More than 8,000 partners and customers have signed up to attend this week's Acronis Global Cyber Summit. What can partners expect to hear at the virtual event? Acronis CEO Serguei Beloussov provided some clues in an October 16 interview with ChannelE2E.
To understand where Acronis and its partner relationships are heading, it's important to understand where the cyber protection software company came from.
Rewind a few years, and Acronis was best known as a backup and disaster recovery (BDR) software provider. But Beloussov and the Acronis team ultimately pivoted the company in three ways. Those key changes, he tells ChannelE2E, include:
1. Transforming into a cyber protection company. That portion of the journey involved organic R&D coupled with multiple acquisitions. Yes, Acronis still has backup technology. But take a closer look, and you'll find anti-malware, endpoint management and more in the Acronis lineup now.
2. Transforming from reseller partnerships to service provider partnerships. All of the Acronis business flows through partners -- namely, cloud distributors, aggregators and service providers. Those service providers, in turn, require ten times the engagement compared to traditional resellers, Beloussov asserts.
3. Transforming from an application company to a platform company. Or more specifically, building and delivering the Cyber Protection Platform.
Acronis Cyber Protection Platform Explained
Admittedly, a growing number of backup companies are pushing into the cybersecurity market. But Beloussov believes Acronis has a unique approach with the Cyber Protection Platform.
Why's that? The simple answer involves a single system approach. Instead of building backup and cyber protection as separate solutions, the Cyber Protection Platform is essentially one expansive offering -- with one agent, one policy management system, one user interface, and so on, Beloussov says.
The approach eliminates complexity, simplifies life for service providers, and drives up partners' partner margins, Beloussov says.
Acronis: Funding for Expansion
The Acronis cyber strategy accelerated with outside funding. Indeed, the company raised $147 million in funding led by Goldman Sachs in September 2019. That funding allowed Acronis to assure acquisition targets that the cloud-centric software company had the ability to scale, Beloussov notes.
- Fast forward to December 2019, and Acronis acquired 5nine for Microsoft Hyper-V and Azure cloud management and security capabilities.
- On the partner front, MSP and channel industry veteran Amy Luby arrived as channel chief evangelist in April 2020.
- Next up Acronis acquired DeviceLock in July 2020 for endpoint device/port control and data leak prevention software.
Moreover, additional acquisitions have been completed and could be announced soon, Beloussov hints.
Acronis Today (And Tomorrow)
Now, fast forward to preset day. Acronis has roughly 1,500 employees and may grow to "several thousand" team mebers in the next 36 months or so.
Still, the company also knows it can't work in a vacuum. Close integrations with Microsoft, ConnectWise and other MSP-friendly software providers will make it "seamless" for the Acronis partner ecosystem to protect any type of workload regardless of whether it's physical, virtual, mobile, cloud or some other type of workload, Beloussov says.
At the same time, Acronis has shifted to a monthly software update cadence -- delivering more features more rapidly to MSPs.
The bottom line: Beloussov says Cyber Protection Platform revenues are surging -- but he concedes there's even more work (and opportunity) ahead for the company and its software partners. Paraphrasing Winston Churchill, Beloussov asserts: "It is not the beginning of the end. But it is the end of the beginning."
Translation: Cyber Protection Platform is real. But the R&D efforts continue. It's safe to expect some new developments to surface at this week's summit.