It's 501 Somewhere: Datto's Rob Rae on MSSPs, EMEA & Backing Up the Human Brain

Our one-on-one interview drops on the day the MSP 501 application period closes.

Kris Blackmon, Head of Channel Communities

May 31, 2019

Leading up to Friday’s close of the application period for the MSP 501, I met with Rob Rae, VP of business development for Datto, for drinks in Carlsbad, California, where he was attending an industry event. Over the course of a happy hour, we talked about the international channel, the MSP 501, the uselessness of the term “digital transformation” and what Datto thinks about someday backing up the human brain.


Datto’s Rob Rae

On top of Rae’s nuggets of wisdom, we’ve got southern California, Sam Adams in a glass and a group of people who had something big to celebrate in the background. (We don’t know what it was, but we’re happy for you, friends.)

Datto is going through some changes. After its blockbuster buyout by Vista Equity Partners and subsequent merger with Autotask, there’s been a change of guard and a broadened mission. Founder and CEO Austin McChord, who started the company in his parents’ basement and grew it into a $1 billion business, left in January — nearly a year to the day of the buyout date. Datto is reaching the maturation stage.

As for Rae, he’s still as focused on the partner community as ever, but it’s on an increasingly international scale. Since Channel Partners and Channel Futures are hosting their first EMEA event at Channel Evolution Europe in December, Rob talked about the EMEA market and gave us more of a sense of what partners across the pond are up to.

Channel Evolution Europe will debut in London, Dec. 2-3, with the input of our U.K. 2018 MSP 501ers. Rob says he’ll be there. Will you?

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About the Author(s)

Kris Blackmon

Head of Channel Communities, Zift Solutions

Kris Blackmon is head of channel communities at Zift Solutions. She previously worked as chief channel officer at JS Group, and as senior content director at Informa Tech and project director of the MSP 501er Community. Blackmon is chair of CompTIA's Channel Development Advisory Council and operates KB Consulting. You may follow her on LinkedIn and @zift on X.

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