Security Staff Acquisition & Development, Channel chiefs, Channel partner programs

Acronis Channel Chief Evangelist Amy Luby: The Interview

Amy Luby, chief channel evangelist, Acronis
Interview: Amy Luby, channel chief evangelist, Acronis

MSP and channel industry veteran Amy Luby has a new home -- as channel chief evangelist at Acronis. She joins the cyber protection company at a key time.

Acronis has expanded beyond its backup and disaster recovery (BDR) software heritage through organic R&D (research and development) as well as acquisitions.

Goldman Sachs and other firms invested a combined $147 million into Acronis in September 2019 -- at a valuation of more than $1 billion. By December 2019, Acronis acquired 5nine, a Microsoft Hyper-V and Azure cloud management and security company.

Data Protection and Security From One Vendor

Fast forward to present day. Acronis is evangelizing its Cyber Protect Cloud to MSPs. The platform integrates backupdisaster recoveryAI-based malware protection, remote assistance and security into a single solution.

Few software companies have data protection and security software under a single roof. Symantec and Veritas attempted -- and failed -- to deliver both solution sets a decade ago before abandoning the strategy and breaking back into two companies. More recently, OpenText acquired Carbonite and Webroot as part of a small business cyber resiliency strategy. And MSP-focused companies such as Kaseya and SolarWinds MSP each have some data protection and cybersecurity tools under a single roof. Plus, BDR giant Datto has dabbled in unified threat management (UTM) and other cyber sectors.

Still, Acronis has a big installed base of BDR partners and customers. Plus, the company's move into cybersecurity has involved a carefully planned multi-year march. Now, Luby arrives to accelerate that march forward with MSPs and channel partners.

So how will Luby focus her time and efforts at Acronis? She shares some details in this ChannelE2E interview.

ChannelE2E: How did you learn about the opportunity at Acronis?

Luby: Larry Walsh, founder & CEO of The 2112 Group, referred me to William Toll who heads up Acronis product marketing.

ChannelE2E: What attracted you to the company? Was there anything in particular about the interview process or your research about Acronis that triggered your interest in the position?

Luby: Acronis, as a vendor partner to the global IT Channel is well known for a reliable backup platform. Today though, Acronis has changed the game by integrating data protection with cybersecurity with our Cyber Protection solutions. Traditional MSP tools are not designed for today’s cyberthreats. The patchwork of software that MSPs have historically relied on for backup, patch automation, anti-malware, configuration management, etc. – does not work together, leaving MSPs with a complex set of legacy vendor solutions that are unable to protect their client’s data, applications and systems. This is so relevant today in solving the managed security services equation for MSPs and IT Solution Providers in general, that when presented with the opportunity to spread the word I couldn’t resist. I am passionate about MSPs and they are under a lot of pressure to deliver more digital technology consulting and to spend less time in the back office.

Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud eliminates complexity and makes security a center point of the MSPs solutions, keeping their clients protected, and their costs down through integration and automation. This is a big leap forward in their ability to add more value to the relationships they have with their clients.

ChannelE2E: What are your priorities, particularly as they pertain to partners?

Luby: Acronis has been invested in the Channel for 20+ years, has over 50,000 partners and is primarily known as a reliable backup and disaster recovery platform. We’ve done a great job to date and continue to invest heavily in our Channel partners to deliver exactly what they need to provide comprehensive data protection and cybersecurity solutions to their client base.

My single directive is to spread the word about Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud. Integration Changes Everything. No matter how great each individual solution might be, a patchwork of protection tools will create gaps in your defenses. Acronis Cyber Protect takes a unified approach that eliminates those gaps, delivering superior resiliency for our Channel Partners and their clients.

As stated earlier, MSPs are under a lot of pressure to deliver more digital technology consulting. This means that as clients are looking to solve problems with the use of technology, MSPs are asked to go above and beyond the basics of systems monitoring and management to deliver value. MSPs are being measured by outcomes and with Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud there is a real opportunity here to help MSPs deliver that value and specifically address data protection and cybersecurity outcomes. We can help MSPs fortify their managed security solutions while at the same time eliminating complexity and helping MSPs sell more cyber protection services at higher margins, improving on SLA deliverables, decreasing client churn, and controlling costs.

ChannelE2E: Are there particular types of partners that you’re seeking to engage?

Luby: My primary directive is Global IT Channel Community engagement, (i.e. MSP, MssP, VAR, SI, SP, Traditional & Cloud Distributors). I am starting with the Services Provider Communities and then will broaden the execution through to include more Channel Communities.

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.