Over the past five years, the IT landscape has changed drastically, and security is now at the forefront of everyone’s minds. While it is our mission to deliver data protection and security solutions to keep your SMB customers safe from today’s cyber threats, we also want to set your MSP up for business success.
To do this, we needed to do two things: put the right people in place and successfully execute our Partner program. Recently, we have been recognized by CRN on both fronts.
We are proud to say that we have been recognized by CRN for the fourth consecutive year in their Cloud Partner Program Guide. CRN’s annual list highlights vendors with partner programs that are positioned to boost an IT channel provider’s business. This is something we deliver through our rebrandable sales and marketing enablement tools, technical articles in our knowledge base, certification training through Barracuda Campus, and more.
Having the right team in place is key to delivering on these initiatives. So we are beyond excited to see that two of our colleagues—Katie Sousa and Brian Babineau—have made CRN’s 100 People You Don’t Know But Should list. This list is designed to highlight the channel’s unsung heroes who are often behind the scenes making things happen.
To help you get to know them, we sat down with Katie Sousa, our senior partner marketing specialist, and Brian Babineau, the senior VP and GM of Barracuda MSP, and asked them a few questions.
Q & A with Katie Sousa and Brian Babineau
Q: Congratulations on being named to CRN’s “100 People You Don’t Know But Should” list. In your opinion, what is the most important thing to keep in mind every day when you’re working with MSPs?
Katie: The most important thing is to keep good relationships in general and make sure partners get everything they need to be successful. We should always be doing everything we can to help them and always be a good go-to resource for them whenever they are looking for help.
Brian: It’s a partnership. You’re going to have good times and you’re going to have bad times, but you need to commit to working together to be successful.
Q: The IT channel encompasses a number of different business models, and the managed service market continues to grow at a rapid pace. What are some of the most important things you have learned about MSPs?
Katie: MSPs are smaller than you expect. They are doing a lot of different things on their own, and they work their butts off every day to be successful.
Brian: There are three things I have really learned with MSPs. The first is how much time they spend running their businesses and helping their clients versus how much time they spend learning new technologies. The second thing is their extreme transparency in how well your partnership is going. They don’t sugarcoat anything, and they let you know what is on their minds. The last thing is their desire to provide more value for their clients, so they ask more from their suppliers.
Q: What are some lessons you have learned from our MSP partners?
Katie: MSPs are always willing to share good insight. They are our best resources to help others, and they are always willing to help when they are asked. They are the definition of good peers.
Brian: Just because you have good technology doesn’t mean you have a good offering. You also need good pricing, you need strong support, and the technology needs to be easy to use.
Q: What is one piece of advice that has helped you grow in your career? And what advice would you give to others?
Katie: Show them everything you’ve got. Be available and make yourself a resource so that you can be helpful to others. Don’t be afraid to take on something challenging that can also be useful to you.
Brian: Surprises are for birthdays! Overcommunicate with the people you work for and the people who work for you.
Q: What do you enjoy most about working at Barracuda?
Katie: I really enjoy interacting with our MSP partners in our partner community, Barracuda MSP Insiders, and helping them grow their MSP businesses.
Brian: I love working with great people with new ideas to deliver better technology to our MSP partners. I believe that the technology that we make available to our MSP partners can make them more successful, help them grow and thrive, and help the SMB community grow. It’s easy to explain what we do as a business and how it has an impact for our MSP customers.
Q: While you may wake up every day thinking about the MSP market space, what are some fun things you do when you have some time off?
Katie: I do a lot of different things in my time off. A few things I really enjoy doing are cooking, drinking craft beer, and traveling and exploring new places with friends—and I’m always looking for a good Instagram pic.
Brian: In my free time, I’m a dad and a husband. I have two kids, who are eight and five. I do whatever they think is fun at the time.