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


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August 12, 2019 |

New Names Signal New Ambitions for CloudBerry Lab and Skout

Recently rebranded MSP360 and SKOUT CYBERSECURITY, respectively, both vendors are in the early stages of major campaigns to attract MSP partners.

“What’s in a name” asks the bard in Romeo and Juliet. Plenty, answer MSP360 and SKOUT CYBERSECURITY, two recently renamed vendors with big ambitions in the managed services market.

Both companies spoke with ChannelPro at industry association CompTIA’s recently concluded ChannelCon conference in Las Vegas.

MSP360 is the new name of the former CloudBerry Lab. Founded in 2011 as a provider of utilities for Amazon’s S3 storage service, the company quickly added a standalone backup product followed by a multi-tenant BDR solution and remote control system for MSPs. Today it has roughly 7,000 to 8,000 resellers, some 70% of whom are in the U.S. Putting “MSP” right in its name, as it did last month, is designed to make the importance of those partners to its plans for the future loud and clear.

“We wanted to make sure that people knew that this is what we are going forward,” says Doug Hazelman, MSP360’s vice president of technical marketing. “We’re really shifting the bulk of the company focus to the managed services platform.”

It’s also nurturing plans to expand that platform well beyond backup and disaster recovery. “That’s kind of where the 360 comes in,” Hazelman notes, adding that deciding which additional product categories the company ultimately targets is still a work in progress.

“We’re talking to our MSPs to understand what more can we offer them in terms of the platform besides just backup or remote control,” says Hazelman, who expects the company to have more to say on the topic next year.

Leading MSP360’s re-invention process is its recently appointed CEO, Veeam and Netwrix veteran Brian Helwig. “He’s been working behind the scenes tirelessly in terms of shoring up our sales, marketing, and support,” says Hazelman. Now he’s drawing on his experience with MSPs to help formulate a vision for a more all-encompassing product portfolio. “I think it’s really going to help us take things to the next level,” Hazelman says.

MSP360’s move to satisfy a wider range of MSP needs comes as other players in the vendor community—including ConnectWise, Datto, Kaseya, and SolarWinds MSP—are drawing on large pools of private equity capital to construct increasingly comprehensive managed services software suites.

According to Hazelman, channel pros can expect whatever solutions ultimately join MSP360’s portfolio to share key characteristics with their predecessors, starting with flexibility. Rather than force partners to store backups in its own cloud repository, for example, MSP360 lets them pick from a long list of public cloud solutions instead. “It’s up to the MSPs to choose the storage that best fits their needs,” Hazelman says, noting that they pay for that storage separately as well.

“We don’t charge per terabyte or per gigabyte or anything like that,” he observes, which allows the company to offer “a really great price point.”

MSP360 has an enhanced partner program in the works to accompany its expanded product catalog. New features could include access to market development funds and a multi-tier membership structure.

“I can’t promise, but those are things that I think we’re going to have to look at on the horizon, because at the end of the day if our MSP customers are successful in selling their services, that makes us more successful as well,” Hazelman says.

Like MSP360, SKOUT CYBERSECURITY has a new name signaling a new strategy as well. Once known as Oxford Solutions and renamed Skout Secure Intelligence last year in conjunction with its acquisition by private equity investor RSE Ventures, the company has roots in direct sales of security solutions to large businesses. The June 10th introduction of its new brand is part of a complete change of target market and business model.

“Our focus is going to be on the SMB,” says Michael Latchford, SKOUT’s vice president of marketing. “It’s a big transformation for our company.”

So too is the adoption of a channel-first sales motion backed by an all-new partner program. “We’ve launched a very robust, rich channel program for MSPs,” Latchford says, adding that customer experience is one of its selling points.

“We’re just really focused on partnership,” says Latchford, who notes that all partners receive a dedicated account manager to serve as their single point of contact into the company. “They know who to go to if they need more content, or education, or technical expertise, et cetera,” he says.

The program has one level presently, though that will change in time. “Tiers are something that obviously we’ll embark on, but our primary goal is making sure that the program is set, that we create [annual recurring revenue] for the MSPs, and providing them with solid products, ease of integration, and ease of deployment at a cost-efficient price point for their customers,” Latchford says.

Indeed, pricing and ease of deployment both figure prominently in SKOUT’s product strategy. The company’s endpoint protection, email protection, security monitoring, and end user training solutions are available in subscription-priced bronze, silver, gold, and “Plus” bundles with per-user rates. “It’s a completely scalable model, based on the number of seats,” Latchford says. The tools are equipped with artificial intelligence and analytics capabilities and designed to be easily implemented, he continues.

“Within 20 minutes, we can have it up and running,” says Latchford of SKOUT’s software.

SKOUT has recently added two former Datto executives to its leadership team. In June, Mike Hanauer, previously Datto’s vice president of U.S. sales, became chief revenue officer. Less than two months later, Don O’Neill, formerly Datto’s senior vice president of operations, joined SKOUT as CFO.

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