Exclusive Q&A With Kaseya’s New CFO: Why He’s Excited to Ride the Wave

Ryan Courson both believes in and is committed to Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola’s vision to grow Kaseya to one of the top 10 software companies by the end of the decade. The newly appointed CFO uprooted his young family and moved from Los Angeles to Miami, where Kaseya is headquartered, to join the team charged with making that happen. In his first interview with the media, with the moving truck just pulling into the driveway of his new South Florida home, Courson shares why he took the job and what some of his short-terms goals are. This is an edited and condensed version of that conversation.

MSP Success: What made you interested in Kaseya?

Ryan Courson: We don’t have enough time for me to answer all the reasons why I was excited to take the role. It’s a very special opportunity. There are very few times where you are able to ride such a large wave as Kaseya is riding—and do it with an incredible strategy and an incredible leader. When I think about that combination of industry opportunity, incredible strategy, and incredible leadership, it was too good of an opportunity to pass up. And I feel very humbled and excited to join Fred and the team as we look to continue the success that they’ve built the last several years.

MSP Success: Prior to Kaseya, you had C-level roles at enterprise software companies. You’ve also been a technology and software investor. How will you apply that background to the IT channel and the SMB market?

Courson: I’ve had an eclectic background in software. I’ve spent probably more time up market in the enterprise components, but one of the things that I’m quite excited about is to spend time with our MSP [partners]. At the simplest level, what I’m trying to do is ensure that we are taking all the things that are required for at-scale delivery and bring that from my background to Kaseya.

I think Fred and the team have done an amazing job of executing an incredible strategy. My role here is to ensure we continue, with the team’s help, to facilitate that strategy as we grow from a $2 billion revenue business to a $5 billion business to a $10 billion business. So one of the things I think is beneficial about my background in the enterprise is you have large scale. And so it’s enabling Kaseya to access that scale and grow into it at an even faster rate to impact more MSPs.

MSP Success: What are some of your short- and medium-term goals?

Courson: My first goal is to learn as much as I can. That’s not just about the internal motions of Kaseya, but really learn about the customers. I’ve met almost a hundred [MSPs] at this point and it’s just been incredibly humbling to see how much our MSP partners are able to accomplish. I’m trying to understand all the ways that Kaseya is helping our MSP partners and what are things that I can do to lean into that to accelerate the impact and engagement that we’re having.

From a medium-term goal, we have so much opportunity across our industry and across our customer cohorts. And so it’s thinking about ways in which we can continue to enable Kaseya to accelerate growth. We’re a very fast-growing business today. But as we scale, we need to be really mindful about how all those pieces of our operating model come together to allow the business to continue to grow at a rapid rate. I’m really confident that we’re going to get there.

MSP Success: In an earlier interview with MSP Success, Fred talked about the importance of Kaseya’s account management organization. He also said he likes to reorganize to get fresh thinking. What internal improvements might you be thinking about as you scale?

Courson: I think every organization—be it a business, a classroom, a sports organization—has the opportunity to improve. And so one of the things that I aspire to do with both Fred and the rest of my peers on the executive leadership team is to think about ways in which we can improve aspects of the organization. One of the internal mottos I’ve always had is the biggest room in my house is the room for improvement. I try to take that mindset wherever I go. I think Kaseya will have opportunities to make some internal improvements, and Fred is maniacal about driving those internal optimizations. And I hope to learn from all the things we’ve been able to deliver so far and think about ways in which perhaps I can add a new perspective to augment that.

Account management is a tremendously critical component of our business. So we are always thinking about ways in which we can help strengthen that function because it is the connection point between us and our MSP partners. So whether it’s making our reps have more time to engage with customers or making them more effective at conveying the value of our products or conveying downstream benefits to our MSP partners around things like the amazing launch of Kaseya 365. We want to do everything we can to make sure that they have as much time to engage in things that will help our customer base. Because if they are executing on that mission as effectively as possible, it’s only going to have benefits to Kaseya and then ultimately downstream to partners as well.

MSP Success: You came on board just as Kaseya 365 was launching. What do you think of the overall strategy to offer such a low price point?

Courson: We are always very focused on ensuring that our MSP partners are set up for success. I think Fred has done a really nice job talking about how Kaseya’s mission is to fundamentally change the unit economics of our industry. Everything that we do is really geared towards that, making our MSP partners more profitable. This is not just with Kaseya 365, although that is a big component of it, but everything with the Partner First Pledge and things around ways in which we engage with our partners.

I am biased having taken the job, obviously, but I was very impressed with Fred’s strategic vision with Kaseya 365. When you think about our broader IT Complete strategy and the 43 modules that we are able to go to market with, Kaseya 365 is an exceptional way to deliver value to our customers. We’re able to do it in a way, because of our scale, that is a mutually beneficial relationship. We provide that value to our partners as well as accrue value at Kaseya itself.

We think Kaseya 365 sets the foundation for strong and profitable growth and we are highly committed to continuing to deliver on that vision. And we think through the execution of Kaseya 365 and our future new products, we are going to achieve Fred’s very ambitious revenue and profitability goals.

MSP Success: So Kaseya, as you know, made a ton of acquisitions. What are some of the key challenges going forward, making that all mesh even more so than they already have?

Courson: I think Fred and the team have done a very nice job of with a series of complex integrations. Part of my responsibility going forward is to ensure that we continue to add on those integrations, be it new acquisitions or augmenting some of the capabilities of the integrated companies. I expect that to be a non-trivial part of the job, but it’s not going to be the biggest part of the job. The biggest part of the job is, again, ensuring the broader platform is facilitating success for every one of our MSP partners.

MSP Success: Now that you’ve been talking to MSP partners, what do you see as their biggest opportunities as a Kaseya partner?

Courson: I think there’s a tremendous opportunity to continue to engage with our security portfolio. I think you’ll continue to see us demonstrate excellence across our security portfolio of products. And I think that that can continue to help our MSP partners engage with their customers in a way that sets them up for success. And ultimately that’s what we’re always trying to do is set our [partners] up for success.

MSP Success: With your experience, were you brought on board to maybe take the company public?

Courson: One of the things I always say, as the CFO, is that my role is to ensure that our stakeholders are always set up for success. And we’ll always be mindful of what that means from a future state of the business. But we are constantly focused on ensuring that all our stakeholders are set up for success and there are a variety of ways to ultimately achieve that outcome.

MSP Success: Fred’s goal is to be one of the top 10 software companies by the end of the decade. Is that realistic, and if so, how are you going to get there?

Courson: I think it is certainly realistic. It is why I have invested my own professional career and invested our family’s commitment to moving from California to be with Fred and the team in Miami. And I tend to think that actions speak louder than words. As I said, Fred has helped put together a really strong combination of amazing opportunity, amazing strategy, and an amazing leadership team. And I think with all of that, we are certainly set up to achieve a top 10 software business in the world. It’s up to us to execute. … to really take advantage of what is, I think at least for me, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see this company grow and succeed.

MSP Success: OK. Now tell me a fun fact about you.

Courson: My wife would certainly say that may be a hard thing to do. I don’t know that it’s fun, but I am a consummate father. I have three young kids. They’re five, almost four, and almost two. They are the light of my life and I get so excited to see them every morning and when I get home from work. That’s the most fun part of my day when I’m not spending it solving high-quality problems at Kaseya.

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Author:

Colleen Frye

Colleen Frye is executive editor of MSP Success. A veteran of the B2B publishing industry, she has been covering the channel for the last 17 years.

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