MSP, Networking, Security Staff Acquisition & Development

Datto Recruits MSP Expert John Tippett for Networking Push

LinkedIn: Datto Networking VP John Tippett
John Tippett

Datto Inc. has hired MSP industry veteran John Tippett as VP of networking. The move comes as Datto expands from backup and disaster recovery to networking, WiFi and unified threat management (UTM).

The twist: Datto wants to make sure its networking efforts align fully with the managed services business model. In other words, all products will have cloud-based management models and revenue models designed for MSPs -- all of whom want to drive recurring revenues while lowing their own deployment and support costs.

Datto's interest in the networking market isn't new. The company spent more than a year developing a WiFi appliance with Unified Threat Management (UTM) capabilities. And in early 2017, Datto acquired Open Mesh Networks -- which has a growing installed base and cloud-centric management capabilities.

The Datto Networking portfolio now includes Datto Networking Appliance, Datto Networking WiFi and Datto Networking Switches. VP of Business Development Rob Rae described the portfolio and MSP partner push in this ChannelE2E podcast earlier this year.

Datto Hires John Tippett: Here's Why

Tippett's background in the MSP and vendor community appear well-suited for  Datto's networking and partner engagement goals. He previously was VP and GM of Aisle8, where he focused on product and distribution for IT solutions providers.

"As a member of the channel -- as an MSP and a vendor -- I’ve had an itch to solve this networking problem for awhile," Tippett told ChannelE2E. Among the challenges: High-end enterprise equipment is too complex for MSPs to deploy and manage for SMB customers. Also, commodity hardware lacks proper management tools for MSPs and their customers. And the overall networking industry has failed to design products specifically for MSPs, he asserts.

Why? "Because networking companies try to sell to all types of customers," said Tippett. "Datto isn't all over the map like that. If you know only one thing about Datto, you know they're dedicated to the channel and MSP. They've got all the right puzzle pieces for networking and MSPs. We're purpose-built for MSPs."

Instead of trying to generate buzz for networking, Tippett believes his top priority is delivering focus. "In some roles you need to generate energy and interest," he said. "But this is different. This is about focusing all the great Datto and MSP energy that's already in place. Taking all that energy and focusing it on networking success."

Tippett will share more details during DattoCon17, the company's MSP-centric conference -- which is set for June in Denver.

Datto: The Bigger MSP Picture

LiveAction CEO Brooks Borcherding
Datto Founder Austin McChord

Tippett reports to Datto Chief Revenue Officer Brooks Borcherding. Like Tippett, Borcherding has hands-on experience as a former MSP company executive.

Over the past two years or so, Datto's board and CEO Austin McChord have recruited multiple board members and executive leaders to accelerate the company's growth in four potential ways:

Datto: What's Next - IPO?

No doubt, Datto will offer product, partner and strategy updates at DattoCon17. At the same time, we're curious to know if Datto is nearing a potential IPO or another type of financial event.

Datto raised $75 million and achieved a $1 billion valuation in November 2015. At the time, the company was profitable, I believe. The funding allowed Datto to expand internationally, bolster its executive team and employee ranks, and expand into networking.

The question: Will Datto pursue another round of funding... or simply position itself for a potential IPO? My guess: If the networking business scales, we could be looking at a potential IPO within the next 12 to 18 months -- maybe sooner?

Again, that's just a guess. I'll go on a fact-finding mission -- or at least rumor hunt -- at DattoCon17.

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.