Datto Commerce Tool Focuses on MSP Sales Automation
Datto has launched Datto Commerce, a cloud-based sales platform for MSPs that supports sales quoting, procurement and e-commerce capabilities, and connects to third-party distributors such as Ingram Micro and Synnex.
The new sales platform is based on Gluh, an Australia software startup that Datto acquired in July 2020.
Long term, Datto Commerce may help MSPs build online storefronts that offer self-service capabilities to end-customers, ChannelE2E believes.
In some ways, Datto Commerce could potentially compete with a range of third-party products and cloud platforms — particularly ConnectWise Sell, Quotewerks, and VARstreet, and cloud marketplaces such as Pax8 and ConnectWise Marketplace, ChannelE2E also believes. (Ironically, Datto’s Autotask business briefly owned VARstreet a few years ago.)
Still, Datto CEO Tim Weller downplayed those competitive scenarios in a July 2020 interview with ChannelE2E about the Gluh acquisition. In that conversation, Weller emphasized the MSP industry’s need for choice, interoperability and further sales automation.
Datto Commerce: MSP Sales Capabilities
Fast forward to present day, and Gluh is rebranded as Datto Commerce. According to documentation on Datto’s website, the cloud-based software platform offers the following capabilities to MSPs:
- Sales quoting templates, eSignature proposal acceptance, live quote updates, analytics and notifications.
- Procurement that unifies data feeds from multiple vendors.
- E-commerce capabilities that allow end-customers to purchase pre-approved products from MSP websites.
- Integration with PSA platforms and third-party systems such as Autotask PSA, ConnectWise Manage, Xero, Quickbooks, and Stripe, a spokesperson tells ChannelE2E.
MSP Sales Automation: Chatbots, Self-Service and Startups
Datto Commerce arrives at a key time for the technology company and its MSP partners.
Self-service technologies, chatbots and AI (artificial intelligence) software have spread across the enterprise market — redefining how enterprise IT organizations support staff members, partners and end-customers.
Those types of technologies are not yet widespread in the MSP software sector, particularly in the SMB market. Still, there are signs of progress in terms of sales automation and self-service capabilities.
In addition to the Datto Commerce launch, multiple upstarts are striving to help automate the IT sales and support process across the MSP ecosystem. Noteworthy milestones include:
- February 2021: Zomentum raised $13 million in Series A funding to expand a cloud-based sales automation system for MSPs.
- February 2021: Electric raised $40 million to further blend its organic software development with third-party MSP automation software.
- February 2020: Private equity firm Abry Partners invested in Asignet, an MSP that’s developing a robotic process automation (RPA) platform called Robot4IT.
Roll all of those developments together, and the SMB technology industry is striving to help MSPs improve automation. That automation, in turn, is designed to boost EBITDA profit margins and business valuations across the MSP ecosystem.