As I look back on 2011, I see many changes afoot in the service provider marketplace. 2011 saw the coming of age of IT managed services. There were many mergers and acquisitions throughout the year showing a vibrant and growing market. I saw many new companies come into the managed services sector, new vendors focusing on the sector, more service providers embracing the IT Managed Services discipline, and many of the current service providers doing exceptionally well. However, it is also becoming a very competitive sector where the less professional, less organized, less automated service providers have had to revert to the age old method of trying to get more business based on lowering the price of the service. This leads to cost cutting and, ultimately, a painful exit from the sector. On the other hand, the mature managed service providers have been growing leaps and bounds both on the top line and the bottom line. They took the time to invest in organizing to be a true IT Managed Services provider through staff specialization, training and executing on a plan to provide highly-valued preemptive, automated services to their customers. Interestingly, our informal survey for 2011 showed that many of these providers had raised prices during the year. So we see a healthy set of dynamics in the service provider business that will provide for stronger providers that can deliver the level of service expected from an internal IT department of a well organized corporation.
Here at Kaseya, 2011 was also a great year for the group charged with developing our business with the internal IT departments of larger corporations, government departments, school districts, universities and other vertical markets such as banking and retail. Kaseya is seeing larger implementations in this sector with some notable transactions in the year that involve hundreds of thousands of endpoints. Kaseya is taking its experience in managed services into these sectors and learning what is important to these IT department customers. In this sector, the focus is on managing more with less. These lessons are being folded back into our product and service efforts to the benefit of all our partners. For example, in Q4 2011, we announced an effort to market Kaseya to the 7,500 regional and community banks in the United States with Safe Systems, one of our banking-focused Managed Services providers. We expect to do a lot more of that in 2012.
We see significant opportunities to take Kaseya-based products and services to in-house IT departments for our partners. While we recognize the importance of recurring managed services to the health of our channel, there is significant new business available by moving up market and providing systems and professional services to larger customers with a need for a framework like Kaseya and complementary services offered by our partners. In many cases, these relationships tend to evolve into recurring managed services as well as project services.
Kaseya had a slew of new product releases in 2011. This was complementary to our work of improving current products. We’ve added significantly to the development team both in 2010 and 2011 and it shows in the depth and breadth of new functionality coming to market. We know our partners want a complete set of IT functionality to choose from when compiling their list of offered services. Our plan is to continue to work on extending the product offerings in 2012, improve the framework for greater scalability, and add new features and functionality to our core products.
We were fortunate enough to conclude the purchase of Intellipool out of Sundsvall, Sweden earlier in the year bringing world-class monitoring technology to the stable of Kaseya products. The announcement of the integration of Kaseya Network Monitoring into the Kaseya framework in the fourth quarter, its addition to the Managed Service Provider bundle, and covered under VSA maintenance, is a strong statement of commitment to the IT Managed Services sector.
This upcoming year will be very exciting for our partners and us. We are constantly upgrading our staff and internal systems to provide ever better services. I hear from many of you that our support, for example, has improved immeasurably over the last couple of years. Part of what has made this possible is the stream of graduates coming out of Florida International University’s IT Automation program (which uses Kaseya as its automation focus). Not only are they wonderful employees, but come to us incredibly well prepared to service our partners.
In 2012, we’ll extend on this effort by providing many benefits to our partners who hire graduates of this program or have their engineering staff certified on Kaseya using the very same program that is being taught at FIU. This is available through Dr. Masoud Sadjadi at FIU. We had 150 partners have their Kaseya administrators graduate the program in 2011 and I am sure that each one of them will confirm that it’s an outstanding program. In fact, we believe it is so valuable to our partners, that many Kaseya marketing programs in 2012 will provide ways for engineers to gain certification without cost. Additionally, partners with certified engineers will get elevated access to support and other services.
Much effort is going into customer services, finance and administration to make dealing with Kaseya easier. New systems will provide us with the tools to respond more quickly to questions. New self-service facilities will come online to make it simpler to do business 24/7 with us and we’ll continue to invest in personnel to man our systems around the clock.
Continuing to improve our communication with you is also high on the agenda in 2012. Many of you have provided suggestions that our teams are investigating so that we can better meet your needs. For example, we have been asked for more detailed information on what Kaseya is doing with respect to releases and a more detailed road map. We are exploring some new ways to make this automatically fall out of the systems we use internally to manage our development projects. Vehicles like the newsletter are intended to beef up our outbound communication as well.
Finally, we appreciate the feedback we get through the community and I can assure you, we are listening to that feedback. It’s being taken into account as can be seen by some policy reversals this year prompted by reasoned argument. There will be some notable changes for the beginning of 2012 derived from partner feedback and discussions in the forum. One example is the adjustment of our licensing model to make Mobile Device Management just another agent. So please, keep the feedback coming, it is greatly appreciated!
Thanks to all of you for a great 2011. All of us at Kaseya hope you had a wonderful holiday season and wish you a prosperous 2012!