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Acer America
Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.

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333 West San Carlos Street
San Jose, California 95110
United States

WWW: acer.com

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News & Articles

November 28, 2011 |

Top Datto Exec Explains BDR Offering

All backup and data recovery solutions are not created equal, says Datto’s president and CEO. Find out what makes his SIRIS BDR offering so special.

Datto president and CEO Austin McChord explains his position on BDR.

Austin McChord, president and CEO of Norwalk, Conn.-based Datto Inc., is bullish on his company’s backup and data recovery offering. He explains what gives his company an edge in the market and talks about the decision to become a channel-only company with ChannelPro-SMB Publisher Michael Siggins.

ChannelPro-SMB: Tell us a little about Datto—when it was founded, core offerings, number of partners, and so on.

McChord: Datto was founded in 2007, and what we sell now versus what we were selling in 2007 is very different. Currently our partner base is just shy of 2,000 and our core offering is our SIRIS product, which we believe is the best out there for backup and disaster recovery. It bundles a number of unique features in one package that is extremely affordable.

ChannelPro-SMB: What are the features in the bundle?

McChord: SIRIS is unique in the way that the data is backed up—it is stored as a VMDK [virtual machine disk format], and that means we are able to instantaneously virtualize, or bring back a failed system on the appliance. It takes only about three to six seconds when you click to virtualize the system; in the past these restores had [sometimes] taken hours, especially if you had very large systems.

We also have the ability to virtualize instantly in the cloud, which is something we have been doing now for more than a year. So we have a lot of expertise and can put together the right pieces for customers—local physical servers can fail over and run virtually in our cloud, in a process that, again, takes just seconds.

ChannelPro-SMB: What do your reseller partners—or even their end-user customers—need to know about the cloud when using your solution? Do they need special training? A high Cloud IQ?

McChord: There is not a whole lot of training that has to happen for partners or end users, because the cloud is just an enabler for us to provide some really cool services. The interaction with the appliance, the virtualization, and storage is all managed through a Web page. So if you can successfully navigate the Internet, you shouldn’t have trouble interacting with our offering.

The cloud IQ we have to have in order to pull that off is pretty deep, and that is a process that we have been working on a lot. If anything, I would say the education part is helping partners and end users understand how their IT infrastructure is going to transition over time, and what is appropriate to be running on-site and what should happen in the cloud.

So most of the cloud education comes in before our product is even sold, in understanding, do I need a product like Datto’s or just a straight-up cloud backup, and where the differences are, and the difference again between that and local backup.

ChannelPro-SMB: Datto is now a channel-only company, but that was not always the case. What was the thinking behind the decision to make the change?

McChord: The decision to go channel only was made over two years ago. Originally we sold just data backup and didn’t do virtualization or any of the other things we wanted to sell to small businesses. We thought we could just reach out [to these businesses ourselves], but as a new company it was hard to bring that credibility factor when explaining where the data is stored.

The second piece is that channel partners are the ones who are helping small businesses make IT decisions, and they are important in that. We also received feedback from [resellers] who were already selling our product, and they really wanted us to go channel only. It was a difficult decision, because at the time 30 percent of our sales were coming from our online store.

But we did make that decision, and it helped our business and our product tremendously. It allowed us to build this partnership with our resellers. And our resellers came back and gave us even more—they told us how to make the product better and what tools and features matter to them, and we listened. From that we created a couple of different versions and products, and now we believe that we have something that is truly fantastic and unique out there.

ChannelPro-SMB: Who is the ideal partner for you?

McChord: We look for VARs and MSPs investing in sales—that the founder or CEO is very sales driven, because that tells us that they are growing and they are willing to try new things and they are pushing to expand their base and make more revenue.

ChannelPro-SMB: What kind of SMB is going to benefit the most from working with one of your partners?

McChord: The range is very large, because the offering scales from 250 gigabytes to 40 terabytes.† So any type of company can benefit. We have partners who deal with medical records, and use our product for the compliance requirement regarding data backup and security. We also see a lot of outliers in the medical field like dentists and opticians who also have medical records and need data protection. We’re seeing good traction for our products there, with partners explaining the importance of information being secure and backed up.

ChannelPro-SMB: Do you have any strategic partners—other vendors you’re working with whose products dovetail with your own?

McChord: We have a relationship with Storage Craft. They built a custom tool for us, a custom agent, and we are able to leverage their decade’s worth of experience in backing up systems so we can support Windows 2000 and make sure we are delivering a product that is extremely reliable and will work even in cases when everyone else’s backup agent is going to fail. Storage Craft brings unique technology to the table, and that’s been really big for us—we are very excited about that.

ChannelPro-SMB: The backup and recovery space is getting pretty crowded. What separates you from the rest of the pack that makes sense for partners?

McChord: Hands down we have the best technology. That’s a huge advantage for us, for our sales team, and for our partners, because if they come up against an MSP who is selling anything else, the technology is just simply not the same as what Datto has. We do everything from the hardware design all the way through to owning the cloud and everything in between. We can build amazing value and back it with the longest U.S. customer support hours of anybody out there—8:00 a.m. to midnight on the East Coast. That’s a compelling offering for a lot of people.

>> READ OTHER ARTICLES ON BACKUP AND DATA RECOVERY>>


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