For most of his career, Jason Bystrak's name has been synonymous with Ingram Micro. But sometime within the next few days, he'll officially join eFolder's payroll as VP of worldwide channels and distribution.
It's a big move, both symbolically and literally. In an age when technology companies (and their employee rosters) change by the day, Bystrak has been a one-team wonder for more than two decades. From 1995 through 2017, Bystrak climbed the corporate ladder at Ingram. He always stayed a few steps ahead of market transitions -- whether it involved the IT services, MSP or CSP inflection points. Perhaps more importantly, he helped partners stay ahead of those transitions as well.
Now, it's time for Bystrak's own transition. Frankly, I can't imagine the enormity of exiting a 22-year career at a big IT company to join a scrappy upstart of sorts. "My favorite part of the Ingram experience was the opportunity to be a builder," Bystrak tells ChannelE2E. "Now, I'll have that 'builder' opportunity again at eFolder."
Builder? That's shorthand for community builder, platform builder and market builder.
eFolder: Established Company, New Faces
At first glance, eFolder isn't a startup. The company has been around for more than a decade. But take a closer look, and multiple moves have made the company behave more like a nimble upstart -- one that wants to compete against entrenched rivals like Datto while also closely monitoring a broader, hyper-competitive backup ecosystem that includes Veeam.
eFolder Co-founder and CTO Kevin Hoffman still directs the company's overall business continuity and data protection technical direction. But eFolder's executive roster now also includes recruits like CEO Matt Nachtrab and Chief Revenue Officer Adam Slutskin. Plus, the recent eFolder-Axcient merger has added additional data protection services to the portfolio.
In some ways, Nachtrab in recent months has served as both CEO and channel chief -- discussing various partnership opportunities with a range of companies. But that has been both a blessing and a burden -- effectively making Nachtrab a GM in the front office and a shortstop out on the diamond, trying to field partner opportunities from all angles.
eFolder Partner Strategy: Bystrak's Top Three Priorities
Still, relief is on the way -- in the form of Bystrak. And the new recruit has already drawn up his top three partner priorities. Chief among them:
- Pursuing Upstream Alliances: Bystrak doesn't mention the companies by name but I suspect they include the likes of Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Office 365, Cisco Systems and more. The list of targets includes "big players where we may have synergies and perhaps even some API integration opportunities," he says.
- Downstream Alliances: Here, the potential relationships may include distributors, partner communities, and franchise communities.
- The Overall Partner Experience: Here, Bystrak wants to ensure eFolder addresses all the key consumption models and routes to market that partners now prefer. He'll also work closely with Slutskin to ensure those routes to market don't trigger any channel conflicts.
Many of the right relationships are already in place. But you get the sense that eFolder is working the phones across the MSP and IT channel partner ecosystem -- without necessarily rushing into market blind spots. "Jason obviously knows what he's doing and he's also very analytical," Nachtrab says. Those traits should serve the Ingram veteran well when he officially surfaces at eFolder in the next few days.