Time goes by quickly, especially if you’re a small team of three ready to take on the MSP market in EMEA. With new prospects to meet, events to plan, and people to hire, it’s astounding what our MSP team in EMEA has accomplished in just a short amount of time.
As the one-year anniversary of our expansion into the UK and EMEA approaches, we sat down with Jason Howells, the EMEA sales director, to collect his thoughts on the past year and what he’s looking forward to in the coming months.
Jason on MSP opportunities in EMEA
What is your largest accomplishment as a team?
Getting the right people to fill those positions is a tremendous accomplishment. It’s certainly a big part of our success—we managed to move quickly and got some really great talent to fill those positions.
When we started there was three in the team. As we go into this new financial year, we are a team of nine. It’s exciting for us because it’s almost like a startup within a huge organization. It’s exciting and daunting that we’re looking for even more growth in the coming year. But, I know we’ll be successful because of the team that we’ve got.
What surprised you the most in the past year?
I think it was the number of managed service providers that are out there—and that the community is so big. That’s one big surprise. What was even more surprising was how close knit that community is. I come from a traditional VAR background, and a VAR to an MSP is a very different thing. So that’s been surprising for me. And there’s plenty of opportunity. It’s such a huge community of managed service providers out there and such a huge demand.
Are there any trends that you have seen among your customers in EMEA?
We’re seeing a large trend in security in the moment. A lot of our MSPs have been looking for or dealing with some kind of security offering. They know they need it, and they want to have it. And what we’re seeing is that Microsoft’s partners are transitioning their businesses from a reseller into a more managed service offering. They’re using the public cloud, and they’re building services around it. To have the NextGen Firewall available and to be the first one to be available for Azure is wonderful, and a lot of MSPs are looking for us to help them offer a broader range of solutions for their customers.
What opportunities are you looking forward to in the coming months?
We’ve got some good events coming up in April with ConnectWise’s ITNation, and another event, Autotask’s ACL, is also coming to Europe. It’s great to see that these big companies are starting to make an investment in EMEA. It’s a huge opportunity for us, and we’re hoping we can meet some great people at these events.
We have such a huge focus on the UK—and we still will moving forward. But, we are already doing business in Italy, Dubai, and the Netherlands. So we are going into new territories, and this year we are really going to extend that focus. I’m very excited to invest in other territories and extending our footprint.
What did you learn in the first year that you think will propel you in the coming years?
What I’ve learned is that you need to be focused. I’m extremely pleased that we have a dedicated MSP division at Barracuda and have that vision in the market. We have made a huge investment into a great platform that allows our security and data protection to integrate with the management tools that are important to MSPs. Everybody in the team needs to do their part to be successful—but the biggest part is the vision on getting there. We need to keep that focus and actually become even more focused as we go into the upcoming year. We have learned a lot in the first year, and I have no doubt that with our current portfolio and team, we will continue to be successful and help our customers and partners to be successful too.