Five years ago when Rob Rae joined Datto Inc., opportunities to grow the business through the channel were slim, and as one of the cybersecurity and data backup firm’s first Canadian employees, he wasn’t sure what the future had in store.
“Nothing was happening in this market for us,” the vice-president of business development told CDN during the official opening of Datto’s Canadian headquarters Thursday, where a couple dozen people, from business partners to politicians, came out to celebrate. “But we brought on some new people, some great people with incredible IT and channel experience, and those individuals have helped the company experience phenomenal growth.”
So much so that Datto now has more than 1,100 partners in Canada, and a team of approximately 20 people in the new Markham office that’s helping solidify the company’s dominance in the Canadian market, said Rae. Datto expects to onboard partners at a clip of 25-30 per month, representing an approximately 30 per cent year-over-year growth. And since Datto’s focus on the SMB market remains steadfast, that means there are a lot of customers they haven’t reached, Rae pointed out. In Canada, more than 90 per cent of businesses in Canada are small-to-medium-sized businesses.
“The managed service space is crowded, but one of the distinct advantages we have is that we have local feet on the street. We’ve invested in this market, so you can see and meet your actual rep, and they’re going to be a Canadian rep,” he explained. “Not a lot of other vendors do that. We definitely have a good foothold here, and from a competition perspective, I don’t think there’s anyone even close to making the same impact we are.”
Datto CEO Tim Weller said Canada is integral to the company’s success.
“We’re in 100 countries, six or eight of which are a core part of our business and [Canada] is definitely the first and the numbers show that,” he told everyone during the ribbon cutting ceremony.
Datto’s Canadian Advisory Board, comprised of several business partners, is also helping shape the Canadian channel landscape by spurring important conversations among its members, according to James Smith, president of Lanetco, a managed service provider in the Greater Toronto Area. Lanetco, which also has an office in Vancouver, has been a Datto partner for five years and for the most part specializes in Datto’s business continuity and data recovery portfolio. Smith said he was actually participating in a board meeting prior to the ribbon cutting ceremony, and that he’s also a member of Datto’s Global Advisory Board.
“[Datto] is looking for all of our perspectives,” he said, adding these discussions have not only helped him shape his business but ultimately hold the entire IT industry to a higher standard. “To sit beside a guy who has 50 or more people and hear what he’s doing to be successful…that’s what I should aspire to.”
Smith said he’s been impressed with Datto’s service delivery model and breadth of solutions, which has grown over the years thanks to some key acquisitions. Datto’s portfolio of products, which now include networking and business management, have left strong impressions on Lanetco and its customers, he added.
MPP Billy Pang and Markham councilor Alan Ho were also on hand for the ceremony. Both pointed to the strong talent pool in the area, which they said will help Datto grow over the years, and attract additional businesses to the area. Rae echoed their thoughts, and described the Markham area as Ontario’s “Silicon Valley.”