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Datto Puts New (Virtualization) Spin on DR/BC

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Disaster recovery and business continuity provider Datto knows it’s playing in a crowded field. But the vendor has high hopes that its method of dealing with data backups—and its commitment to the channel—will make it top of mind for channel partners.

Disaster recovery and business continuity provider Datto knows it’s playing in a crowded field. But the vendor has high hopes that its method of dealing with data backups—and its commitment to the channel—will make it top of mind for channel partners.

"In 2010 we released the first instant virtualization product, and that took disaster recovery to a brand new level,” said Ian McChord, product manager at Datto, in the FastChat video above. “Businesses were able to spin up virtualizations on their local site as well as in the cloud, and that gives them a lot more usability from the backups that they were taking.”

The credit, he added, goes to how Datto saves backups—as virtual machine disk images. “It’s a standard platform for virtualization software, so we figured instead of a proprietary file format, why not actually save the backups in a virtualization format? That way, they can spin it up at any time,” he said.

Datto, which was founded in 2007 and has grown 300 percent year over year since, prides itself as a 100 percent-channel company, a distinction McChord believes also sets it apart from its competitors. “We’re not channel-focused, we’re not channel-friendly. Channel-only means we only go through resellers and that way we devote a lot more resources to helping our resellers have the marketing and sales resources to reach new customers and make sure their business is growing, because that is directly tied to our growth. So it’s really a natural incentive for us to help our partners grow their business,” he said.

The company’s channel focus is part of the three tenets Datto uses to run its business: trust, technology and support. Because the company is a true channel company, McChord said, it garners a level of trust that other vendors don’t necessary have with their partner base. And the company focuses on innovation with its technology to be able to offer its partners and customers something they can’t get anywhere else.

“We have an entire product family that delivers what we call 'Intelligent Business Continuity,' and that has all of the disaster recovery as well as backup features that make our product what we call the best-in-market disaster recovery and business continuity product,” he said.

The company’s third tenet, support, may seem like something partners can get from any vendor, but even there Datto sets itself apart, McChord noted.

“All we do is disaster recovery and business continuity, so we understand that when a disaster happens it doesn’t matter if it’s 2 a.m. for the customer or the partner—we need to be there and we need to be on call,” he said. “We actually provided all of our senior support staff with free company phones, but we didn’t tell them those company phones have a ringer that, when an emergency ticket comes in, doesn’t go off until they’ve answered the ticket. We feel like it’s a good incentive for them to have a company phone but also make sure our partners are taken care of.”

Datto has launched a marketing campaign, “Why Datto?” that includes a two-minute video on the company’s website created to offer viewers a better idea of Datto’s technology and its commitment to the channel. The company also hosts live demos of its technology via GoToMeeting and hosted by a sales engineer “because we want to show partners the value and also the technology,” McChord said. “You can get on there with the sales engineer—play ‘stump the sales engineer’ if you want—and see the virtualizations. They will do a local and a cloud virtualization in less than 15 minutes so you get an opportunity to see the whole thing. It’s a great way to get involved with Datto and actually go through those cycles of actually managing and seeing what the product can do.”

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