Richard speaks with Matt Richards, Chief Marketing Officer, Pete Jaworski, Product Manager, and Adam Stewart, Senior Vice President of Engineering at Datto, which provides business continuity and management for MSPs.
An Interview with the Matt, Pete and Adam
Why MSPs Aren’t Good at Marketing
Matt Richards says that MSP (managed service provider) business owners struggle with sales and marketing. The biggest problem is lead generation – finding, onboarding and nurturing the customer. One reason for this is that small businesses struggle to find time to do everything themselves. Their focus is on customer issues and how to solve them, rather than creating marketing content.
As the MSP grows, they’re more likely to take on sales staff before they employ a marketer. Very often, they’ve been able to find customers and keep things going without any kind of marketing, and when that stops working, they realise they need help.
How Datto Helps MSPs with Marketing
Datto offer a product called Market Now, which integrates with both Datto and Autotask systems and operates on a single platform. Datto provide white label content for clients to use within the product. There are a range of templates, depending on what you want to do. You can set up inbound campaigns, for example, and Datto supplies you with the landing page, form and the PDF giveaway.
Matt says the system is easy to use and also includes marketing automation software to manage contacts, campaigns and lead creation. He says the biggest challenge is that their partners often don’t know the tool is there for them to use.
What is Datto’s New REST API?
Pete Jaworski explains that ‘The REST API is a new method of integration that we have with Datto’. It replaces the previous XML feed which simply supplied raw data to customers to build their integration. Realising that the information provided wasn’t scalable or reliable, they decided to create specific endpoints in the REST API to make everything more granular. Partners and vendors can now find specific details on all sorts of data.
Datto know that partners are using third-party applications, so they work to align themselves with that and provide the relevant data to users. The idea to create an ‘open ecosystem, and open access community ‘for people to build their own platforms.
How Datto are Streamlining Their Products
Datto want to create a better user experience for partners and vendors, and are doing this by providing several different APIs. They are working to incorporate all the APIs into one, including Autotask and Datto legacy APIs, so any partner can integrate with them.
Partners can choose any platform they like, and with the REST API there are lots of opportunities for what you can do. Datto are committed to releasing regular updates, so new tools will become available all the time.
How Datto Supports Their Customers and Protects Their Data
Adam says he educates the Datto salesforce on how important it is that customers are supported. He describes them as ‘real-time mission-critical’, so if something goes wrong they work immediately to fix it. The first thing they do is check that every layer in each data centre is redundant.
Adam goes on to explain that they have really good protocols in place for when something goes wrong, with ‘exceptional redundant alerting in place on every layer of our system’.
They have communication protocols that they follow, whether the fault happens at night or during the day. The team is careful to have every change double-checked before they do it. They also use ITIL change management to ensure as few problems as possible, and work to minimise disruption when something does go wrong.
How Datto Chooses Feature Updates
Adam explains that the issue is not about deciding which feature to improve or introduce, but choose the thousands of features they’re not working on. He and his team have to pick the top one.
Adam says that they use a feature request system which uses customer input to gather information and suggestions about which features could be changed. He says: “I need to invest in the thing that will help the most of our customers, so we almost always work on the top-requested feature.”
Sometimes the top suggestion is a priority for 10% of customers, but something slightly further down the list may be less important for the first group of customers, but is a priority for 80% of users, so that’s the one they have to pick.
To support this, they use a faster release cadence to introduce less change more frequently. MSPs don’t have to learn a lot of new things all at once so they can take their time with new updates and concentrate on helping their customers.
Mentioned in This Episode
- IT business management software: Autotask www.autotask.com
- Marketing and sales software: HubSpot
- Reporting tool: Brightgauge
- Documentation platform: ITGlue
- Business software solutions: ConnectWise
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