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RMM Suppliers Feel the Heat in Thunderdome

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CHANNEL PARTNERS EVOLUTION — It was the inquisitors versus the suppliers at the Channel Partners Evolution Thunderdome RMM supplier, head-to-head matchup. The goal — to call out the B.S.

The inquisitors — Rick Beckers, president of CloudTech1, Phillip Poarch, vice president of Tolar Systems Inc., and, Guy Baroan, president of Baroan Technologies — challenged the suppliers with questions about business revenue models, equity, being chased by newcomers, integration issues and staying current.

The discussion, heated at times, never flared out of control. There was a good amount of comradery among the suppliers — Jim Lippie, general manager of cloud computing at Kaseya, Rob Rae, vice president business development at Datto, and Brian Troy, director of product management at ConnectWise. Bryan Reynolds, director, post sales for TBI was tmoderator.

Baroan presented the suppliers with a multipart inquiry about acquisitions, commitment to partners and customers not interested in switching to those products and whether they’ll close the door on integration between products.

Rae admitted it’s a question he hears every day and said he’s committed to do what’s best for MSPs and the channel. “It’s not about ‘use all of my stuff or none of my stuff,’” he said. Sure, he’d like 100 percent of a customer’s business but admitted that Datto won’t shut off customers. “We will play together — the decision is up to you.”

Lippie also said that his company is committed to partnering with shops that don’t buy every product from Kaseya. “That’s part of what we’re talking about when we talk about an open ecosystem. Of course, we want all your business but, for example, we share partners with ConnectWise and we’re not going to shut that off,” he said.

With that, Lippie also noted that Kaseya is integrating its stacks and has more money than ever before. As a company owned by private equity, Kaseya has an advantage when it comes to making acquisitions but also keeping them open.

Datto was acquired by Vista Equity Partners and merged with Autotask in 2017. Kaseya has a list of acquisitions such as Unitrends, RadidFire Tools and Spanning Cloud Apps, to name a few.

Troy pointed out that ConnectWise is always reaching out to other vendors, including those on the Thunderdome stage. “We’re all about choice,” he said. And he defended being a private company able to make acquisitions that others — his competitors with private equity funding — may not be able to.

“Regarding private equity, we purchased HTG, an acquisition that private equity may not have done. That’s the DNA of our company,” he said.

Both Rae and Lippie jumped on Troy’s comment about private equity, insisting that private equity gives them a lot of resources without the shackles.

“Being our own bank, with…

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