Channel technologies, MSP

Datto Drive: Changing the MSP File Sync and Sharing Game?

LiveAction CEO Brooks Borcherding
Brooks Borcherding

Datto, as expected, today launched Datto Drive -- a file sync and share (FSS) service aimed at MSPs and the SMB customers they serve. The big question: Has Datto come up with a new approach that will disrupt market giants like Box and Dropbox, while also competing effectively against MSP-centric options like Autotask Workplace and eFolder Anchor?

Datto Drive's big differentiator involves the company's go-to-market strategy, which ChannelE2E first reported in March. Indeed, Datto Drive is priced at $10 per terabyte per month for an unlimited number of users in an organization. And the company is give away the first one million instances of Datto Drive for the first year. The solution leverages ownCloud with additional enhancements from Datto.

Datto Drive: Freemium Model

Datto believes the freemium model will disrupt file sync and sharing rivals. But those rivals aren't standing still. A few examples from ChannelE2E's reporting:

  • Dropbox at Ingram Micro Cloud Summit described a range of partner milestones to ChannelE2E.
  • Autotask Workplace is designed for MSPs to resell to customers. But it will eventually become the content management system for Autotask's core PSA management platform as well.
  • eFolder Anchor is making enhancements to allow group collaboration on documents -- making it similar to Google Docs in functionality, ChannelE2E has learned.

Meanwhile, Datto Drive is one step in a range of moves that Datto has embarked upon. The storage company has built co-marketing initiatives with a range of MSPs. The effort involves billboards and other promotional materials in specific regions -- co-branded with Datto and a local MSP in each area. The idea is to build Datto's SMB brand among end customers, and then funnel those leads to end customers. Datto Drive is one such lead system within the plan.

“We believe Datto Drive will be a catalyst to bring together thousands of MSPs with millions of small companies,” said R. Brooks Borcherding, chief revenue officer of Datto, in a prepared statement. CEO Austin McChord offred more perspectives in a blog.

Datto Growth Strategy

Borcherding is leveraging four levers to drive Datto and partner success for the long haul, he has told ChannelE2E. DattoCon 2016 also is approaching in June, at which time the company is expected to unveil a range of storage and networking moves to further accelerate growth and success with MSPs. It's a reasonably safe bet that Datto Network Appliance (DNA) -- a long-awaited wireless router for SMB customers -- will debut at the conference.

In the meantime, SMBs can sign up for Datto Drive and receive a year of free service, the company says.

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.