MSP360 further extends broad platform capability with unified cloud storage billing – and with an RMM coming shortly

MSP360 has also reworked its pricing structure, separating MSPs from end users and giving MSPs greatly preferred pricing to remove what the company decided was channel conflict which worked against MSPs.

Brian Helwig, MSP360 CEO

In mid-2019, CloudBerry Lab rebranded to MSP360 as part of a major restructuring initiative designed to take the company from being a backup provider into a much broader platform player, where backup remains the flagship service, but still just one service on the platform. In August 2020, MSP 360 took one step towards that with the release of MSP360 Managed Remote Desktop, a major new service for the platform. Now, with the 4.7 release of MSP360 Managed Backup, MSP360 has made it easier for MSPs to handle their cloud storage through the platform. MSP360 Storage Powered by Wasabi offers unified billing for Wasabi cloud storage to MSPs. Other cloud storage providers will be available through the platform in the same way going forward. Finally, MSP360 will be adding another major new service before the end of the year, an RMM capability. This will make them the first vendor to offer both an RMM service together with backup, further extending their one-stop shop philosophy.

The new MSP360 Storage Powered by Wasabi offers cloud storage from Wasabi to MSPs with unified billing through the MSP360 platform.

“Unified billing, where the partner and customer can get their backup and storage bundled in one bill, makes it easier in that they have one less thing to manage themselves,” said Brian Helwig, MSP360’s CEO. “In particular, it’s easier for onboarding and trials, as an  agent can be configured out of the gate for trial and not limited in the size of data that goes in our bucket.”

The pricing for the Wasabi storage remains the same as if the MSP acquired it directly from Wasabi, at $5.99 per TB per month.

The plan is to further extend this capability to other cloud storage providers, to make cloud storage a broadly available component within the MSP360 platform.

“We will adding one of the big three cloud providers [AWS, Azure or Google Cloud] soon,” Helwig indicated. “We want to launch that together with the next version of our product at the beginning of Q2, which itself will bring about some major changes.”

Another significant addition to the platform is also on the way. The company has an RMM coming out at the end of the year, likely the middle to end of December.

“The RMM actually completes our story of working towards a full featured platform end to end,” Helwig stated. “It’s all built from the ground up to work together, as a full suite which is cost effective and scalable. With us you will have one agent to turn on backup and remote access, with the best integrations and ability to deliver best in class services.”

Helwig highlighted some of the other new capabilities in 4.7 among the hundreds of enhancement and fixes. One is new dynamic agent configuration.

“Every time you did a change to rebranding or any security connections, you had to download and redeploy changes to agents,” he noted. “You don’t have to do that any more. It’s all automated.”

License management has also been improved, which Helwig said makes it much easier for MSPs to figure out where their costs are, and gets the foundation set for more enhancements to come in the future.

“People want a default storage location per company, and they can now assign that in 4.7,” Helwig said. “It makes scaling much more effective.”

The focus of MSP360s’ Go-to-Market model has been the MSP channel, with their sweet spot being MSPs with 1000 endpoints or less. But from their CloudBerry Lab days, they have had a hybrid model, where they also sold direct to SMBs. The SMB market they serve tends to be in the 250 to 500 employee range. The direct option still exists, but the company is making it much less attractive. MSP360 has made a major change to its direct pricing for SMBs, effectively doubling the direct price, in a move to remove what the company acknowledged had been competition with their own MSPs, and turn their direct base into a sales funnel for MSP partners.

“Before, we didn’t do a good job of differentiating between pricing for small businesses and pricing for MSPs,” Helwig said. “Everyone got the same price. It actually was channel conflict, but no one called us out on it. So what we have done is introduce a new level of pricing for SMBs, while at the same time putting them into their own instance, separate from the MSPs.”

This has been done with the launch of a beta version of MSP360 Managed Backup for Small Business, which changes the way that SMBs purchase the product direct from MSP360, and essentially discourages this in favour of purchasing it from an MSP.

“At a minimum, the small business pays double the cost compared to before,” Helwig said. “In addition, they only get a single rebranding, and aren’t authorized to resell it. MSPs get all of these. We also give MSPs strong support, and are eligible for premium support at very little additional cost, which is not the case with SMBs.”

Won’t doubling the price cause SMBs to just head for the exits? Not necessarily.

“Our price book was always at the bottom,” Helwig stated. “Small businesses actually are seeing their prices double. They don’t exactly like it, but they keep their discount tiers for small business. The more they consume, the better the pricing.  But for anyone who doesn’t like the pricing changes, we recommend them to a local MSP.”

Those limitations on support, branding, and reselling are what now set Managed Backup for Small Business aside from the company’s regular Managed Backup offering. The product’s capabilities and scalability are the same in both versions.

While the process of referring disgruntled direct customers to a local MSP represents a lead generation system of sorts, more is being done on this front, and more is coming next year. MSP360 has formalized a lead referral program to bring in more leads from non-MSP channel elements.

“Before, we would give back a small margin or an iPad for a referral, which typically came from resellers and distributors,” Helwig indicated . We have now changed that to provide a sustainable margin.

“We expect to launch a full featured partner portal in about a year to provide a lead engine for MSPs,” Helwig added.