Accordo building MSP channel for AI-driven Accordo Cloud Optimizer

The New Zealand based company has just launched a version of their new platform designed for MSP partners, with channel veterans Eric Martorano, who took over as CEO last fall, and Len DiCostanzo, who built the Autotask channel before the Datto merger, steering an aggressive channel re-orientation.

Len DiCostanzo, Senior Vice President, Business Development, Accordo

LAS VEGAS – Accordo, which has used data science tools for 20 years to optimize customer IT asset management, was at the CompTIA ChannelCon show here, aggressively recruiting for MSP partners. The company has made a deep plunge into the channel with a new platform release specifically designed for MSPs. Guided by a pair of channel veterans, they are looking to reboot the company’s growth strategy around MSPs.

Accordo is based in Auckland, New Zealand, although they do business in over 40 companies and over half of their business comes from the U.S. Their value proposition has been using artificial intelligence and predictive analytics on large data sets to provide greater visibility around IT assets.

“We were generating revenue for vendor clients by calling on end customers in a lead generation motion, mainly around license compliance,” said Len DiCostanzo, Accordo’s Senior Vice President, Business Development. “When companies wanted to move to the cloud, we would assess transaction data to assist with the cloud transformation motion, primarily through Office 365 or Azure.”

Accordo did work with channel partners traditionally, but the strategy was not especially proactive – and was decidedly much less ambitious than the current one.

“Before we would get engaged with a partner through the customer, and in some motions, we would call the partner first,” DiCostanzo indicated.

The new channel initiative can be attributed to two things. First, longtime Microsoft channel hand Eric Martorano, who had been the Chief Revenue Officer at cloud services IT provider Intermedia, was named as CEO last fall. Then, Martorano recruited DiCostanzo to come to the company. Like Martorano, DiCostanzo has deep channel roots. While DiCostanzo spent almost two decades running a solution provider, he is best known in the channel for the ten years he spent at Autotask, a good chunk of that directing their channel sales strategy and building up their channel.

“I joined Accordo in February as a result of Eric, as we have a relationship from when he was at Microsoft and I was at Autotask,” DiCostanzo said. “We started chatting in January, and I joined in early February.”

A month ago, Accordo made a major step to ‘productize’ their technology for large-scale use by channel partners with the launch of the Accordo Cloud Optimizer, a comprehensive platform for cloud management and performance optimization. A version of the new platform the company formally announced in March, but which was accessible for some months before that, Accordo Cloud Optimizer is specifically customized for the MSP channel. It gives MSP partners a unified view of their customers’ cloud environments, consumption trends and true costs, to provide the customers with analytics to better manage their assets, and provide the partners with new revenue streams.

“We saw an opportunity to take our solution to the channel, and Cloud Optimizer opens it up to them,” DiCostanzo said. “It is being pushed out now as part of a proactive channel strategy. We do not sell direct.”

DiCostanzo said that once the decision was made to build an MSP channel to sell this platform, they ‘skinned’ it for partners.

“It lets them see all the dashboards for all the customers, and with its multi-tenanted capability, they can either view individual dashboards or do an aggregate dashboard,” DiCostanzo indicated. “It makes sure that organizations that are paying for licenses, know they have them, so that they can use them, and get what they pay for.”

The key thing is the platform’s use of Accordo’s analytics to provide the partner with services capabilities that customers find valuable.

“We take our data science history working with large data sets to transform it into insights that drive revenue for partners,” DiCostanzo stated. “One partner loaded it up, and found that a client had 944 licenses – 170 of which were unassigned. We were able to determine that the problem was created by internet IT purchasing new I5 licenses, rather than upgrading existing I3 licenses. We gave that visibility to the partner, and the customer could reallocate their spend with the information.

“I like to think that data driven cloud optimization is the next best practice for MSPs,” DiCostanzo noted.

Out of the gate, the first application Cloud Optimizer supports is Office 365,

“Azure is scheduled for availability in the September window,” DiCostanzo said. “We will get the two big monsters out first. After that, G Suite, Salesforce and others are on the roadmap.”

DiCostanzo said that partners at ChannelCon showed interest in the Accordo platform.

“We have lot of free trials out there that could convert,” he said. “Since we just launched, we only have a handful of partners, although we already have established a Partner Advisory Board. At Autotask, we had 1200 partners when I joined, and I built that out to 9000 partners when we merged with Datto. Here, if I get 1000 in a year, I’ll be happy.”

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