Datto sticks to an indirect model

Andrew Allen of Aabyss

While other vendors hum and haw about whether it’s better to sell their kit to their “partners” while they knife them in the back by circumventing the channel, it seems to ChannelEye that Datto really does stick to its last.

Last, as more literate readers of this online paper will know, is an archaic word for a shoemaker’s model for repairing a boot or a shoe. And if the shoe fits, what need to change the design?

At the Datto conference in Barcelona last week we had the chance to meet more than two of the company’s managed system partners – MSPs.These companies actually work at the cutting edge of IT for small and medium sized enterprises. But they’re not boxshifters any more – those days are in the past. They have a role in preventing commercial enterprises from shooting themselves in the foot by not implementing sound IT security strategies.

An engaging CEO called Mitesh Patel runs Fifosys – it has 180 clients in the UK and has already made two acquisitions and had some interesting things to say about security – in which Datto specialises.

Patel said that his company considers itself as a trusted advisor to SMEs and advocates that firms relying on IT should have at least a security specialist to swing by and suggest solutions to the board and give them – sometimes – the stark facts about how vulnerable their businesses are.

We also met another charming CEO from Manchester – Andrew Allen (pictured). He runs a small team but has a similar view to Patel. His message to his customers is that lack of security is any company’s Achilles’ heel.

And, by the way, he insists that the word “Aabyss” isn’t related to the first two initials of his name – that was devised by the original founder of the company and related to the prominence of the first two letters of the alphabet in yellow pages.

Both CEOs and many other MSPs we spoke to at Datto’s conference agreed that lack of knowledge – that is to say, ignorance – about the potential risks of IT requires a level of education which quite frankly is lacking in the world of commerce.

While governments could take a lead in sponsoring such an endeavour, it’s apparent that given the fly-by-night nature of ministerial appointments here in the UK, there seems to be no long or even medium term approach to that kind of education.

Datto is an interesting company – while its CEO Austin McChord stepped down last week, the acting CEO is committed to growing the company through its worldwide network of MSPs. Reaching that audience must be difficult especially for the individual MSPs – a component of the indirect channel that doesn’t get that much exposure.