Business continuity, Channel chiefs, Channel partner programs, CSPs

Carbonite Names North America Channel Chief

Carbonite has named Jessica Couto as VP of North American Channel Sales. The move comes as Carbonite seeks to differentiate in the very crowded market for backup and business continuity services in the small business market.

Jessica Couto
Jessica Couto

Couto brings extensive channel experience to the position, including running her own IT services business focused on groupware deployments in the 1990s. More recently, she's been on the corporate side of the channel, holding key channel positions at Bit9, Kaspersky Lab and LANDesk.

Carbonite has spent recent years pushing beyond consumer backup, recruiting channel partners to promote the cloud-based backup service to small business customers. In its most recent quarterly results, Q3 revenues grew 10 percent to $34.6 million, though the company had a $4.5 million net loss for the period as it continued to pump money back into the business to drive growth.

Carbonite's Strategic Moves

Among the company's recent moves:

  • Acquired technology, six patents and other assets from Rebit Inc. of Longmont, Colorado. In addition, six Rebit employees joined the Carbonite engineering team.
  • Strengthening the executive team by hiring David Raissipour as senior VP of engineering and Ron Trackey as VP of product management. Both executives are RSA Security veterans.
  • Expanding or upgrading its product portfolio to include Carbonite ProCarbonite Server Advanced and the Carbonite Backup Appliances, all of which enhance the company's SMB product lines, Carbonite asserts.

Carbonite began a business pivot of sorts back in December 2014, transitioning the CEO post from co-founder David Friend to Mohamad Ali. The new CEO previously held key posts at HP, IBM, Avaya and Cognos. Although Ali has led Carbonite to consistent growth for a year now, the company faces pressures on multiple fronts.

Business Continuity Competition

Carbonite received buyout offers in 2014 -- including a hostile bid from J2 Global. So far, Carbonite has remained independent and maintained its growth. But upstart rivals have emerged -- particularly within the IT channel.

Among the key examples: Datto, which leverages a pure-play channel strategy, recently raised $75 million at a business valuation of more than $1 billion. The privately held startup, by the way, is profitable. Meanwhile, Continuum has been expanding its managed storage business with MSPs; multiple eFolder product lines have serious storage momentum with MSPs; LogicNow has a growing backup business within its MSP platform portfolio; and Barracuda recently acquired Intronis to drive security-storage synergies across the channel.

What is Carbonite's channel strategy going forward? ChannelE2E is reaching out to Carbonite for additional comment about Couto's hiring.

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.