Kaseya buying Datto leads to new Axcient-ConnectWise partnership around a co-managed backup service

The new partnership was consciously designed as a replacement for the key role Datto has played with ConnectWise, which became far less attractive after Datto was acquired by ConnectWise’s largest competitor.

Rod Mathews, Chief Executive Officer at Axcient

This week, at the with IT Nation Secure event in Orlando, ConnectWise and Axcient, which makes business availability software for MSPs, announced a new partnership. It sees the Axcient x360Recover Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery [BCDR] solution integrated with the ConnectWise RMM, and gives ConnectWise Co-Managed Backup customers the choice of appliance- or cloud-based BCDR from a single vendor.

Even before this announcement, Axcient has had a good year, with the acquisition of Datto by Kaseya playing a key role there, as well as leading directly to the new ConnectWise partnership.

“The general MSP market has been doing very well through COVID and recession,” said Rod Mathews, Chief Executive Officer at Axcient. “Customers still need to have their environments protected. For us, it all started coming together over the last year, with important assists from some industry consolidation – with Arcserve acquiring StorageCraft and Kaseya acquiring Datto. This consolidation  and our own converged road map have come together at a good time.”

So have general trends within the BCDR market.

“In a survey that we did, we found that BCDR was more than 40% of revenue from MSPs,” Mathews said. “26% of these MSPs had more than four BCDR vendors while the average for all of them was three.”

Mathews said that their converged solution, which has become much better known in the market since Kaseya’s Datto acquisition, provides an opportunity for MSPs to consolidate around fewer vendors, because since Axcient x360Recover was created by integrating multiple solutions, it provides a single solution, managed through a single dashboard, which can take care of all parts of the BCDR problem.

“This is definitely displacing other solutions,” Mathews noted. Our partner Revolution Group consolidated four platforms including Datto and StorageCraft, and increased their profits by 10%.”

Mathews discussed how the new relationship with ConnectWise came to be.

“We started dreaming this partnership up at last fall’s ConnectWise event,” he said. “In the past, ConnectWise had purchased a lot with Datto, and a lot of their customers used Datto. When Datto was acquired by Kaseya, ConnectWise’s largest competitor, that was no longer a workable path.”

Since then, Mathews said that both ConnectWise and themselves have done a lot of work to make this happen.

“We bring the Axcient turnkey appliances to the market, and when you tie it in with ConnectWise’s Managed NOC, it gives a very streamlined operation for the partner,” he stated. “The partners can then focus on doing higher value-added work. We have customers deploying it and a nice healthy pipeline, and we have also had a lot of discussions with partners who want to move.” ConnectWise’s Co-Managed Backup includes pre-deployment services like backup plans, agent installation, and configuration of disaster recovery strategies and processes, while ongoing management services include backup verification, troubleshooting, ticketing and regular disaster recovery testing.

While some companies that work extensively with RMM and PSA vendors work with a lot of them, Mathews indicated that this has not been Axcient’s strategy.

“We typically have gone to market with distributors to reach more MSPs,” he said. “This relationship is different because of all the tech integrations and because ConnectWise is selling us just like it was their own product. This is a unique strategic partnership that we wouldn’t do a lot of. The big difference for a smaller company in partnership with a larger one is that the smaller company is usually in the position of trying to push a rope up a hill.  This one had a lot of momentum from the start from the ConnectWise marketing machine, which was heavily invested in this because they were prompted by the Kaseya-Datto scenario.”

Mathews also noted that the ConnectWise partnership is good in helping Axcient solidify relationships with MSPs, which before the company’s 2017 merger with eFolder was somewhat inconsistent because Axcient would sometimes do a significant amount of their business direct.

“We still hear from partners who think of the old Axcient when it was a standalone DR company,” he said. “That tide has turned. The last couple years we have been going into the MSP community and having partners advocate on our behalf. We are also MSP only. ConnectWise is as well, so they are a good fit for us.