DattoCon17: Five Questions Datto MSPs Should Ask

Roughly 1,000 MSPs are set to attend DattoCon17, Datto’s annual partner gathering, starting June 5 in Denver. Anecdotal evidence suggests Datto remains a fast-growth company. But quite a bit has changed at the “total data protection” platform company.

Here are five questions MSPs (managed services providers) ChannelE2E will pose at the conference.

Sue MacGregor

Rob Rae

Rob Rae

Samantha Ciaccia

1. Partner Program Evolution: Datto overhauled its partner program in March 2017 to reward partners for recurring revenues. At least on paper, that approach aligns well with the company’s MSP partner base. But fast forward to present day. How are Datto and its partner base performing under the new program? We’ll find out. Key Names to Know: Sue MacGregor, Samantha Ciaccia and Rob Rae.

John Tippett

2. Networking Push: Datto acquired Open Mesh and launched a networking business in January 2017. The effort includes a home-grown unified threat management (UTM) appliance. MSP industry veteran John Tippett arrived this month to drive the networking initiative. Here again, Datto claims its products are purpose-built for MSPs and their business models. But can Datto really carve a niche for itself in the saturated networking market? Also, is an upstream move against Cisco Meraki truly possible? We’ll hunt for answers. Key Name to Know: John Tippett.

Steve Herrod

Ryan Weeks

3. Security Push?: Yup, that networking push includes a unified threat management (UTM) appliance. Also, Datto recently named Ryan Weeks as its chief information security officer (CISO). In some respects, the worlds of backup, business continuity and security on converging — especially when it comes to fighting malware threats like ransomware. Not by coincidence, multiple MSP-centric hardware and software companies have hired CISOs. But just how hard will Datto push into the security market? Perhaps a clue comes from Datto board member and former VMware CTO Steve Herrod. Back in July 2016, Herrod penned a column that predicted plenty of M&A in the security sector. He wasn’t necessarily referring to Datto as a buyer… or was he? Key Names to Know: Ryan Weeks, Steve Herrod.

4. Talent, Vision and Execution: Datto has rounded out its executive team and staff in multiple ways. The company now has six executive leaders, 10 key management leaders and five external board members. The latest recruit is Chief People Officer Mary Kay Caricato — the former chief human resources officer at IntegraMed Fertility. Take a closer look and it’s clear CEO Austin McChord and venture backers are striving to build something far bigger than your traditional MSP technology company. So, are all the key pieces to the talent puzzle in place? We’ll be checking. Key Names to Know: They’re listed here.

Brooks Borcherding

Austin McChord

5. CFO and IPO?: Datto remains privately held so it’s difficult to pinpoint annual revenues and/or profits. However, the company had a $1 billion valuation during a funding round in November 2015. At the time, McChord indicated Datto was profitable. Chief Revenue Officer Brooks Borcherding, meanwhile, has been managing four levers for continued growth. Fast forward to present day. I suspect Datto is nearing another major financial event. Time to raise more money? Hmmm… My bet, instead, involves an IPO. But there are some key details to address. Chief among them: As of February 2017 Datto was looking to hire a new CFO. I don’t know if the executive search has been completed. We’ll ask. Key Names to Know: Austin McChord and Brooks Borcherding.

 6. Bonus: What other key questions would you like ChannelE2E to pose to Datto during DattoCon17? Email me ([email protected]) and I’ll see if we can work your question into our interviews and resulting show coverage.

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