Barracuda MSP has joined a select group of service providers chosen to support the development of Toshiba’s global managed IT services blueprint, Michelle Ryder spoke to Barracuda Vice President MSP International Sales, Jason Howells, to find out more about the move
Barracuda Vice President MSP International Sales, Jason Howells, said digital transformation has accelerated in the current climate and that this has impacted across the business, and across all routes to market, whether it be MSPs, or at the end-user level. “Because we specialise in security, we have been very busy, largely driven by the wider adoption of Office 365 and moving applications to the public cloud – the shift has been phenomenal.”
The pace and the speed that things have had to change has created opportunity for Barracuda. “There are a lot of organisations that are having to be agile, they’re having to adapt, and they’re having to think about new ways of doing things. It’s almost been forced onto them, I guess, to a certain extent, because of the world that we live in right now. And the changes that we’ve all had to make,” he said.
Security at the fore
Howells believes that there’s opportunity where people don’t have the expertise, and they don’t have the answers to the questions that their customers are asking them. “They are having to turn to managed service providers and ask them to do more than perhaps what they’re currently doing for them, particularly around security. I think being a security-centric MSP right now is extremely important. It’s important for prospecting and finding new customers, as well as for retaining your existing customers, because security has absolutely come to the fore,” he explained.
“We’ve seen a lot of print companies that have been acquiring security-centric or security capable managed service providers, so that they can go and provide more services to their customers, and they’ve proven to be extremely successful. I think we will see more and more organisations looking to see how they can change their focus, how they can do more for their customers, how they can retain their customers, how they can find new customers, and we are well positioned to help them to do that,” Howells added.
IT services blueprint
Toshiba Canada previously worked with Barracuda to sell back-up solutions alongside its existing MFD provision. Impressed with both the success of this endeavour and the skill Barracuda demonstrated in this area, the Toshiba Canada team recommended Barracuda to the Toshiba headquarters in Japan.
“This led to Toshiba reviewing its IT services globally,” explained Ben Gaston, Sales Director, Toshiba Tec. “A lot of regional teams weren’t ready to explore this straight away, but we in the UK certainly were. Barracuda was recommended to us from HQ, and will now be pivotal in helping us create the IT services blueprint that we will eventually take to Toshiba teams around the world.”
He added: “Managed services have long been at the core of our offering, so it was a natural progression to move into managed IT services, a market which we are focussed on positively disrupting to offer real help to our customers. This extension to our portfolio was a logical progression in our aim to better support businesses and lift their operational burdens. The natural next step was to enhance our excellent service delivery by adopting responsibility for our customers’ wider IT infrastructure. Fast forward to today and Barracuda MSP are now helping us take this to the next level.”
Howells said: “We’re excited and delighted that we’re working with Toshiba, we’ve been working with them for quite a period of time now to get to this point. We have an extensive portfolio which means that they have a great offering that they can very quickly offer their customers.”
Portfolio of security products
Toshiba Tec has a dedicated and expert managed IT services sales force, as well as a strong partner portfolio to underpin its four key IT service offerings: complete outsourcing, end-user support, infrastructure support, and managed security services. Barracuda MSP will support the latter through its portfolio of security products.
Barracuda MSP has also provided Toshiba Tec with ongoing marketing tools and support, including access to Barracuda’s extensive partner portal and a wealth of white-labelled marketing collateral which the organisation has already begun to utilise and will continue to do so in the coming months. Since engaging with Toshiba Tec, Barracuda MSP has run weekly training sessions for the Toshiba Tec IT services sales force, providing education on Barracuda’s products and services.
Through the partnership Toshiba has access to Barracuda MSP’s portfolio of security products spanning email, network, application, and cloud security, as well as managed services and data protection. Currently Toshiba Tec is focused on supporting customers with Barracuda MSP’s Email Security Essentials, CloudGen Firewall, and Managed Workplace RMM.
“Within this portfolio, there are products, there are solutions, and there are fully managed services. Depending on our customers’ level of expertise, we can help them, it might just be a product sale, it might be a bunch of products that make a solution, or it might be a fully managed offering from us, that means that their touch on it is limited,” Howells explained.
“Our commitment to managed service providers is continuing, we are heavily invested today, I think we have an awesome portfolio around security, and we are continuing to invest and look at where there are gaps where we can actually do even more,” he continued. “Zero trust is a big thing right now, people are using their own devices much more now that we’re all working from home, and there’s a renewed focus on endpoint devices and making sure people are adhering to corporate policies. As a business we are really focused on these areas. We will continue to build out our portfolio and in turn give our partners even more opportunity to help their customers.
“IT security is absolutely front and centre stage right now. Organisations have a responsibility to look after their employees and as well as looking after their business, and security absolutely has to be a key part of that.”
Looking ahead to the future, Howells said there is opportunity for the company’s future growth. “We have enjoyed phenomenal growth in the Barracuda MSP business over the last five years. Whilst we may not see growth at the same rate as we have enjoyed in the past, we will still see huge growth in our business this year.
“Barracuda is doing a great job helping our partners and our customers and that, of course, is bringing us opportunity. Obviously, our relationship with Toshiba is at the early stage, but we have already helped them support a few customers and we have an exciting pipeline. We’re honoured to have been chosen to play such an important role in what looks to be a pivotal growth area not only for Toshiba Tec UK, but for its entire global operation. I look forward to sharing our knowledge and skills with the Toshiba team and giving it a greater voice in the IT services market.”
Gaston concluded: “It’s still early days, but we are already so pleased with the work Barracuda is doing, and can see why the firm was so highly recommended by Toshiba headquarters. We’ve already learned a lot from the Barracuda team in terms of communicating more effectively in the IT services market, and I look forward to tapping into their knowledge in this field as our promising relationship grows.”