How Datto is growing up through new partner program
- 03 February, 2021 22:03
James Bergl (Datto)
Datto has launched its new global new partner program across Asia Pacific as the region’s lead hails the “maturation” of the backup and disaster recovery vendor.
The most noticeable change to the global program is the re-organising of its tiers, swapping out Access, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Blue to simply Gold, Platinum and Blue Diamond.
According to James Bergl, Asia Pacific vice president, the tier restructure was a “big ask” from the partners who were seeking a more “standardised” system in line with other global vendors.
"Datto is growing up and maturing,” he said. “And it's making it more scalable for us as well. So for us to continue to deliver the extensive and the scale of resources, we have looked at ways in which we can rationalise systems and make sure that everything is standardised. This is to deliver the best outcome and have that unified message and vision across the globe.”
Other new additions to the program include the launch of the Datto Help Center and new support processes, the unification of existing Datto communities and expanded course offerings in Datto Academy.
Datto first launched its program locally in 2017. Speaking about the decision to upgrade it this year, Bergl said both the COVID-19 pandemic and the vendor’s recent IPO were key factors.
“There was a double-pronged reason: one was an appetite from Datto," he said. "Investment from the IPO has been a catalyst and a tool that allowed us to reinvest in the partner program.
“Then coupled with COVID, we're not able to see as many partners face to face. As such, we wanted to digitalise the experience in the supports framework so that we can provide a platform for partners to be able to communicate with each other.”
Datto has also invested in improving MarketNow, its marketing automation platform, which Bergl explains began as “feature-rich” but still requiring tweaking on the user experience front. The IPO and capital funding from that will also bring partners more marketing dollars, especially for demonstrations and events done remotely.
As Bergl puts it, partners will just need to put “bums on seats” while Datto will take care of the support, facilitation, set-up, content and speakers for channel marketing activities. Currently, Datto has 1,600 partners in the region and 17,000, globally. The growth in partner numbers was slower in 2020 than previous years, having more than doubled its manage service provider numbers in 2018.
However, Bergl said the slowdown came as much from “design” as the global pandemic. “We have adjusted our tack and are now very focused on ensuring we bring on the right partner,” he explained.
“We want to work with partners that have a propensity to be successful and to grow. They've got the maturity to understand what a partnership looks like.”
Bergl hopes to encourage Datto’s MSPs to chase more mid-market customers and identifying partners who can make top-tier status.
In Australia, the company is focused on integrating its recent acquisition of MSP reseller platform Gluh, which has given Datto a new footprint in Melbourne.
Out of 100 staff members in Australia currently, a tenth is now based in the Victorian capital. Following layoffs earlier this year due to a global restructure, Datto is now on a recruitment drive in A/NZ and is planning to expand its product team in Melbourne, alongside new technical staff.
Despite the maturation of Datto’s new outlook, Bergl believes the vendor remains a “market shaker” among its rival vendors.
“We still do have an appetite to go to market as shakers and really try to help ourselves and partners provide unique value propositions – that’s not going to change. We still have budgets in enablement and to help our partners do things differently.
“[The new program] continually provides unique presentations of value propositions that excite the end-user into wanting to do business with our partners and us.”