Image Gallery: On Location With Intronis MSP SolutionsImage Gallery: On Location With Intronis MSP Solutions
The MSP-focused backup and security provider releases new virtual, subscription-based Barracuda Backup appliance, reflects on acquisition and security and partner challenges.
Image Gallery: On Location With Intronis MSP Solutions
Channel Partners visited Intronis MSP Solutions by Barracuda almost a year into its acquisition by Barracuda Networks to get an update on integration progress, hear about a new virtual version of Barracuda Backup – Intronis MSP Edition, and find out what company executives see on the horizon for customers and partners.
In the news this week is a subscription-based virtual appliance option for Barracuda Backup – Intronis MSP Edition. Like the hardware version, the virtual appliance protects physical, hybrid and virtual environments and includes compression and deduplication. It can be integrated with the ECHOplatform rebrandable central management console and Barracuda NextGen Firewall – Intronis MSP Edition. Partners can manage multiple instances through a centralized cloud-based console and provision replication to Barracuda Cloud Storage.
There are some compelling selling points for virtual rather than physical appliances. For customers, besides reducing the need to house, power, cool and update specialized physical hardware, a virtualized setup is more scalable, available on a subscription basis and may provide improved failover. The Barracuda virtual appliance pricing includes replication at a secondary site. Partners can apply patches centrally and roll new versions out to customers immediately.
“We’ve always given MSPs the option to back up to whatever hardware they would like,” said Richard Delahaye, senior director of marketing. This turnkey virtual appliance extends that strategy.
The virtual version of the Barracuda backup appliance is available now in North America and Europe exclusively through the channel.
Follow editor in chief Lorna Garey on her tour of Intronis’ Boston area offices in this image gallery and here on Twitter.
On Location With Intronis: A Busy Year
Intronis has had a busy year since its September 2015 acquisition — so much so that it’s still working on adding the Barracuda branding to the entryway of its expanded offices in Chelmsford, Mass.
In April, Barracuda made Intronis MSP Solutions available to partners in the United Kingdom, and in May it announced a new line of subscription-based firewall appliances. It also extended its relationship with Microsoft by bundling Barracuda Essentials for Office 365, a cloud-services suite that combines email security, archiving and backup, with the Intronis MSP Solutions backup and data protection products.
In a Q&A, Brian Babineau, GM of Intronis MSP Solutions, told Channel Partners that one thing that is not changing is the company’s singular focus on managed service providers.
Customers and the market seem to approve of Barracuda’s strategy. In its July earnings, Barracuda beat analyst estimates, posting revenue of $86.7 million for the second quarter, above expectations of $83.92 million. Revenue was up 11.2 percent year over year, with more than 286,000 active subscribers on the books.
On Location With Intronis: Managed Services Advice
Richard Delahaye, senior director of marketing for Intronis, says MSP partners are pleased with the company’s broadened portfolio.
“We did a partner survey a couple of months back,” said Delahaye. “The security and backup combination is resonating really well.”
In the poll, he asked about 400 partners what services they’re offering along with backup. Security and networking are among the top five responses. Another finding is that, even among partners that consider themselves MSPs, there’s still plenty of break/fix work going on.
Delahaye sees that as an opportunity and has some ideas on how to sell customers on more managed services. As a marketing expert – he served for two years as Intronis’ director of digital marketing and has been in the business for 15 – he says he gets asked that a lot.
Start small. “If someone’s a pure break/fix customer, you can’t sell them everything all at once,” he says. “Talk to them about their business, and try and identify a quick win.”
Offer pricing structures that are attractive to small businesses; most vendors will offer help setting rates. “We find that a lot of MSPs are great on the technical side,” he says. Figuring out what to charge for that experience is tougher.
Consider live events in the local area, such as educational luncheons.
Blogging is an inexpensive way to add content to a site without hiring a web developer.
As for all the new marketing technology that’s available, he says Intronis uses a lot of automation internally.
“It’s not the easiest thing to get set up, but if you can reach that sort of critical mass point, you can make your marketing more efficient,” says Delahaye. He recommends placing tracking pixels on your website to see what interests customers.
“For small businesses, marketing tech can be daunting, but more and more vendors are trying to help,” he said.
On Location With Intronis: Data-Loss Gremlins
Delahaye invites partners to include the company’s data-loss gremlins in their marketing. One example is an MSP that mailed a pitch featuring Scratchy along with a cassette, with the tape pulled out and crumpled, asking whether companies are still using tape for backups.
“A few years ago, when we first introduced the gremlins, a lot of the threats to MSPs and their customers had to do with physical assets – laptops getting stolen, server rooms lighting on fire, disks getting scratched or hard drives failing,” he said. “A lot of those problems are going away because of distributed computing, cloud computing. Now it’s the criminal element that people are more worried about. Ransomware, phishing, malware in general.”
On Location With Intronis: Marketing Priorities
Delahaye says Intronis was an attractive acquisition target for Barracuda because of its MSP expertise and the synergy between security and backup.
“It seems to be panning out really nicely,” he said. “The products are there. It’s just a question of us making sure we can tell the story in a compelling way that MSPs can respond to.”
His team has three marketing priorities for 2017. Besides launching new products and getting them into partners’ hands quickly, he’s looking to do more surveys to find out what MSP partners need to gain customers and increase managed-services sales.
On Location With Intronis: Security Suggestions
Senior director of product development Chris Crellin, who came to Intronis from Backupify/Datto, spent 14 years with RSA and was the lead product manager for the security firm’s SecurID portfolio. We asked him about the addition of advanced threat detection to the Barracuda email security product.
“That can protect against zero-day vulnerabilities and other advanced threats,” said Crellin. “It does that by opening up attachments in a sandbox.”
If a threat is detected, the system blocks the email. Crellin also called out the new next-gen firewall, which he says can both protect against external threats and increase a customer’s control over their networks.
“It can do things like application prioritization,” he said. “That works in the cloud and on-prem. It also does advanced threat detection.”
The Barracuda backup line adds support for Linux and Xen and offers the ability to spin up VMware servers in the cloud.
“That provides an element of safety if you had a major outage at your site,” he said.
Crellin reiterated that the company’s goal is a single point of control that will allow centralized management of all its security and backup products — time is money for MSPs.
As to his outlook for what’s on the security horizon, Crellin says education is critical.
“End users are usually your biggest threat,” he said. “We’re making sure that partners have education with their customers, both at the end user level and at the leadership level.” That involves not just security but disaster recovery: putting plans in place, and then testing them.
Engage a third-party penetration tester to have a security expert take a look at the network as well as the customer’s overall security posture. “This is critical for small businesses especially,” he said.
For 2017, expect more of the same — CryptoLocker and other ransomware is going to get bigger and bigger. Expect more phishing and spear-phishing as well.
Advanced persistent threats are going to work their way down to smaller companies. “Sophisticated players will go after the little guys who may be less secure, maybe because they’re not working with an MSP,” said Crellin. An example is the HVAC contractor behind the Target breach.
On Location With Intronis: Values
Ten company core values keep Intronis management and employees on the right track.
On Location With Intronis: Fun & Games
We had hoped to challenge Intronis employees to a game of air hockey, but alas, the table was broken. Ping pong, anyone?
Image Gallery: On Location With Intronis MSP Solutions
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