Unitrends announced today its first MSP (Managed Service Provider) program (note: I like the term xSP – for Any Service Provider – but since MSP is more commonly in use I tend to use them interchangeably) for Unitrends’ backup, archiving, replication, and failover virtualization (instant recovery) all-in-one integrated backup appliances.  The press release was entitled “Unitrends Unveils Revolutionary Service Provider Program.”  Now – I am 110% biased – but I think it’s a pretty amazing program – and I want to tell you why.

First of all, I want to introduce  the person that designed this program and launched it.  His name is Rob Bush, and we hired him a few months ago expressly to do this.  Rob has technical degrees and an MBA and all of that – but more importantly he ran a multi-million dollar MSP that was growing in the triple digits – and he just plain gets MSPs.  Rob and I work together – and I think he just flat-out did a great job here.

This is a program designed from the ground-up to help service providers make money.  A lot of money.  Because it’s a program designed to enable service providers to use data protection not only to recruit customers, but to delight those customers.  It’s a program which is inherently adaptable to the xSP/MSP’s go to market model – it allows the deployment of various combinations of our physical or virtual appliance in the xSP/MSP’s IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) cloud as well as our physical or virtual appliances on the customer’s premises.  This is hybrid cloud data protection – pure and simple – but in a flexible format seldom found by vendors who are seeking to rigidly enforce their preferences over the preferences of the service provider.

How big is the xSP/MSP market?  In North America alone, MSPmentor has noted that there are 12K-18K MSPs out of a pool of 80K-120K VARs and solution providers.  What’s amazing is MSPmentor’s findings in one study that 67% of non-service provider VARs and solution providers say that they plan to offer some form of services in the next 12 months.

In 2012 alone, the top 100 MSPs showed an ARR (Annual Recurring Revenue) of $1.91B as per MSPmentor – significant growth over the 2011 $1.59B ARR reported previously.

I’m excited about this.  Despite Unitrends’ torrid 88% revenue growth last year, which put it as the fastest growing midrange data protection vendor in the market, the company in 2012 had absolutely no MSP program.  Despite that, we had some pioneering MSPs use our hardware and software to build out great programs – they just paid for the software and hardware up front.  This program enables us to broadly reach out to these service providers with simple (and when I say simple, it’s INCREDIBLY simple) pricing for our physical and virtual appliances.

I’m sure in the coming weeks I’ll write more concerning this program.  In the meantime, if you have any questions or comments – let us know.