Security Staff Acquisition & Development, Business continuity, Storage

Datto’s CXO Melting Pot: Cooking Up Something Sweeter for MSPs?

Austin McChord
Austin McChord

What's on the menu at Datto? Take a look at the company's C-suite and you'll find some clues. Indeed, Datto's executive team now includes an enterprise-class CIO. And an artist with technology know-how. It's as if CEO Austin McChord and Datto's board want to take the best of the classic IBM and Apple business formulas, and meld them into something new for MSPs that support SMB customers.

Generally speaking, Datto is a fast-growth startup that leans heavily on backup and disaster recovery (BDR) hardware for MSPs. Once MSPs install those appliances for SMB customers, they're linked to Datto's business continuity cloud. It sounds simple. But more products are under development (including a security appliance).

While McChord is a millennial entrepreneur and technologist, he's built out Datto's executive and boardroom roster with enterprise-class experience and know-how. Moreover, McChord is planning ahead for more business scale -- while also trying to keep things simple for business partners. Among his latest moves:

Vienne and Glass: A Closer Look

Datto Chief Product Officer Emily Glass

Vienne previously was VP of enterprise systems at Weight Watchers and the director of CRM applications at Pitney Bowes. His top priorities at Datto: Continuing to scale the company's financial systems, data integrations and analytics use. Yes, Vienne is familiar with classic ERP and CRM systems. But at Datto, he'll be leaning on more modern, cloud-oriented offerings -- with names like NetSuite, Salesforce, Zendesk and open source options coming to mind, he tells ChannelE2E.

Meanwhile, Glass is focused on delivering an amazing end-to-end experience for partners, she tells ChannelE2E. Her background blends a wealth of technical and artistic know-how. In addition to earning a computer engineering degree, Glass also earned a masters in art education -- and she has played the violin since age five. "Apart from providing an outlet for me, the arts have really helped me to assess problems and then imagine solutions," she says.

Glass isn't new to the halls of Datto. Her background includes executive product management and customer care positions at Backupify, a cloud-to-cloud backup provider that Datto acquired in 2014. Naturally, Datto's partner support systems (from Glass) lean heavily on the underlying IT infrastructure (from Vienne). So the two already are working closely together.

Enterprise Scale, Consumer Simplicity? (Ahead of Time)

Yes, Datto remains privately held. If I had to guess, revenues are likely below $200 million annually -- but I could be off on that. The company achieved a $1 billion valuation (i.e., unicorn status) in 2015 during its previous round of financing.

I don't know how much longer Datto plans to remain private. At some point, the venture capitalists will want to unlock some or all of that unicorn value. Datto wants to be more than a BDR provider. The company is striving to offer complete data protection solutions. Key moves will include the Datto Network Appliance (DNA) -- a unified threat management appliance and wireless router. DNA has been delayed a few times but is expected to ship in early January.

In the meantime, Datto's journey has included a growing list of executive hires and boardroom appointments that suggest bigger moves are coming. The boardroom includes key executives who held key posts at EMC, VMware, Akamai and Xerox. And the executive suite includes enterprise and midmarket know-how, including midmarket MSP veteran Brooks Borcherding.

Now, Glass and Vienne join that executive team. Their overall mission: Scale and simplify -- for partners and the customers they serve...

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.