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DattoCon18: Live Blog From Datto MSP Conference

More than 1,600 MSPs (managed services providers) have gathered at DattoCon18 -- the annual Datto partner conference -- these week in Austin, Texas. Here's a live blog update from various sessions and meetings...

Datto VP of Business Development Rob Rae

Rob Rae, VP of Business Development, Datto
Datto VP of Business Development Rob Rae

During a one-on-one meeting, we touched on Datto's recent Autotask acquisition, and the company's go-to-market strategy across data protection, MSP automation and more for MSPs. Among the key points we discussed...

1. The Datto-Autotask business integration: MSPs now have one sales contact for the entire Datto portfolio, including the acquired Autotask assets, he notes. The effort included internal sales training for team members during a January 2018 sales kickoff meeting. Moreover, Autotask sales reps have been visiting Datto offices to ramp up on the Datto portfolio of solutions. More hires also are coming onboard.

2. Combined Tech Support: Autotask customers now leverage a combined support experience from Datto's 24x7x365 tech support, Rae notes. The support is U.S.-based, though Datto has failover support in the UK along with additional support team members in Australia and more. The net result is a single support experience for all Datto MSPs, even those that first surfaced on the Autotask side of the house.

3. Global Push: Autotask localized its software several years ago to reach EMEA, Asia and more. As a result, the company helped many VARs shift to MSP business models in regions that some software rivals didn't penetrate in the early years. As a result, Datto has the opportunity to now empower those early mover MSPs with data protection services -- without having to train MSPs in terms of recurring revenue business models. Datto, of course, also had international reach and market penetration -- particularly in the UK and Australia -- ahead of the M&A deal.

3. Networking: Datto acquired a networking firm called Open Mesh in early 2017. The networking push, build on subscription-oriented hardware, is going "phenomenally" well, he asserts. Entrenched network hardware providers typically don't have MSP-centric features, functions and pricing, Rae adds. Still, what are the actual metrics for success? ChannelE2E will dig a little deeper on that later today.

4. Office 365 Backup: Datto acquired Backupify in 2014 to back up SaaS applications like Office 365. On the one hand, SaaS backup may not offer big per-seat revenues. But take a closer look and watch how ransomware is now starting to attack cloud applications, setting the stage for SaaS backup to become even more important, Rae notes. Moreover, Backupify eliminates the need for MSPs to lean on Microsoft for cloud support during an Office 365, he adds.

5. Competition: Although the MSP software market is filled with backup offerings (names like Axcient/eFolder and StorageCraft among others come to mind), the head-on competition between Datto and Veeam also continues to grow. Veeam partners are typically up in the midmarket, where they role their own hardware to deploy Veeam's software. But Datto's appliance-based approach is winning partner converts because partners don't want to be in the white box storage market, Rae asserts. (For its part, Veeam is still seeing massive growth rates, ChannelE2E notes.)

Additional Meetings & Developments

  • Datto Networking: VP John Tippett shared some updates with ChannelE2E. We'll update this article shortly with the highlights.
  • Datto Security: Chief Information Security Officer Ryan Weeks is sitting down with us later today. A recap will surface here.
  • Continuum Security & CARVIR Acquisition: Continuum CEO Michael George and his lieutenants briefed MSPs on the company's managed security strategy and CARVIR acquisition.
  • Passportal-Autotask Integration: Passportal, which makes password and documentation software for MSPs, has announced integrations with Autotask Professional Services Automation (PSA) and Autotask Endpoint Management (AEM -- aka Datto RMM). Ahem... Rumor has it Passportal will announce a migration tool that sucks data from IT Glue and places it in Passportal's documentation system...
  • Pax8-Autotask Integration: Cloud distributor Pax8 announced an Autotask integration. The connection allows MSPs to "seamlessly import company data, export products and services, and update contracts with accurate billing information" from Autotask into the Pax8 Command Console.

Datto CEO Austin McChord Keynote

Keep checking back: More updates will surface regularly throughout the conference.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.