Unleash, broken chain

Datto Unleashes Product Updates, New MSP Referral Program

Merging Datto and Autotask is a work in progress, with major announcements about the integration expected by the time DattoCon rolls around this summer.

**Editor's Note: Looking for an update on recent channel program changes across the industry? Channel Partners just published this one.**

Datto on Tuesday unveiled a road map that includes product updates, a new MSP referral program, investment in new employees, and several executive promotions. It's the data-protection provider's first major announcement regarding the status of its business since December's close of its acquisition by Vista Equity — and the simultaneous merger of Datto with Autotask.

“The first priority in bringing the two companies together is to make sure that partners are front and center, and to help the two separate channels merge into a consistent, high-quality experience across the board,” said Matthew Richards, Datto's interim chief marketing officer.

With that, Datto touched on four areas of growth and expansion in 2018:

  • Product updates: The vendor updated Autotask Endpoint Management with a reporting release. The update includes a flexible report scheduler and improvements to how partners produce professional and current end-client reports. Additional features of the update impact patch management, antivirus management and improvement in ticket creation through the unification with Autotask PSA.
  • MSP Partner Program: Datto is rolling out a referral program, globally. The referral program incentivizes existing MSPs to refer new partners to the company, to the tune of a $1,000 referral bonus if their referral makes a purchase within six months of submission.
  • New hires: Look at the job boards on both the Datto and Autotask websites and you’ll see that the company is hiring more than 100 new employees in both the U.S. and U.K. Datto sees a new opportunity ahead and is looking for employees across the board; for example, in sales and marketing, engineering and finance, as well as across geographies. “We’re growing so we need to support that growth,” said Richards.
  • Executive promotions: Recent senior leadership promotions include Michael Fass, general counsel and chief people officer (his previous role was a general counsel); Tim Weller, chief operating officer and chief financial officer (he previously was CFO); and Matthew Richards, interim CMO. Richards has been working at Datto as vice president of product marketing.

Bigger news for partners is that operationally, the Datto and Autotask merger, into a single company called Datto, is a work in progress. The new company consists of 13,000 MSPs worldwide, with about 10 percent overlap of partners who do business with both companies. Together, these MSPs serve about 500,000 small and medium-size businesses (SMBs).

At the end of 2017, Datto reported a 36 percent increase in monthly recurring revenue; however, that figure includes financials from both Datto and Autotask, as if the two companies had been together. Datto’s business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) solutions grew by 33 percent — that figure represents Datto legacy business at the end of the 2017.

In mid-January, Datto held its first combined sales kickoff, addressing sales and marketing. From the partner perspective, changes might not be obvious except for the swapping out of account reps, which will not impact all partners, Richards said.

Currently, the company is busy working on products, product integrations, support integrations and partner program integration, and how all of that will come together. Major announcements regarding this work will be made at DattoCon 2018, June 18-20 in Austin, Texas. This year’s DattoCon event combines with the Autotask Community Live conference. The DattoCon EMEA conference, later this year, will also feature a combined event.

Because the partner program is considered one of the test points for how Datto partners experience working with the company, the work to integrate the two separate partner programs will be done in pieces. Datto is bringing the referral program to all partners in the first quarter. The second part of integrating the two separate programs is merging the platforms — which is underway.

“We have a marketing and automation platform under the covers for our partners. Datto had one and Autotask had one, and we’re bringing them together. The merger of the platforms, the naming ... the goal is to have this complete by DattoCon,” said Richards.

While no vendor likes to talk about disruption of the brand to their partners or customers, merging two companies is disruptive. Datto, says Richards, is working slowly to complete integrations, including the two separate websites, to avoid this.

Rob Rae, vice president of business development at Datto, continues to represent the face of the channel at the company. Len DiCostanzo, who held a similar role at Autotask, works with Rae.

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