Syncro CEO: ‘We Were One Of The First To Combine RMM And PSA So It’s One Platform’

‘PSA and RMM are not necessarily new technologies. But having them in one platform is a newer concept. ... I think a lot of the larger legacy players in the space have cobbled together and integrated different products over time. But we sort of skipped ahead of all that,’ says Syncro CEO Emily Glass.


Changing The RMM/PSA Game

The massive acquisition of Datto by rival Kaseya earlier this year combined two of the MSP industry’s top remote monitoring and management (RMM) and professional services automation (PSA) vendors, solidifying Kaseya’s position as the IT industry’s top MSP platform technology provider.

That move, however, opened the door for smaller RMM and PSA technology developers to look for ways to attract MSPs that wanted a way to differentiate themselves.

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One such vendor, Seattle-based Syncro, is stepping up to challenge the new combined Kaseya/Datto at the DattoCon conference, the annual MSP-focused conference now run by Kaseya. DattoCon has traditionally been an open conference, drawing Datto partners and competitors as exhibitors, and this year was no exception.

[Related: Kaseya Closes The Datto Acquisition: 6 Things To Know]

For Syncro, DattoCon is an opportunity to not only be seen at one of the IT industry’s top gatherings but an opportunity to attract new MSPs to kick the tires on its born-in-the-cloud technology, which combines RMM and PSA into an integrated offering, said Syncro CEO Emily Glass.

Glass, who joined Syncro only 10 months ago, told CRN that her company counts among its 4,000 MSPs several former Datto or Autotask PSA partners and Datto RMM partners. “So we’re looking to meet our own partners there and also see who might be interested in learning more about Syncro,” she said.

Syncro is also using DattoCon to introduce its new logo and website as it looks to improve how the company is perceived by MSPs, Glass said.

Here is what Glass had to say about Syncro’s platform and its mission to attract MSPs.

What is Syncro? How do you define your company?

Syncro is an RMM and PSA and remote access platform. We were one of the first to combine RMM and PSA together so it’s one platform. They’re not two separate integrated products, like a lot of the other solutions out there. We’re targeting emerging MSPs. So like I mentioned, we launched in 2019. And since then we’ve gotten a really good audience of MSPs that are just starting out and are just starting to grow their business. So that’s really our focus.

Our mission is to make life better for our partners, for MSPs. And that’s really why everyone at Syncro comes to work every day, including myself. We’re really passionate about that. We were started by MSPs. We have lots of folks who’ve worked at an MSP, owned an MSP, have been in the industry for a long time that work in Syncro. So the rebrand for me really shows how we’ve grown up. Since our original launch back in 2019, we’ve grown up with our partners, and we want to continue to listen and serve them. And we’re continuously improving.

By combining RMM and PSA, you’re in a very competitive field. And this week, you are exhibiting at DattoCon, one of your biggest competitor’s conference. What’s it like being in this environment?

PSA and RMM are not necessarily new technologies. But having them in one platform is a newer concept. And that’s how we started. We’ve been able to innovate on top of that. I think a lot of the larger legacy players in the space have cobbled together and integrated different products over time. But we sort of skipped ahead of all that. We’ve been a cloud platform from the beginning with a tightly coupled RMM and PSA. So, yes, it’s competitive. But apart from our platform that’s tightly coupled, we’ve also focused on emerging MSPs. So we try to make it really easy to get started. Really simple. It’s not bloated with a lot of things you don’t need. Most of our customers and partners get up and running over the weekend. It’s really easy to implement, and we want to help them get a strong start as an MSP.

You talked about the integrated RMM and PSA versus using your term, ‘cobbled together.’ What’s the difference in terms of what it means for the MSP?

Good question. I have a blog post on that. People should go read the whole thing. …The short answer is that it allows us to really automate a lot of tasks that are very common. So the RMM agent and the ticketing is very closely intertwined since we launched, and that allows us to auto-service a lot of issues, but also auto-remediate and close them. So we’re focused a lot on that for our partners, and that’s one of the advantages.

It seems other providers such as Datto have been talking about that kind of integration for some time. That’s something others are doing as well.

Yes, I mean, it’s a big focus, right? Efficiency and saving MSPs time is one of the biggest things that vendors focus on. Like I said, we also have a really simple interface, simple to get started, simple to use. I know some of the other tools out there can take a lot longer to get up and started with, but Syncro is really focused on streamlining that and supporting our partners.

Syncro is exhibiting at DattoCon this week. What is your relationship with Datto, now a part of Kaseya, after the acquisition of Datto by Kaseya?

I don’t know that it’s really changed much before and after the acquisition. It’s kind of the same. I used to work at Datto. So when I heard about it, I congratulated my former colleagues at Datto. … For Syncro specifically, we’ve had a lot of new partners who are kind of looking for something new and fresh, and maybe a more flexible arrangement. So we have month-to-month contracts, for example. Where people before might have been hesitant to switch PSAs or look for another vendor, we’ve seen a lot of people picking their heads up and exploring other alternatives since the announcement.

But why would you exhibit that DattoCon given that you’re probably looking to take some MSPs from Datto/Kaseya?

I think you just answered your own question. Like I said, I used to work at Datto. DattoCon has always been an open ecosystem. It welcomes all vendors. And yes, we’ve had a lot of former Datto or Autotask PSA partners and Datto RMM partners come to Syncro as our partners. So we’re looking to meet our own partners there and also see who might be interested in learning more about Syncro.

Do you expect Kaseya to keep that open platform that Datto has had traditionally?

That’ll be interesting. Kaseya made some announcements at DattoCon about IT Complete and the different directions that they want to go to integrate all of their combined branded products. And we’ll see what room that leaves for others. Right now, we don’t have an integration with any of their of their products, but we do import data, so if you’re migrating from those products we will import the data into Syncro. Otherwise, we have our own ecosystem of vendors and APIs to integrate with. So we’ll see what they will do over time.

You said Syncro is focused on emerging MSPs. What’s the difference in terms of a focus on emerging MSPs versus a focus on MSPs in general?

With emerging MSPs, I think that term means a little bit of something different to each person. For me, an emerging MSP is someone who’s either just getting started, so they’re a one- or two-person shop that just decided to go into the MSP business. Maybe they’re converting from break-fix to managed services. A lot of our partners started that way with us and have grown over the last four years with us. So now they’re a more mature MSP, and that’s really where we’re focused on adding features while maintaining that simplicity. So emerging to me means the one to 10 users or employee range for an MSP. That’s where we are very focused with our features, but also with our community interaction.

How many MSPs is Syncro working with right now?

We have over 4,000 MSPs on the Syncro platform.

What’s new with Syncro?

First, we’re really excited to be at DattoCon, which is our first in-person conference since the pandemic started. But we also launched our new Syncro branding today. We launched our new website. And that’s kind of the big news. But we’re back on the event circuit at DattoCon, which is really exciting for us to be out there meeting all of our partners in person.

When you say new Syncro branding, what do you mean?

So we redid pretty much everything about the visual design, the logo, the website itself and everything. I joined late last year. This wasn’t like the first thing that I wanted to do. I know partners want functionality. They want reliability. They want new features. And we have a lot of work to do there. And we have a lot of requests from our partners. So that’s definitely where we focus our engineering. But the brand, the website, we hadn’t updated it since we originally launched the platform. So it was due for an update and to reflect who Syncro is today. …

So you’ll see that the Syncro octopus, we’ve kept him or her, them. And they now have an infinity symbol for the tentacles, which is our sort of continuous improvement.

As you look at Syncro’s technology, what are some things that you are working on in terms of improvements for the rest of this year and moving into 2023?

Earlier in the year, we spent some time on our RMM and added OS patching, which was the biggest demand that we had from our partners and from prospects. And so with that addition earlier, we turned our focus more to the PSA side. We’ve been working on improvements, ticketing, both communications and more workflows around ticketing so we can improve efficiencies there. And we’re also looking at ways to add ... more approval workflows to quotes going out, that kind of thing. And I know our UI/UX [user interface and user experience] can definitely use a refresh as well. And so we’ve been investing some time there. As we’ve grown, we want to make sure that we keep it a simple product to use. So there’s definitely opportunities to improve that as well for our partners. So that’s where we’re focused right now.

Anything else you think we need to know?

Well, we’ve always been a remote company since the company was formed in 2017. … As we’ve grown, though, keeping everyone together on task with the same value, same mission, is definitely complicated with a remote team. So we spent a lot of time being consistent with our values, which are also on the new website. And this year, we added a focus on partner empathy. We’ve always had the ability to listen to partners and be present and interact. But at scale, well, we have over 4,000 partners. And now we have over 100 employees. That gets a little bit more challenging. So wanted to make sure that we continue that focus as we grow.