MSPmentor 100: Fandotech Launches RAIN Cloud Service

MSPmentor 100: Fandotech Launches RAIN Cloud Service

As we continue work on the fourth-annual MSPmentor 100 survey, it's an ideal time to check in with managed services providers that landed in our third-annual report. This time we're speaking with Fandotech President John Boyd (pictured). Fandotech has had the cloud, backup, recovery and virtualization game under their belt since 2003, with an eye on healthcare, government, education and horizontal SMBs. The company rode out the recession with minor pains, and a branded Fandotech cloud service -- called RAIN -- is helping the company to maintain clear focus and consistent messaging. Boyd certainly sounds upbeat about Fandotech's business outlook. Here's the update.

Boyd notes that Fandotech's fiscal year starts in July. Thanks to that fiscal year timing, proper planning and a "good financial person on our staff," the company rode out the recession well. Generally speaking, the deepest points of the recession played out inside Fandotech's fiscal year 2009; Fandotech accurately predicted the crunch and adjusted their business accordingly, in turn, making fiscal year 2010 a solid recovery year. That momentum continues now. With Q1 of FY2011 already done, revenue growth from Q1 of FY2010 was 22%.

Fandotech made roughly three new hires in recent months and Boyd believes "we're the fastest growing company in the last 3 years in our tech sector. All of that has been a result of making sure we're focused on the business and staying focused on the numbers. It's the world as it is, not as you wish it to be."

In recent months, Boyd has certainly noticed all the MSP merger and acquisition activity. Boyd says there aren't any mergers or acquisitions in front of him at this point, but he offers this coy analogy: "Owning a company is like owning a boat. Always for sale and always looking for the next one to buy."

First Mover Advantage

Boyd says Fandotech has had data center virtualization and desktop IT integration cloud strategies since 2003. More recently, Fandotech has branded its cloud services as RAIN, short for:
  • Remote desktop
  • Application hosting
  • Infrastructure architecture
  • Network management
Is RAIN purely cloud services? Or does it blend cloud services with managed services? Perhaps the answer to that question doesn't matter. More importantly, Fandotech is on message with its own branded services during customer conversations. That solid foundation is the reason why Boyd feels they Fandotech has been ready when customers started "getting more comfortable with releasing and letting go" of their information and servers, shifting them to the cloud.

Here Come the Giants

Of course, Boyd is aware of big cloud companies trying to directly target end-customers. In particular, Boyd expresses concern about Google underpricing  the market. In his own words:
"The biggest competitors out there are racing to the bottom. Google is highly disruptive to the marketplace...and they're doing it on purpose and recklessly. They've gone out and have decided to put product into the marketplace -- Google Apps and Gmail -- below cost. It creates a tension that is unsustainable and will cause a perception in the mind of the average consumer and business consumers that somehow, if we're charging for something, we're ripping you off "because Google does it for free." The reality is, you get what you pay for."
Boyd also believes Microsoft's BPOS solutions are a direct response to Google Apps. In contrast, he credits Amazon.com for developing services that could be economically viable. "It's aggressive but at least it's a business model."

With Google looming, I asked Boyd "What's next?" His simple answer: "Do last year better."

Well said.

Additional reporting by Joe Panettieri. Sign up for MSPmentor’s Weekly Enewsletter, Webcasts and Resource Center. Follow us via RSS, Facebook, Identi.ca and Twitter. Check out more MSP voices at www.MSPtweet.com. Read our editorial disclosure here.


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