sommai - Fotolia

Datto reveals European growth amidst changes

Datto’s interim chief talks company’s future against the backdrop of a European partner event

Datto says it has seen “exceptional” growth in EMEA off the back of its merger with PSA (professional services automation) software platform Autotask last year.

The vendor signed up 750 net new MSP customers in the region in 2018 – a 40 percent year-over-year increase – it announced at its European conference, DattoCon Europe, in Barcelona, Wednesday.

“It’s been quite a year; across every metric in the business there’s been significant growth,” said Christian Nagele, Dattos’ interim head of EMEA, who added that more than half of Dattos’ EMEA headcount is dedicated to post-sales services and support, “which is unrivalled compared to any other MSP-focused vendor.”

Nagele, who is heading up EMEA following Datto’s international SVP, Mark Banfield’s departure from the company last month, told Microscope that the current culture at Datto feels “very fast-moving, almost ‘start-upy’...It’s an exciting time.”

During the event, Datto president and COO, Tim Weller, provided some insight into the company’s future after CEO and founder Austin McChord surprised the industry by stepping down from the role a week ago.

Weller, who has been leading the company following McChord’s exit, confirmed there are plans underway to find a replacement for the chief exec.

“There is a search for a CEO, and we’ll see how that goes,” he told Microscope, adding: “I like to think that the current team knows the playbook, knows the partners, knows the technology…and this is the right team going forward.”

MSP focus

Datto now has 14,000 MSP partners, globally, with 3,000 in EMEA, serving more than 500,000 SMEs in more than 130 countries.

Weller says the Datto’s “100 percent focus” on MSPs differentiates the vendor in an often-competitive market, as does its commitment to working with an ecosystem of other software vendors, even if they find themselves going head-to-head on some technologies.

“We’re happy for [our customers] to choose some of our products, some of our competitors’ products – we’re going to stay very open and we’re going to grow because the channel is going to grow,” he said.

The company cited a report by Markets and Markets that says that in EMEA, SMEs spend on managed services in the region is estimated at $10 billion today and is expected to grow to $18 billion annually by 2022.

Meanwhile, Weller said Datto will use its “scale and momentum to accelerate” product development and raised the possibility of further acquisitions.

The investment in R&D is evident in the slew of product releases and updates this week, following the firm’s announcement at its global customer event in June that it would be accelerating the release cycle for products across the portfolio.

In terms of potential acquisitions, Weller said that even though “we don’t have too many obvious holes in the portfolio”, the firm does have “a balance sheet that could take on some small, medium or even large acquisitions.”

He said Datto would look at MSP pain points –such as security and networking, adding “we probably have the industry’s broadest suite of business continuity products by far but there are probably still holes in that line-up that could make sense.”

On the business management side, the exec indicated that there may be some smaller potential acquisitions from Datto’s collection of software integration partners.

Brexit prompts new datacentre

Elsewhere, the firm revealed that despite investing in a new UK datacentre at the start of 2018, Brexit is forcing Datto to open a new facility in Munich, Germany early next year.

“Currently all of our EMEA customers are served out of a datacentre in the UK, and because of the impending Brexit next spring we’ll need to move our EU customers to the Munich datacentre,” Adam Stewart, SVP engineering at Datto,  who added that the firm was hoping to complete the migrating by the end of February 2019.

Read more on Managed IT Services