,” he indicated. “We think that this will help us expand our market, through an expanded relationship with Continuum. In fact, we think the opportunity to work together with all the other RMMs is substantially increased. That’s because they have no real alternatives to RapidFire Tools.”

Voccola said that changes that may transpire to RapidFire Tools’ business model will be positive ones – greatly increased by Kaseya’s commitment to investing in them.

“We’ve already allocated a big chunk of money to increase their R&D spending,” he noted. “We will invest as much as we can into the product and the business infrastructure – their customer communications systems, support systems, infrastructure, and portal. The overall experience for customers will be much better. We love the way they license their products. They don’t penalize MSPs for using their products more. They try to correlate their customers success with theirs. In that sense, their incentives are aligned with us. Will there be tweaks in the business model? Maybe. But Mike [Mittel] and his team would do that anyway. Everyone is always making changes to improve their offering.”