Published: June 8th, 2017

Datto Inc. is focusing on helping its managed service provider channel partners win in the SMB space with its latest announcements.

The Norwalk, Connecticut-based company was busy at its annual DattoCon conference. Austin McChord, Datto CEO, took the stage to announce expansions to the company’s flagship all-flash SIRIS 3X line and a new ALTO 3 device for smaller environments, plus new architecture for its Software-as-a-Service Protection platform, and updates to its networking portfolio and Datto partner portal.

Datto also announced the global launch if its global marketing automation platform, MarketNow, and teased an exciting product that partners can expect in 2018.

“Our thesis for businesses under 1,000 seats is that they are going to get 100 per cent of their IT services from MSPs over the next decade or so,” said McChord over the phone¬†with CDN. “We think this is just the beginning of what the MSP market looks like, and we are all in when it comes to working with MSPs to build great solutions for SMBs.”

The additions to the SIRIS 3X line include a new professional line offered as 4, 8, and 12 TB 1U rack-mounted servers, and a S3X4 all-flash 4 TB that will join the S3X1 and S3X2 models that were released in 2016. Software wise, SIRIS 3 devices now include a Fast Failback feature that ‘allows MSPs to spin-up a virtual machine with a rescue agent’. The agents is designed to take up less space and return businesses to normal operations in a faster time.

Additionally, SIRIS 3 can provide hardware independent restore upon virtualization, more Cloud VHDx exports, and a new setup process.

The ALTO 3 device plays off of the excitement Datto partners showed for its predecessor, the ALTO 2. The latest version has new hardware and an SSDH that doubles the performance for local and cloud-based backup and restore and is similarily available with no upfront charge.

“If you look at the Canadian typical market, the improvement of the ALTO platform with the ALTO 3 is a phenomenal SMB product,” said Sean Jennings, sales manager of the Brampton-based CIM Solutions to CDN. “It’s the perfect solution in a box for an affordable price that pretty much any small business can afford. It should cover any SMB that isn’t doing any crazy data warehousing on a 2 TB unit.”

Datto’s networking line, announced earlier this year, is receiving updates that include, QoS, Layer 7 Deep Packet Inspection, expanded VoIp support, and cloud management capabilities to the existing edge router, access points, and switches. Later this year it will be adding an extension to this portfolio with cloud managed power strip that includes an embedded access point.

For its SaaS Protection service, Datto has added point-in-time backup functionality for Office 365, and released a protection node that will serve as an onsite storage repository for backups from the cloud. Updates like a discovery search have been added for the user experience.

Taking feedback from partners, Datto has added improvements to its partner portal such as new dashboards and status pages.¬†The company’s MarketNow is now available for free to all MSP partners across the globe. It can create pre-written content for campaigns, social media, web pages, etc.

However, perhaps the most exciting announcement made at the conference is a product that technically doesn’t even exist yet – the Datto Desktop. This proof-of-concept is a project the company has been working on that will allow MSPs to bring virtual desktop infrastructure to SMB customers with fewer than 10 users.

“The [Datto Desktop] appears to be everyone’s most exciting thing from the show. You can’t buy them, we were just showing that this is an area we are playing with from the technology side, and we think that this is a really interesting opportunity there,” said McChord. “Honestly, when I got up on stage to talk about it, I wasn’t sure whether our partners would be like, well why are you spending time there, versus their reaction which has been beyond enthusiastic.”

That excitement is apparent when speaking with Datto’s partners.

“[Datto Desktop] was really impressive. We do a lot of Office 365 and we always have one or two little applications left in the customer’s office and they want to get rid of that server and move their simple accounting or CRM into the cloud,” said Jennings. “It has to have great performance. We always see that the lower end hosted desktop has horrible performance the employees hate using it, while the high performance one costs a fortune. If its priced reasonable, I think it was be a great SMB play and be great for the Canadian market.”

“We don’t have something like [Datto Desktop] that we are entrenched with, and Datto stuff usually will work and be simple to work with,” said Steve Weeks, president of Netcetera, a MSP based out of north Vancouver. “Everybody is pretty stoked about it. I’ve made a point of going to Austin [McChord] and telling him they have to do that. Hopefully he does.”

And McChord heard the praise for this product concept loud and clear.

“Now it has definitely gone from an idea to a product that we are clearly going to need to deliver on for this market because of this enormous need,” he said, adding that this future product could release as early as DattoCon 2018.