When Barracuda Networks named a new GM to lead its Intronis MSP Solutions, some folks (including me) were wondering: Does this guy know the managed services provider (MSP) market? The answer is absolutely yes.
Brian Babineau succeeded former Intronis leader Rick Faulk in May. Faulk was Intronis's CEO ahead of the company's 2015 sale to Barracuda. After managing the company integration into Barracuda, Faulk recently exited and dove into the Robotics industry.
The Intronis leadership transition from Faulk to Babineau sounds like it was well-planned. Babineau has worked in and around the IT storage market since at least 1999 -- including roles at EMC, ESG and NetApp before joining Barracuda in April 2014. When Barracuda acquired Intronis, Babineau was Barracuda's point person on the integration team -- working closely with Faulk and the Intronis team.
Babineau's Views on MSPs, Intronis
During a conversation with ChannelE2E last week, Babineau described Barracuda's commitment to embracing Intronis's MSP partner ecosystem -- which involves some key differences from the classic VAR ecosystem.
Yes, Barracuda worked with MSPs ahead of the Intronis buyout. But most channel deals involved reselling Barracuda solutions into end-customer settings, rather than MSPs consuming Barracuda's platforms. In stark contrast, MSPs typically white label the Intronis backup and disaster recovery (BDR) platform, and then manage the services for SMB end-customers.
From the moment Barracuda acquired Intronis, "there was a commitment from the board to our CEO and our leadership team to provide the resources we need to make successful," Babineau says. "A lot of distractions can emerge during M&A integration. But that didn't happen here."
Indeed, Barracuda CEO BJ Jenkins told Wall Street in April 2016 that the Intronis deal is performing well, and revenues for the business unit should grow about 25 percent this year. That's healthy growth in the highly competitive world of MSP-oriented backup and disaster recovery, which is crowded with rivals.
BDR Rivalries and Diversification
The competitive landscape includes:
- Carbonite, which recently acquired eVault for a midmarket push;
- Continuum, which acquired BDR technology in 2014;
- Datto, which is pushing into SMB networking and file sync/sharing);
- eFolder, which just acquired image-based backup technology;
- SolarWinds, which just acquired LogicNow and associated MSP/BDR tools; and plenty of cloud-to-cloud backup providers as well.
- (Ahem: Whom did I miss in the MSP-centric BDR market?)
Like some of the companies listed above, Barracuda continues to diversify its security and data protection portfolio. For instance, Barracuda has unveiled a range of Office 365 security, backup, archiving and eDiscovery services, Babineau notes. And Jenkins hinted in April that Barracuda will introduce more subscription-based security services for MSPs.
Amid those clues, it sounds like the Intronis business has quickly earned respect within Barracuda. It certainly helped to have a Barracuda veteran -- namely, Babineau -- involved in the acquisition integration from day one.