Friday, December 07, 2007

Zenith vs. Kaseya

Disclaimer: As always, this is just my very biased opinion. Take all the bits you like and leave the rest. :-)

In the last post I talked about our general experience with Zenith. The two natural comparisons that arise are:

1) How does Zenith compare to Kaseya?

2) How does Zenith compare to Microsoft?

Of course these are very different roles. So we'll do apples to apples and oranges to oranges.

First Z and K. Next time Z and M.

Zenith vs. Kaseya

The basic roles as we use them:
- Zenith provides remote monitoring of servers.
- Kaseya provides remote monitoring of servers and workstations.
- We use Kaseya for scripting specific jobs across multiple clients.
- Zenith does remote labor on client machines.
- Zenith does troubleshooting and will fix items once we authorize it.

Customer Service:
- Kaseya has eliminated free training. So it's sink or swim, or pay for learning to use their tool. This was not the case when we first signed up.
- Overall, Kaseya is one of the most arrogant vendors we've ever dealt with. They have a real "You need us more than we need you" attitude.
- Zenith provides free training, extensive documentation, as well as ample marketing material, sample contracts, etc.
- Zenith's customer service is excellent in every regard. Sometimes it is a bit slow to get a response by email, but then you get three responses at once because they always cc each other.

- We bought Kaseya licenses through the ASCII group (, so we got a discount. Don't know what the current price is. Talk to your rep because pricing is based entirely on their mood and your attitude.
- Zenith is $37 per server per month, last I checked. I think it's about $7 per desktop per month.

Kaseya is not as expensive as you think.

Everyone phreaks out because someone paid $30,000 for 250 licenses.

OK. Think about that. That's $120/license. Over three years, that's still $120/license. So that's $3 per month per license.

Even if you paid $150 per license, that's less than $5 per month for the first three years.

And it gets cheaper after that because you're just paying for maintenance.

Kaseya is the most affordable remote monitoring, patch management, and remote support tool available.

Backend Support:
- Zenith built their business on having a backend support system.
- Kaseya has recently added this option.

Our bias, when we first bought Kaseya, was to buy the best. Kaseya was the best. Their product was complete while everyone else was playing catch-up. Now Kaseya is playing catch-up to Zenith on the back office feature.

Our future:
Who knows what the future holds, but right now we expect to turn over more jobs to Zenith.

We rely on Kaseya for remote monitoring and patch management because we own the server and control the entire process. We rely on Zenith for regular maintenance, solving interesting problems, and doing chores across a group of servers.

We put both Zenith and Kaseya on servers and Kaseya only the desktops. Why? Because the service we need on desktops is extremely basic, Kaseya does everything we need, and Kaseya's cheaper.


Final analysis.

I sure hope you weren't looking to make a quick decision based on my observations.

This is obviously a mixed review.

If I could change one thing about Zenith it would be the price. But I can't really ask that because I see it as a service with people behind it. And that being the case, I don't know how they do it so cheaply.

If I could change one thing about Kaseya it would be their attitude. Their sales incentives encourage sales people to rip consultants off for thousands of licenses before they've signed a single service agreement. Support and customer service take this level of love and carry it along in everything they do.

The final analysis is this: Do both! Figure out how to make money using these tools, and use each to it's fullest advantage.

Why not?

Buy 100 licenses of Kaseya on payment terms. Go through ASCII or someone else to get the best price. Use it, use it, use it. Then slap down a deposit with Zenith and figure out all the things they can do to make your work go away. After you've got them both doing as much as they can, fine tune.

If we absolutely had to do one today? Tough call. It would be a long debate. But I think the nod would go to Zenith because of their proven ability to do the labor side. And that, ultimately, reduces our costs.


Next up: Zenith vs. Microsoft


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  1. Anonymous9:56 AM

    Kaseya's arrogance and slimy sales tactics will be their undoing. The top management are in it for a quick buck, no more, and are convicted criminals. Try Googling "gerald blackie" platinum. Compare the co-conspirators to the current list of Kaseya management.

    This post is from a 3 year user of Kaseya and owner of a successful MSP. Love the product, absolutely HATE the Company.

  2. Anonymous4:07 PM

    Level Platforms is a fraction of the price of Kaseya and while it is the most recent of the major products to the market is now passing Kaseya in feature richness, particualrly for the SBS community. There are a growing number of US and India based NOCs that provide services comparable to Zenith using LPI's API either in a SaaS version or on premise now coming on stream at lower cost and providing flexibility and choice as well as full end to end integration with AutoTask and ConnectWise. Certainly worth a look.

  3. Anonymous11:34 AM

    I am currently waiting for closre to a ticket I created with Kaseya in December (2 months ago). It takes weeks between responses whether via voicemail or e-mail. It is frustrating as hell. Kaseya's scheduling sucks (everything is every X days), there is no way to say "run this script on Saturday" reliably.

    As an MSP I wish we had never gone with Kaseya, the training was a joke, support is brutal, and they ignore the forums.

  4. Hi guys.

    My name is Kakada Kim and my company provides Network Management via a SaaS model.

    Per Karl's request, here is my contact info if you wish to learn more about what we do.

    kkim [at] cleardelta [dot] com


    We have spent the last several years knocking down the network management barrier and providing an easy to use interface that any SMB company can use that is affordable.

    We have two options to use our service.

    1) Free - with ads
    2) Paid - no ads and more functionality.

    Feedback is very important to us as we are going up against the big guys so please contact me if you have any questions or comments.


  5. Anonymous9:00 AM

    While I would agree as to some of the arrogance, I find it hard to believe that they have "slimy sales tactics".
    We purchased Kaseya over 3 years ago. The one thing that I like about them, was that they "put their money where their mouth was". They (unlike most companies) were willing to finance the software, and no interest, for a long period of time. On top of that they were willing to break the contract at any time, and convert your payments to an equivlent number of licenses!
    Show me another vendor that has that confidence in their product!

  6. Anonymous9:16 AM

    I can't agree with this comment more: Love the product, absolutely HATE the Company.

    No free training for new technicians. Also, Kaseya refuses to play nice with the leading PSA in our industry, ConnectWise. This hurts Kaseya partners and puts us at a disadvantage vs Zenith MSP's.

  7. Anonymous5:15 PM

    We've been using K for about two years. Their support is arrogant and training is a huge problem, especially since the GUI is indecipherable to the uninitiated. Their free online training is cheap looking with low resolution and bad sound. The training bootcamps are infrequent and expensive. To the person who said, "They (unlike most companies) were willing to finance the software, and no interest", not really true. There's a substantial discount for paying cash up front - I think it is 20 percent. I love how they sell you on doing audits at prospects sites but then after you buy the product, noone a K or on the forum can tell you how to do such an audit or give any examples. All that said, it pretty much does the job it's supposed to.

  8. I spent quite a bit of time evaluating these MSP products before I started mny new business this year, I think i have tried every product on the market except Zenith!

    I found that they all had strengths and weeknesses, but in the end I went for a product called Labtech,

    I don’t know that is the best product on the market, but they did follow me up and help me through the process of getting started, very helpfull. Initially I was scared off by the interface, but once I started to use it I understood the concept of it’s layout. The other thing that appealed is that the potential is enormous, it can do anything, seeimngly anyway. It is still evolving, so can sometimes be frustrating. The pricing is good too. I don't know how anyone can say that kaseya is not expensive...

    The other thing, support, generaly quite good. You can even speak with the ehad programmer if things get too sticky.

    Worth a look...

    I understand that N-Able has gone through a transition, I know when I looked at it, it was just too hard.

    Kaseya ids one that is popular here, but I think that is mainly due to the presents they have, rather than the product, cost lots more too.

    There is always going to be a compromise…..

  9. We looked long and hard at Kaseya, but just couldn't justify the extreme cost.

    We also looked at Level Platforms, but the features were lacking, and the licensing model was too restrictive.

    We ended up demoing Labtech's product, and really liked the features. And the Licensing is CHEAP compared to the other offerings. Probably my favorite thing however was the extremely rapid support responses. The main developer responded to my problems within two days, and there was fixes or workarounds for all of them within a week. Which, being a software engineer I can say that is quite impressive response time (especially for someone that isn't even a customer yet).

    We have been using them for a while now, and are still happy. They do offer some Kaseya import capabilities, so scripts and information should be able to be transferred, a big plus for those migrating.

    Oh, and your right Vince, there is a ridiculous amount of power there. I haven't even begun to tap into it's feature set.

    Might give them a look, I think you'll be pleasantly suprised.

  10. I have been offering MSP services to my clients for just over two years with mixed success. I am based out of Canada so initially started with Level Platforms. I think their pre-sales support is a little pushy so they kept calling till I signed up. For the most part I was relatively happy with Level Platforms. Their interface and reporting was nice but I always found their monitoring to be a little limited.

    Unlike many of the MSP offerings, Level Platforms is WMI based instead of agent based. They say that they are going to be releasing an agent as well to make them a hybrid model soon but they have been saying that for quite a while now. The one thing that kept me with them was their support, it is excellent. You get relatively quick responses through e-mail, usually within a few hours and can call for support as well. Sometimes you leave a message but you will get a callback.

    The main problem I had with Level Platforms is that I found their monitoring a little limited. Because it was WMI based I felt I could only offer a monitoring option to my clients, never a full managed services offering which made it hard to grow with the solution. My yearly contract was over at the end of February 2009 so just after the new year I started looking at other possible options. I dowloaded and tested all the options I could find including Kaseya and others. I spent a ton of time testing the different options, unfortunately they all do things quite differently so I had to re-learn everything every time. In the end I landed upon a product called LabTech,

    The interface was a little duanting at first since there really is so much there. One nice thing is that they give you a 60 day trial to really familiarize yourself with the product. Over the 60 days I worked with the system I spent more time playing with it than I had in the two years working with Level Platforms. Not so much that I needed to since the basic monitoring was pretty easy to get up and running but mainly because I was amazed at what the system could do and constantly wanted to learn more. The power of the system far exceeds anything else I had tested. I can run commands and remote management utilities from the console of the program without ever logging into a machine. Recently I had to switch antivirus on some machines at a clients location. I uninstalled their existing software and rebooted the computers without ever logging onto them. The new software gets forced from the server at their location which I did and again I rebooted their computers without touching them. It took only minutes per computer and I never had to logon to any of them.

    There are a lot of MSP options out there and the same option might not be right for everyone but in my testing, I have by far liked them the best. Their pricing is good too; much better than Kaseya's and even better than Level Platforms in the long run since you own the licenses.

  11. I don't get some of the negative comments. I've worked with Kaseya for a long time and always found them helpful. Yes they are delivering an enterprise quality solution and so the price is a little bit higher, but the savings made in running my business far exceed the small additional cost.

    In terms of being able to get direct access to the developers: I guess that might apply if you buy from a small supplier, indeed I am told if you phone Microsoft in the very early 1980s you could still get through to Bill Gates. But if you want your supplier to be around in 3 years time, then you'd hope they would exhibit business growth and start to put professional systems in place for handling support . After all what happens if your personal contact in development falls under a bus? That would be too much risk for my business.

  12. Kaseya can be even less expensive. We have more licenses than we need, and Kaseya allows us to sell and reassign the licenses. We currently have a block of 100 and a block of 500 for sale. The 100 block is $5000 and the 500 block is $20,000.


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