May 05, 2017
Datto Integration Gives Partners Management Flexibility
When selecting technologies, most managed service providers (MSPs) look for integration among the tools they use to monitor and manage their customers’ IT environments. According to Jordi Tejero of CRS Technology Consultants, a Cape Coral, FL based Datto partner, “end-to-end integration and automation are essential for delivering managed services. If you are going to deploy a product that is not integrated [with your other tools] it has to be so game-changing that it’s worth managing separately.” So, Datto offers integration with a variety of software that MSPs rely on, including Autotask, BrightGauge, Connectwise, IT Glue, LabTech, and Kaseya.
“Partners want the ability to connect everything they have together, said Sergio Espinosa, Product Manager, Datto Partner Portal. “We are trying to provide that with the XML feed and integrations with other products.” Most of the integrations rely on Datto’s XML feed (LabTech is the exception). “It gives [the other tools] a way to connect with [protected] data,” said Espinosa.
Autotask, ConnectWise, and Kaseya are professional services automation (PSA) tools designed for MSPs to automate management of projects. LabTech is a remote monitoring and management (RMM) product. As the name implies, RMM tools allow MSPs to monitor IT systems and remotely trigger management tasks—such as patching or other software updates. BrightGauge allows users to create dashboards and reports to meet their specific needs. Finally, IT Glue is a documentation tool that can help MSPs increase efficiency and consistency. Datto developed the integrations with Autotask, ConnectWise, and Kaseya in-house. A third-party firm created and maintains the LabTech integration. IT Glue and BrightGauge developed Datto integration on their end.
Blackpoint IT, a Datto partner serving the Seattle and Portland areas, relies heavily on integration. Blackpoint IT typically contracts with larger customers that have in-house IT teams. According to Hutchison, many of their clients have limited tolerance for downtime. “It allows us to stay ahead of issues,” said Andrew Hutchison, Network Operations Manager at Blackpoint IT. “We can’t manage to errors or rely on email alerts, because we have really tight SLAs.” To ensure they meet SLAs, Hutchison uses BrightGauge to closely monitor Datto appliances in the field. “We use BrightGauge for fleet management, which isn’t its typical use case,” he said. “We also use it for ticket management, which helps us co-manage projects with in-house IT.”
Blackpoint IT configured the BrightGauge dashboard to deliver alerts for issues that could impact their ability to restore data quickly. For example, Blackpoint gets alerted if a differential merge did not complete because there was not enough storage capacity or a backup hasn’t completed in the specified timeframe. “It gives us the ability to stay ahead of issues,” Hutchison said. “At the scale we are at, you need this kind of dashboard or else you’ll miss something.” Hutchison also uses ConnectWise and LabTech and said BrightGauge allows him to unify reports across those tools as well, giving him a “single pane of glass” management console.
Datto’s XML feed allows partners to create their own integrations as well. “Some Datto partners take the XML feed directly and build something out in-house,” said Espinosa. “We don’t want to force people to use our partner portal for monitoring. We want partners to be able to monitor their Datto fleet however they want.