Here's a closer look at each effort.
1. Cloud Pooling: MSPs can now manage multiple small business customers in the same StorageCraft data pool. For the MSP, that should lower costs that they can pass on to customers, or higher margins, or both. Moreover, MSPs can more effectively plan and load-balance their total data capacity, and avoid the cost of unplanned overages.
2. One-Click Orchestrated Recovery: MSPs can leverage a Cloud Services web portal to pre-configure each customer's recovery sequence, allowing systems to be brought back online and in the right order with a single button click, StorageCraft says.
Instead of trying to recover absolutely every customer application at the same time, MSPs can prioritize and focus on the most critical systems to be recovered first. The default settings for recovery points are 3 daily and 2 weekly, but MSPs can add more if needed. With Orchestrated Recovery, time to resolution can mean minutes instead of hours in any disaster, and normal business operations can resume as quickly as possible, StorageCraft asserts.
3. 30-Day Free Virtualization: The 30-day Free Virtualization service allows MSPs to restore a customer's on-premises IT environment into the StorageCraft Cloud. That type of power is particularly timely as hurricane season approaches in certain U.S. regions; 100 wildfires continue to threaten major businesses and infrastructure across the U.S.; and demand for always-on services continues to climb. The free virtualization service could also allow MSPs to run disaster recovery testing scenarios of customer environments -- before an actual disaster strikes.
Hugo Parra, senior director of product management at StorageCraft said in a prepared statement:
"Our MSP community is reaping the benefits of purpose-built business continuity cloud services. They are able to offer a superior alternative to public cloud in terms of self-serve failover orchestration, all-inclusive virtualization and recovery costs, and clear, predictable SLAs. This high-value low-touch model boosts partners’ margins, addressable market, and ability to meet customers’ most stringent requirements while keeping maintenance and operation costs to a minimum."
StorageCraft MSP History
StorageCraft has a large network of distributor, VAR and MSP relationships. During the initial shift from break-fix services toward recurring revenues, multiple backup software providers leaned heavily on StorageCraft's code and/or associated integrations.
TA Associates acquired StorageCraft in January 2016, installing new executive and channel leadership -- including multiple veterans from Dell and SonicWall. At the time, the company had roughly 8,000 VARs and 3,100 managed services providers in its network. Amid a flurry of StorageCraft acquisitions -- including Gilware in 2016 and Exablox in 2017 -- some of the MSP efforts got a little rusty in the 2016 and 2017 timeframe, ChannelE2E believes.
At the same time, competition in the MSP data protection market has intensified. Anecdotal evidence suggests Datto now has the largest installed base of MSP-oriented data protection systems, but numerous rivals -- everyone from Acronis and eFolder to CloudBerry Lab -- have made MSP-friendly moves. Moreover, several major MSP platform and suite providers (namely Continuum, Datto, Kaseya and SolarWinds MSP) own their own BDR software and associated cloud services.
StorageCraft: Recent MSP Moves
Still, there are signs of an MSP renaissance at StorageCraft. ConnectWise veteran Jeannine Edwards, well-known in MSP communities, joined the company earlier this year. New ConnectWise Manage and Datto Autotask PSA integrations arrived in June 2018. And StorageCraft had a strong presence at ConnectWise Automation Nation 2018 in June.
Key names to know include Russ Hunsaker, StorageCraft's senior alliance manager. He's responsible for recruiting, enabling and managing relationships across multiple partner ecosystems -- including MSPs, ISVs, SIs, CSPs, OEMs, DMRs, alliance & distribution partners.
So what's next? StorageCraft is expected to have a considerable presence at ConnectWise IT Nation Connect 2018 in November. We'll be watching for potential updates.
Additional insights from Sarah Kimmel.