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Acer America
Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.

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333 West San Carlos Street
San Jose, California 95110
United States

WWW: acer.com

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News

October 23, 2020 |

Acronis Goes All-In on Cyber Protect

The company will phase out work on Acronis Cyber Backup and train all of its development efforts on Acronis Cyber Protect, its combination security and BDR solution, according to CEO Serguei Beloussov (pictured).

Acronis plans to phase out development of its Cyber Backup offering and redirect the resources freed up by that move to its Cyber Protect solution instead.

“Backup is dead,” says Acronis CEO Serguei Beloussov. “The backup solutions we provided in the past are no longer relevant for anyone.”

The data protection vendor announced its exclusive focus on Cyber Protect, as well the forthcoming arrival of lower prices for that product and a new partner program tailored to MSPs, during its Global Cyber Summit event, held both online and in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, this week.

Unveiled a year ago and released to market in May, Cyber Protect includes backup, disaster recovery, anti-malware, anti-ransomware, web filtering, and data authenticity validation functionality, among other features. Combining all of those capabilities in one tightly integrated package with a single agent and unified license, according to Beloussov, improves protection for end users by eliminating gaps between products and simplifying service delivery for channel pros.

“Just one hole could be enough, so you have to protect everything from everything on all layers, and that is complex,” he says. “Because of complexity, many workloads are not really protected.”

Acronis is currently helping its thousands of resellers, MSPs, and other partners get trained on Cyber Protect, according to Gaidar Magdanurov, the vendor’s cyber officer and COO. “Our priority is now to re-educate all the partners, because there’s a dramatic shift that happened in the last few months,” he says. “We had a backup product, a disaster recovery product, a file sync and share, and Cyber Protect. Now everything is Cyber Protect.”

So far, close to 30% of partners have completed the foundation, or introductory, level of training. Acronis plans to get everyone in its channel to that point by the end of the year. As encouragement, it’s both providing credits that partners can use to take training classes for free and making status in the Acronis partner program contingent on getting employees Cyber Protect certified.

“If they want to get a higher level, get more benefits, get higher margins, they need to train their people,” Magdanurov says.

Though sales of Cyber Protect have been strong so far, according to Acronis, the company plans to fuel faster adoption by lowering prices on the solution in November. Those cuts, which will come on top of an earlier price break several months ago, are designed to help partners with work-from-home clients secure a radically expanded attack surface.

“We understand that the infrastructure that needs to be protected is huge because every home now is an office,” Magdanurov says. At the same time, he adds, a sluggish economy has made purchasing security software harder for cash-conscious channel pros and end users alike. “They’re not ready to pay extra because they’re already strained financially.”

Acronis plans to ease that financial pressure further by introducing a free entry-level edition of Cyber Protect without backup functionality. “If you’re not using backup or advanced security capabilities, you won’t have to pay for it at all,” Magdanurov says.

Also in the works is a revamped partner program built around the needs of MSPs. “We are transitioning from the standard partner program that we had, that was focused on resellers and distributors, towards service provider partners,” Magdanurov says.

Recruiting service providers generally and managed service providers in particular is a priority at present for Acronis. “I really believe MSP is the future,” says Beloussov, adding that MSPs typically provide better service at a more competitive cost than traditional resellers.

The challenges of supporting home-based employees this year has MSPs growing even faster than before, Magdanurov adds. “[They’re] supporting larger businesses, just because enterprises don’t have enough capacity in their IT team to support all the remote work in different locations.”

Acronis is currently adding about 1,000 MSP partners per quarter. “Our goal is to accelerate even more and get more partners recruited because we see at least 100,000 MSPs out there worldwide,” as well as tens of thousands of MSSPs, Magdanurov says.

To assist that effort, Acronis introduced a set of premium partner services optimized for MSPs earlier this year. The program includes dedicated support with shortened response times, incremental education materials, sales and marketing resources, and access to development services for help with building customized Acronis-based solutions.

Acronis has been augmenting Cyber Protect’s capabilities since its launch. The system now offers more than 20 integrations with e-commerce marketplaces like Ingram Micro’s CloudBlue platform as well as RMM and PSA products from ConnectWise, Datto, and Kaseya.

Support for roughly 100 additional workloads, beyond the 26 that the product already protects, is set to arrive within the next two years. The current list includes Microsoft Hyper-V, Windows Server, SQL Server, and Exchange, plus VMware and Linux.

According to Beloussov, buying smaller companies will play a continued role alongside in-house development in Acronis’s strategy for enhancing Cyber Protect’s capabilities. 

“We are planning a lot of acquisitions,” he says. 

Acronis bought cloud and hypervisor security vendor 5nine last December and data loss prevention provider DeviceLock this July.


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