Working with a backup and disaster recovery (BDR) vendor may be a new experience for some managed services providers (MSPs), but that doesn't mean the relationship has to be treated differently than any other business partnership -- or does it? We reached out to disaster recovery (DR) and intelligent business continuity (IBC) solutions vendor Datto to learn more about the relationship (partnership) between MSPs and BDR vendors in the channel. How can MSPs work more productively with BDR vendors? We'll reveal the answers in this MSPmentor exclusive.

Datto Product Manager Ian McChord (pictured) offered MSPs the following pointers on working with a BDR partner, stressing the importance of recognizing the relationship as a partnership:

  • Think partner, not competitor -- The relationship between an MSP and a BDR vendor is a partnership above all. "I know from experience if you treat the vendor like they work at the DMV then you will decrease your pull," McChord said via email. "That pull can be critical in a pinch so its best to treat your vendors like they are business partners." A vendor wants to see an MSP grow and will assist in any way that it can;
  • Don't cry wolf -- Save your pull for emergencies. "In the span of 10 minutes we can assemble an entire team of master technicians at 2 a.m. for partners in need," he said. "The MSP has the ability to ring this bell and we are firm in giving our partners that right. We just ask that you save it for true emergencies." Most BDR vendors take emergency tickets seriously, so it's important for MSPs to understand what is classified as an emergency ; and
  • Voice feedback -- Partner feedback is important to vendors. Voice your opinion as often as possible. "Who knows, you might even get some kickbacks for your increased input," he added.

The key takeaway: your BDR vendors are your partners, not your enemies. Treat them well, and you'll have enough pull for those 2 a.m. emergency calls.