5 mins with…Andrew Stuart, EMEA MD of Datto Inc.

This week we chat to Andrew Stuart, EMEA managing director of data protection provider Datto Inc. He explains what SMEs need to do to enable their business is secure and why Datto are offering one million free TBs to SMEs.

Andrew StuartPlease explain who you are, what your business is, and what it does/aims to achieve?

I’m Andrew Stuart, managing director of Datto EMEA. Before Datto, I ran a Managed Service Provider (MSP) for SMEs. An MSP manages a business’s IT on their behalf, which frees up resources and saves them money in the long-term. I was frustrated to see how much downtime and data loss was costing them with the technology available, which is why I sought out Datto.

We provides comprehensive backup, recovery and business continuity solutions used by thousands of businesses worldwide. We provide SMEs with a more affordable, more effective, more straight-forward way to achieve ‘Total Data Protection’. As data gets more and more complicated – some on premise, some in the cloud, and now in SaaS apps like Salesforce and O365 – SMEs need an easy way to make sure ALL their data is safe. Datto is available through MSPs across the UK.

What is your favourite part of your job and what is your least favourite part?

I love seeing Datto EMEA grow, but nothing makes me happier than seeing the individuals develop within the business. We have a very strong team here and our fantastic company culture is very important to me. What’s the least favourite part? When we run out of snacks [Datto has a ‘free snack’ policy which gets replenished every fortnight].

What can you tell us about Datto Drive? What exactly can we expect from this product?

The File Sync and Share market is a crowded one and FSS products are looked at currently as a commodity. However our FSS, Datto Drive, has been built specifically with small to midsized businesses in mind. Datto Drive was built leveraging OwnCloud, a powerful FSS solution for businesses. As we can use our own 200 plus petabyte cloud, we can pass savings down to customers. Datto Drive is offered to SMBs at a significantly lower price compared to Box and Dropbox – £10 per month for one terabyte of storage, per organisation, with unlimited users. We’re shaking things up in the FSS market and giving SMBs a feature rich FSS product at a highly attractive price.

Datto is known for its Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery products. How does an FSS product fit in?

It’s really an evolution for Datto in how we protect the data of small businesses. our mission is Total Data Protection, or protecting data no matter where it lives. The volume of data that businesses have to deal with is exponentially increasing. At Datto we protect data on-prem, in virtualised environments, in SaaS applications and now even at the file level. With Datto Drive, SMBs have a seamless, cost effective way to protect file data by hosting it in the Datto cloud.

Why are you offering one million free TBs to SMEs?

We wanted to give SMEs the opportunity to try Datto Drive for nothing, and make secure file sharing available to all businesses. Upon release, Datto Drive will be free to the first one million businesses that sign up.

How is Datto Drive beneficial for you and for SMEs?

When small businesses look at the current FSS options, they are charged per user so the prices add up quickly. Datto Drive will cost just £10 per month per organisation, which is significantly less expensive.

For Datto, it will give us some incredible brand awareness. After using Datto Drive, SMEs may look into our additional backup and disaster recovery services. It was estimated that 40% of SMEs in the UK don’t work with an MSP, so they are missing out on lots of the benefits of outsourcing IT.

We see Datto Drive as an opportunity to introduce them to an MSP, and the other technologies that sit within Datto’s Total Data Protection solution.

With security being such a big concern for SMEs, what can businesses do to make sure their backup is fully secure?

My top three suggestions are:

  1. Find out how and where your data is being stored. Is it encrypted? Is it within the UK? How long will it be archived for? You may have to comply to a regulatory body, like the SRA, and any shortcomings could harm you, not your cloud vendor.
  2. Invest in a solution which can give you confidence – Datto, for example, has Screenshot Verification technology, so you can see at a glance that a backup has worked.
  3. Talk to an MSP that knows their stuff. Even when you have an expert in-house, an MSP has their finger on the pulse and will be able to give you great advice about your data.

Have you made any mistakes along the way and how did you overcome them/ learn from them?

I’ve made many! Change, and therefore the mistakes that come with change, are common place in a fast-paced organisation. In order to be dynamic, and progressive, I think you need to be able to make some mistakes, as long as you learn from them in the future. My biggest lesson was not to lower my expectations when hiring because the right candidate wasn’t coming along. It’s better for the business, and better for the team, to wait for that right person.

What do you do to relax away from the hustle and bustle of work?
I like to get out and explore London! I also like to challenge myself; some of the team and I are attempting the three peaks’ challenge in June so that’s a lot of training. Last year we completed a Tough Mudder, too.