Jul 23, 2020
Q&A with Datto’s New Chief Product Officer, Radhesh Menon
In June, Datto welcomed Radhesh Menon as our new Chief Product Officer. We recently sat down with him (virtually, of course) to see how he’s adjusting to his new role, what his top priorities are, and what technology means to him.
Q: Can you talk a little bit about your career and what led you to the CPO role here at Datto?
A: Prior to Datto, I had the opportunity to work at two well-known technology companies - Microsoft and Red Hat. At Microsoft, I had the opportunity to work with a number of enterprise products, from Windows Server to Azure. In many ways, it was my learning ground for what it means to create and drive global impact with technology. And Red Hat was an amazing learning ground to engage with the open source community and be the leader within it. The company was evolving from a largely one product company to one with a broader portfolio, which was an interesting journey.
World class products, global impact, engaging with a community, and evolving a product portfolio, these are all things that I see as relevant to Datto as a software company addressing SMB needs through MSPs while evolving from largely BCDR-focused to a broader product portfolio company. MSPs are the community we all roll out of bed to serve and learn from each day, so I’m eager to bring my experience while also learning about the unique model that Datto has forged with the channel.
I truly believe that SMBs form the backbone of every economy and tech will be what helps them grow at an accelerated rate. Providing tech to SMBs through MSPs to help them digitally transform their businesses is a journey that I very much look forward to.
Q: You’ve been with Datto for about a month and a half now. Welcome! What are your first impressions? What have you been working on to get adjusted to the new role?
A: My first observation was that the people at Datto are extremely welcoming and open to sharing information to help me settle in. Also, as was evident from the partner panels at our recent MSP Technology Day, Datto has established a phenomenal, trusting relationship with MSPs across the globe.
Starting a new job amidst the “new normal” has been interesting. I’ve made transitions before, but being remote has brought about its own challenges - and lots of Zoom meetings. I’ve sought out time with various internal teams and leaders to help me settle in, which has been helpful. I’ve also had the opportunity to cycle through meeting with our product engineering teams to help get me up to speed on the state of the tech. I’m definitely beginning to find my bearings.
Q: What would you say are your initial short-term and long-term goals? In other words, how are you going to work for Datto partners and the channel overall in your new role?
A: In terms of my go-forward priorities, I see three pillars.
- Innovation: As a product-focused organisation, innovation is kind of stating the obvious - it’s the lifeblood of our business. It’s crucial that we have an even tighter feedback loop with our partners to drive anticipated innovation that takes into account all stakeholders opinions - so MSPs can have a sense of when and why we’re innovating our products the way we do.
- Partner experience: There are two dimensions to this one: when you buy our products collectively, they ought to work together to offer our partners a rich “One Datto” experience. The second is refining the experience that a partner goes through from purchasing a product to managing it well and optimising its functionality for the business. Both are equally important, so ensuring that we’re making measurable progress on that dimension is a key priority.
- Cloud: The reality is that the cloud in the form of software as a service (SaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) present two different opportunities to our partners. IaaS is an area that MSP partners have resoundingly told us that it is complex, and they prefer not to deal with unpredictable pricing. We have an opportunity to offer a compelling solution in this space and make it easier for our partners to embrace the cloud and realise the value it presents.
Partners can expect to have a tight feedback loop with us and have a predictable roadmap that we will deliver against. In the short-term, the focus is on making sure the products integrate more meaningfully so they spend less time making the products work. Partners can also bet on us to invest on their behalf so they can gracefully embrace the cloud-first world we’re in.
Q: If you had to pick a favourite Datto solution, what would it be and why?
A: Currently, it’s SaaS Protection, the fastest growing product in our portfolio. Today we are protecting Microsoft 365 and G Suite users, and there are so many more SaaS solutions that present opportunities for protection as they gain adoption. The need for SaaS backup is only going to increase, and we’re here to serve that need effectively.
Q: Can you share some of the ways technology has impacted you/your life, on a professional or personal level?
A: Growing up in a small town in India, I remember at age 14, while booting up the time-shared IBM-compatible PC at school with a five and a quarter inch floppy disk, the screen flashed “Microsoft Corporation”. Right then and there, joining Microsoft became a dream of mine, without any real context of where Microsoft was or what it even meant. It took me another 14 years to accomplish that and, ever since, I’ve been living, breathing, and thinking about technology.