Channel partner programs, Business continuity, MSP, Small business, Storage, VAR

Barracuda CEO Credits Microsoft, Amazon, MSP Partner Momentum

Barracuda CEO BJ Jenkins
BJ Jenkins

Barracuda Networks continues to gain momentum in the IT security and business continuity markets. Among the reasons: Thriving relationships with Microsoft, Amazon, channel partners and MSPs that want to safeguard customer data. Next up: More momentum with Google Cloud Platform, Barracuda CEO BJ Jenkins predicted during the company's earnings call yesterday.

Barracuda's early bet on public cloud partners has allowed the company to win Fortune 1000 business while also building momentum with SMB channel partners. Indeed, Barracuda now has more than 50 Fortune 1000 customers, Jenkins indicated. On the SMB front, a Barracuda Essentials security package for Office 365 also is catching on, Jenkins said.

Roughly "40% of our demand is coming from partners and we’ve been doing a lot educate partners on the Essentials package," Jenkins indicated. "I think a lot of them are partnered with Microsoft and moving a lot of customers to Office 365. And the opportunities to pair that with leading security and data protection is driving a lot of partner demand for us. So, this has been a focus area for us. We’re really happy with the performance and believe it will continue to grow strongly."

Even as Microsoft adds more security features to Office 365, Barracuda will continue to innovate as well, Jenkins assured Wall Street analysts.

True believers in Barracuda's public cloud strategy include 2nd Watch, ranked among the Top 50 MSPs focused on Amazon Web Services. 2nd Watch selected the Barracuda web application firewall to help customers reduce complexity, increase visibility and migrate to their cloud securely and affordably, Jenkins asserted during the call.

Intronis MSP Solutions Momentum

Barracuda's momentum with MSP's also continues to accelerate the CEO said. Much of the momentum involves Intronis MSP Solutions, which the company acquired in 2015.

"Enabling our MSP partners to deliver a broader range of easy to deploy and manage security and data protection services is a key element of our strategy to expand our MSP network and increase our share of the market," Jenkins said. "This is an important route to market as a growing number of small and medium businesses with limited IT budgets are moving to a pay as you go model to reduce their upfront IT investments and relying on MSPs to manage and secure their networking data."

Barracuda's financial results suggest the strategy is working. For the company's Q3 ended Nov. 30, 2016:
  • Total revenue increased 11% to $88.8 million, compared with $80.1 million in the third quarter last year.
  • Subscription revenue grew to $68.3 million, up 17% from $58.4 million in the third quarter of last year.

The overall results exceeded Wall Street's expectations.

Intense Business Continuity, Security Competition

Still, Barracuda can't afford to rest on its laurels. The company's MSP- and VAR-focused partner programs face intense competition on the business continuity and managed security fronts.

Acronis, Datto, Carbonite, ContinuumeFolder and StorageCraft (just to name a few) have been expanding their various business continuity portfolios for MSPs. Also, Datto is preparing a long-delayed unified threat management (UTM) appliance that's expected to launch this quarter, and Continuum is preparing SOC (security operations center) services for MSPs.

Elsewhere, key players like Cisco Umbrella (formerly OpenDNS), Kaseya AuthAnvil and Webroot have been driving home the security message to MSPs.

Despite all those competitive threats, Barracuda seems to be executing on its own channel strategy.

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.