Datto: Profitable, Growing and Partnering on BDR Storage

Datto: Profitable, Growing and Partnering on BDR Storage

Datto, the backup and disaster recovery (BDR) storage specialist, has a concise message for managed services providers (MSPs). Specifically, Datto is profitable, growing and in hiring mode. But what potentially sets Datto apart in the fiercely competitive BDR market? CEO Austin McChord offered MSPmentor some insights.

McChord has a degree in bioinformatics -- which marries super computers and DNA-type research. But when McChord became disenfranchised with the big pharmaceutical industry, he shifted attention to an entrepreneurial itch. The result: McChord launched Datto in a Connecticut basement in 2007.

Working the Phones

During Datto's early years, Datto focused on consumer storage. McChord personally reached out to consumer tech websites and blogs like Engadget, hoping they'd review Datto's storage products to create viral buzz about the company. Gradually, bloggers started responding to McChord's outreach, and chatter about the small company started to spread across the web.

By 2009, Datto shifted its attention to the business market with Viridian, a storage solution that countered Zenith Infotech. "That's when the channel really started to pay attention to us," said McChord. "MSPs weren't part of our original vision. But over time, MSPs discovered us and they convinced us to get into the channel."

Moving Forward

Fast forward to the present and the storage company remains self-funded, profitable, debt free and growing. "We've funded our growth organically and we only answer to our customers," said McChord.

In fact, Datto now employs 80 people and the company manages 5.7 petabytes of data. McChord expects to hit 6 petabytes (6,000 terabytes) of managed storage within the next few weeks -- thanks to the company's growing base of MSP partners.

Still, McChord sees some more opportunities to further refine the BDR market, through simplified pricing. A prime example: The company does not require long-term contract engagements with MSPs. Instead, "we re-win that business every month," said McChord. "If we don't win your business every month you're free to walk away. That reality helps us to set our priorities internally." As a result, McChord asserts, Datto has a 97 percent satisfaction rate on customer support.

Fierce Competition

Admittedly, competition looms around every corner for Datto. Clear rivals include Axcient, eFolder and Zenith Infotech -- among many others. But Datto is hoping a recent partnership with Continuum -- the RMM spin-off from Zenith Infotech -- will further accelerate the company's growth. The first fruit of the Continuum-Datto relationship, called Continuum Vault, officially launched earlier this week. The new BDR system is reaching initial MSPs now.

McChord is upbeat about the Continuum relationship, but he notes that Datto continues to partner elsewhere in the RMM (remote monitoring and management) software market. In fact, Datto will be on hand for Level Platforms' upcoming road show...
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