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New Axcient-eFolder Leader Doubles Down on MSPs

Matt Nachtrab
Matt Nachtrab
Eric White

Axcient-eFolder President Eric White is now leading the MSP-centric business continuity and data protection software provider. CEO Matt Nachtrab has stepped down to focus on an MSP that he launched more than a decade ago, both executives confirmed to ChannelE2E during a phone briefing today.

White joined Axcient-eFolder in December 2017, and he has channel in his DNA. He built Axcient-eFolder's 2018 operational plan with Nachtrab, and he also represents a direct line into Axcient-eFolder's private equity owner K1.

White  previously held key executive posts at multiple K1 investment companies. His background includes executive leadership, product marketing, M&A integration, go-to-market strategy, sales, and business development. He also has extensive experience building channel models -- working with distributors, resellers and partner ecosystems during his time at Trimble.

Not a Strategy Change

During a briefing with ChannelE2E, White and Nachtrab said the leadership transition was a mutual decision between Axcient-eFolder's board of directors and Nachtrab. The change is effective immediately, and the company's commitment to its partner ecosystem remains unchanged, both executives said.

Nachtrab will shift his full-time focus to Nemsys -- an MSP that he launched in Ohio more than a decade ago. I suspect he'll be working closely with Nemsys CEO Blake Underwood on some strategic initiatives. We'll dig for more details in the days ahead.

Jason Bystrak, D&H Distributing
Kevin Hoffman

As for Axcient-eFolder, White is working closely with such leaders as CTO Kevin Hoffman and VP of Worldwide Channels and Distribution Jason Bystrak. Each of those executives joined the briefing with ChannelE2E today. The overall message: Axcient-eFolder is bigger than any one executive leader, and the MSP-centric focus continues to gain momentum.

Among the proof points: The company's Replibit business has tripled in the past year, while trouble tickets for the platform has dropped 30 percent, Hoffman says. That means more money in MSPs' pockets, since their data protection businesses are scaling in terms of both revenues and automation.

Moreover, the mid-2017 Axcient-eFolder merger is now complete -- including a return of Axcient products into a channel-centric business model. Under previous owners, Axcient had strained some partner relationships by selling direct to some midmarket and enterprise accounts. That's no longer the case, White says.

Competitive Landscape

Still, the leadership transition comes at a key time for the company. Although Axcient-eFolder is growing, competition in the MSP-centric backup and disaster recovery (BDR) market continues to intensify.

Datto is the perceived market share leader in the sector, and most major SMB-focused data protection providers are engaging MSPs. Axcient-eFolder has been striving to rise above the competitive noise while building out a suite of data protection offerings for partners.

Tom Watson

Nachtrab led that effort over the past year. A ConnectWise and LabTech Software veteran, Nachtrab joined eFolder in February 2017 as chief strategy officer. He rose to the CEO position in July 2017, allowing Kevin Hoffman to shift to the CTO post. The company merged with Axcient shortly thereafter. White arrived as president in December 2017, and Ingram Micro veteran Jason Bystrak joined as VP of worldwide channels and distribution in January 2018. Around the time, former MSP owner Tom Watson arrived to drive further MSP partner success.

To drive home the company's MSP commitment, Axcient-eFolder is introducing new KPIs that should drive even more end-customer satisfaction -- and larger profit opportunities for partners, Bystrak says. The effort includes a focus on net promoter scores, among other efforts that will be formally announced soon. Moreover, channel-centric relationships with Ingram Micro and ConnectWise are gaining traction, Bystrak adds.

Meanwhile, MSPs can expect to see White in the market at an HTG Peer Groups gathering (July 30 in Denver), CompTIA ChannelCon (July 31 in Washington D.C.) and ConnectWise IT Nation (November 7 in Orlando). We'll be watching to see how White drives the company forward, and what types of signals parent company K1 sends into the market.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.