Datto deepens RMM integrations, Canadian datacentre presence

Data protection vendor Datto has begun more significant integrations with RMM vendors, announcing a full integration with LabTech by ConnectWise. The company also stepped up its Canadian presence with the announcement of a second Canadian data centre, in Calgary.

Rob Rae Datto 300

Rob Rae, Datto’s VP of Business Development

HOLLYWOOD FLA – Data protection vendor Datto, in attendance this week at the CompTIA ChannelCon event here, has made multiple announcements. The company announced its first step to fill what has been a void in their offerings to date – full integration with RMM tools. The first is with LabTech by ConnectWise, but more are on the way. The company also announced an increase in its investment in Canada, with a new data centre in Calgary. It supplements their existing data centre in Toronto.

Most cloud companies of Datto’s stature have a broad array of connections with PSAs. It hasn’t been a top priority in the past for Datto, however.

“We’ve always had very rudimentary integrations with all the RMM tools,” said Rob Rae, Datto’s VP of Business Development. “Our engineers have been focused around developing features around the product. We have always been a product-first company, and the integrations do take away some engineering time. So in the past, these have been a ‘a nice to have’ rather than a ‘need to have.’

The new LabTech integration adds significantly to what can be done with Datto through LabTech’s centralized remote console.

“This takes it to a whole new level,” Rae said. “Before, you could monitor Datto devices through Labtech, but you couldn’t manage them. Now you can.” This allows LabTech users to do all their management through a single pane of glass.

Rae indicated a steady stream of these more advanced integrations is in the pipeline.

“We are working on robust integrations with all the major RMMs,” he said.

Datto has also announced the opening of a new data centre in Calgary, responding to increased demand in the Canadian market. Datto already had a Canada-based data centre, in Toronto, which they opened in 2013, The new one puts a data centre in the western part of the country.

Canada is a strong market for Datto, with the number of Canadian-based partners increasing by four times since 2014.

“At our 2014 DattoCon event, we had about 25-30 Canadian partners there,” Rae said. “At this year’s DattoCon in Nashville, we had over 80.”

Rae also noted that Datto is also successfully expanding outside North America. They recently opened a data centre in Singapore as the linch pin into an expansion into southeast Asia. Rae noted that he has a road trip coming up where he will visit Singapore as well as Malaysia and the Phillippines – countries that are most comfortable working through a Singapore-based data centre.

“These are new frontiers because the market is still maturing from an MSP perspective,” he said. This led to some vendors who jumped into that market earlier not having success. Solution providers out there still advertise themselves as VARs with an MSP piece to them. We do, however, see the market evolving to the same place where Canadian and US ones migrated.”

Rae said that the southeast Asian market still has some issues with the managed services concept struggling to be accepted by end users.

“We still struggled with it here in the U.S. and Canada five years ago,” Rae said. “I think once the vendors and solution providers start singing the same song, about managed service, they are likely to get it.” He did, however, indicate that he will know more after he sees the region for himself.

Rae emphasized that Datto remains in a very strong position because of decisions made when the company was first established.

“We made some very strategic decisions at the beginning when Austin McChord built the company, in particular, showing loyalty to the channel,” he said. “We helped them grow their business rather than grabbing low-hanging fruit by selling direct. Our retention rates are also insanely good, because we are continually evolving and integrating. We started investing in Office 365 backup two years ago. Earlier this year, we came up with sync and share and are using that effectively as a freemium for lead generation.”

Rae said the way they are handling file sync and share, as a free giveaway designed to bring new customers to their MSPs, epitomizes how their business model works.

“A couple of our competitors jumped into file sync and share before we did,” he said. “We see it as simply a commodity, however. It’s not a multi-million dollar idea. We think it’s a freemium, period. Because we have other products, we can use it as a loss leader to get MSPs and end users interested in our more robust continuity solution. It expands awareness of our product and sells more real continuity solutions. We make money on it because of the lead generation.”