Datto provides IT service providers with software to optimize their business processes. As their products are complementary to Keenondots’ provisioning and billing product, both companies partner in offering IT service providers the best technology possible for their business.

We were curious how Victor Raessen, Managing Director Benelux at Datto, sees the future of IT service providers. Here’s what he has to say.

Victor, can you introduce Datto to us?

Datto serves Managed Service Providers with a wide range of IT solutions, supporting them to accelerate their business.

Let me give you some examples of our products: we have business software to process support tickets efficiently. This also involves customer, project and contract management, including billing and reporting.

Other products focus on remote monitoring and management and we also offer business continuity solutions to minimize downtime and data loss. Besides software we also offer network equipment. All these products and services are offered as-a-Service and built in such a way that they can be easily managed and integrated.

What is the advantage of your products for IT service providers?

Most IT service providers still manage a lot of legacy from the past. Tools, procedures and tasks accumulated over the years as IT got more complex. As a result, working with these tools and connecting different customer networks became more and more complicated. We can consolidate these software packages and provide one dashboard, which gives a much better overview of their business and the customers and assets under management.

All of our products are delivered 100% through our partner channel. Because we integrate with multiple vendors in the ecosystem, partners can pick and choose the building blocks that help them reach their goals.

And why are your services unique?

As we provide IT solutions for over 14,000 MSP’s, we have a pretty good insight in what works and how you can best use our software, as to maximize business efficiency. We share these insights with our customers and help them avoid pitfalls. Which brings me to an important development in our industry.

What is this important development in the IT industry?

Well, change being a constant in our industry, IT companies need to get better at managing it. It is impossible to have all the knowledge in-house, especially for smaller companies. As such, it makes sense to connect with your peers to exchange ideas and share insights. Specializing in a certain niche can be a smart move as you will be more aware of your customer’s context. We see providers set up peer groups to exchange knowledge and experience with each other. Datto facilitates this by organising events regularly on current topics, where people can connect.

How do you see this develop in the future?

In the past, you could be a hero by fixing issues, nowadays customers simply assume technology works without flaws. Their expectation towards their IT service provider has shifted. They expect him to help them understand and optimise their business processes supported by smart technology. This requires different skills from IT service providers.

As said, this is one reason why it might be smart to focus on a certain industry. What’s important and how things work differ among industries. As a generalist, it is harder to provide customer specific insights and solutions that are perceived as valuable through the eyes of your customer.

So, customers’ expectations towards their IT service provider change. What can they do make sure they can deliver?

First of all, they need to standardize their services and processes. They should not waste any time on tasks that can be automated. Nowadays, every employee has a high workload and you need to use all time available on helping your customer and being visible. Focus on what he needs and how his business process can be further optimized using knowledge and technology.

Second, as an IT service provider, you need to attract the best IT professionals possible, which is quite a challenge as there is a real battle going on to find (and keep) IT talent. Once these people choose to work for you, you have to make sure you keep them engaged and happy. They will help you develop your business, but they expect you as an employer to give them challenging tasks and support them in their development. If you bore them with repetitive tasks it will not be long before they are gone. In that sense, it is a virtuous circle: make sure your company remains pro-active and does interesting work. It will attract pro-active employees as a result.

One last word of advice?

Plain and simple: just start. Do not delay but take action and start automating your business processes now!