IT Support Provider's President Goes to Washington

Recently,  I spent a full day in Washington, D.C.  attending the sold out inaugural 2013 Datto Partner Conference.  The vibe was similar to the first VMware Partner conference I attend years ago. 

IT Support CT DC Map

A keynote from CEO Austin McChord kicked off the event; he is completely unpolished, which is refreshing, as is the obvious fact that he is totally immersed in every detail of his business.  He rattles off facts, figures, and details.  Technical, business, and sales related data roll off his lips at a rapid-fire pace.  What did I learn? Here are some of the key things I took away from his talk:

  • Datto is exploding – 200+ employees; 112 of which were hired last year
  • Datto has 8000+ partners – wow!  Lots more Managed Service Providers (MSP) and IT Service Providers than I thought existed
  • The company is totally focused on the channel, particularly the MSP market
  • New MSP User Interface has been rolled out, making it easier for us to quickly setup and troubleshoot devices for our clients
  • Direct-2-Tech was introduced, this means when you escalate an issue, we go directly to the tech that can solve the problem – this is a great things for NSI, and NSI clients.
  • Tech support is 24/7/365, when clients need help, help is there.
  • Brand new software allows us to show our clients the incremental changes that are happening
  • HIPAA compliance  -  Datto is compliant and enables NSI to continue offering backup in regulated environments for clients needing this

The summary from Austin’s keynote for me was this – Datto gets it. They understand what we need to be the best possible ITsupport service provider to our clients.  Additionally, they enable us to offer enterprise class services to the smallest of businesses;  it is as simple as that.  Why that’s a big deal: 

According to the U.S. Census of 2010:

  • Of the 89,234 businesses in Connecticut,
  • 62,735 have fewer than 20 employees, and
  • Of the businesses surveyed in Blum Shapiro’s 2012 Survey of Connecticut Businesses, 62% “Shut down operations” due to Storm Irene and/or Alfred

As a Datto partner, NSI can provide affordable data backup and disaster recovery to this neglected segment of business, also known as, the majority.  Companies with 10-20 and 20-50 employees.

Austin was followed by former VMware CTO, Steve Herrod.  Steve recently invested in Datto.  I can only assume it was a very big investment, and according to this tweet, he's pretty happy about it.

steve harrod tweet datto

This was Steve’s first keynote, post VMWare.  He took us through his thoughts on the overall technical infrastructure market and gave us a little insight into how and why he and his team invested in Datto.  I am not sure how this guy’s brain fits in his head, he is super smart.  I think the most interesting thing I took from Steve’s talk (and he did not come out and say this directly but he was continually talking around it) – is that:

The cloud, although very compelling, is not the panacea that people have made it out to be and that onsite infrastructure is not going to disappear.  Because IT services can now be sourced directly by the end user within the business, the onsite IT people are catching up and the mix of onsite and offsite will continue.  In short - He does not think  we will eventually end up with customers going fully to the offsite cloud.

It was a very interesting morning – great content and a tremendous amount of enthusiasm from Datto and the partners in attendance. I mean, how could you NOT want to partner with these guys:


IT Guide for Small Business Owners

About The Author

President of NSI, Tom has been helping small and medium businesses succeed in Connecticut for over 25 years.