Business continuity, MSP, Storage

Mid-Year Check-In: Intronis MSP Solutions GM Brian Babineau

Brian Babineau
Brian Babineau

Welcome to the midway point of 2016 -- the perfect time to check in with key industry influencers for their views on the IT channel, the economy and emerging trends for partners. In today's edition, we hear from Brian Babineau, GM of Intronis MSP Solutions by Barracuda.

Barracuda acquired Intronis in September 2015. More recently, Intronis has extended beyond its data protection and backup heritage to offer subscription-based firewalls from Barracuda to MSPs. Here's the Mid-Year Check-In with Babineau.

ChannelE2E: What are the three most important business/IT trends you tracked during the first half of 2016, and what did they mean to Intronis MSP Solutions?

Babineau: Our 2016 World Backup Day partner survey showed PHISHING as the biggest threat to customer data, and every day ransomware attacks are hitting more and more organizations large and small. The marriage of data protection and information security is a trend we’ve been tracking with a close eye, and it’s a growing area of opportunity and challenge for the MSP community.

The first line of defense for MSPs is to have the expertise, education efforts, and technology to protect customers by preventing IT security threats. But, when and if something happens, MSPs must be ready with the insurance — a backup and recovery solution — to bring the business back online and restore the data in record time. This two-step approach reflects Intronis’ single-source value proposition to the channel, as well as our readily available portfolio and roadmap.

ChannelE2E: How have Intronis MSP Solutions' partners been evolving in the first half of 2016?

Babineau: From a technical perspective: The skill set gap on the security side has certainly started to manifest itself. Partners can add a lot of value on the security side for SMBs and should continue to invest in building out their IT security practices and expertise. By bundling security services with their current offerings, MSPs can add value, create more recurring revenue, and increase stickiness with their customers.

With regard to cloud, more and more MSPs are working in the cloud, but many still do so only at the customer’s request—that needs to change. Businesses are embracing cloud services much faster than many MSPs and some vendors anticipated, and the opportunity around cloud services is sizable for the MSP, especially those aligned with Microsoft and supporting Office 365.

ChannelE2E: Let's turn to Intronis MSP Solutions itself. What was the most strategic product or service the company launched in recent months?

In June we announced general availability of our latest product offering: the Barracuda NextGen Firewall – Intronis MSP Edition. It firmly establishes Intronis MSP Solutions as the first and only vendor in this space to offer ‘total data protection’ through the combination of security and backup. Now our partners can proactively prevent bad things from happening to their customers’ data, as well as provide disaster recovery if the worst-case scenario should unfold. The Firewall enables MSPs to set user- and application-aware security and bandwidth protocols to optimize safe, efficient network activity at multiple customer locations through a centralized management console.

ChannelE2E: What are Intronis MSP Solutions' top priorities for the second half of 2016?

Bringing our technologies into a single interface is a top priority for us in 2016. Our goal is to deliver the best technology to the marketplace through a centralized management portal that helps MSPs run their business with greater efficiency, ease, and margin. To ensure that happens, we’re investing in the integration and expansion of our portfolio, as well as the education and training of our channel partners.

We need to ensure MSPs know how to make the business case for total data protection and sell the value add of the managed IT security and data protection services our technology enables.

ChannelE2E: What new steps are you taking to empower and train partners in the months ahead?

We constantly focus on how best to educate and inform our partners. Through marketing, sales enablement, and training, we are helping them tell the complete story and make the case for total data protection services.

Through our partner success organizations, we are simplifying the sales and marketing process for MSPs by providing the right solutions and more resources to our channel partners — all of which will help make it easier to market, sell, and support secure managed IT services. For example, in 2016 we’ll be expanding our Partner Toolkit to include even more rebrandable sales and marketing materials, and we’re also hosting the MSP Marketing Masters Awards to recognize partners’ marketing successes. Our vision is to help MSPs simplify their business, which is why we’re laser-focused on giving MSPs what they need to proactively protect, serve, and support their customers.

Mid-Year Check-In, delivered each July by ChannelE2E, shares the latest views and perspectives from IT channel thought leaders. 

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.