eFolder’s Executive Suite Armed for Battle
eFolder makes no bones about being ready to conquer the data protection and business continuity solutions space since the acquisition of Axcient in July 2017, and more recently, the hiring of Jason Bystrak, the 22-year, highly-regarded Ingram Micro veteran. When Bystrak, vice president worldwide channels and distribution, officially takes his seat at the executive table starting next Monday, he’ll focus his decades of channel advocacy experience and thought leadership to build a better go-to-market strategy for the transforming eFolder.
For those among the company’s total 4,000 partners (approximately, 3,000 eFolder partners plus 1,000 Axcient partners) feeling queasy about the disruption that mergers and acquisitions (M&As) often bring, the well-known Bystrak is ready to roll and has his three priority areas of focus in hand – upstream alliances, downstream alliances, and building a better partner experience.
“Ingram Micro was a tremendous place to work for a long time. My favorite part of working at Ingram was when I had the opportunity to be a builder, building up the cloud division, for example. Given the opportunity to join this team [eFolder], it’s exciting to get in on the ground floor – if you can say that about a 15-year old company – and where they’re taking the business now. There’s a lot of investment and a lot of great leadership,” Bystrak told us.
There’s definitely a lot of fresh blood at eFolder. Last July, eFolder picked LabTech founder Matt Nachtrab as its new CEO. Company co-founder Kevin Hoffman, stepped aside from his combined CEO/CTO responsibilities to focus solely on being CTO. Adam Slutskin was brought in a chief revenue officer in August, moving over from Connectwise.
Bystrak offers a deeper dive into the three focus areas he’ll be homing in on at eFolder beginning with the area of upstream alliances.
Here, he’ll look at the type of integration and technology synergies that eFolder has with large infrastructure service companies and other technology companies. The goal, to create bundled offers and go-to-market stories for shared customers.
The second priority, downstream alliances, includes ways to amplify the company’s channel. This includes building out a more formal distribution strategy, working with a number of channel community organizations, and also, working with channel and MSP franchise companies. “Here we’re looking to do something more custom and come up with a joint business plan in a one to many type of business partnerships to better distribute eFolder products,” Bystrak explained.
The objective is net new partner recruitment and also geographic expansion. eFolder’s current business is largely based in North America but expansion plans target branching out to Europe and Australia, for example.
The partner experience is the third focus area. With rapid changes in technology and consumption models, eFolder wants to enhance its channel program and focus on changes partners are making in their businesses, such as financial, marketing, and sales relationship changes. “We want to enhance some of the things we’re already doing in our partner program, as well as tailor it to fit the upstream and downstream alliances that we have so its synergistic across the board,” Bystrak explained.
As of now, eFolder and Axcient channels operate as separate entities, with separate account teams. Bringing them together is a work in progress beginning with the development of a master plan to integrate them.
Robert Leake, director of marketing at eFolder, told us that partners can expect to see the Axcient and Replibit backup and disaster recovery (BDR) products come together around the 2019 timeframe. This year, eFolder will focus on product development and integration efforts.
eFolder’s acquisition strategy began back in 2013 when it recognized the value in having its own intellectual property (IP). That year, the company acquired Anchor, a file sync and sharing vendor. Then, it acquired CloudFinder, for automated cloud-to-cloud backup in 2014, followed by the Replibit acquisition two years later in 2016, and most recently, eFolder acquired Axcient.
Bystrak said that eFolder’s end-to-end product portfolio is very attractive. “They have a portfolio of products that go across the suite, from file backup to device backup to data center backup to full hybrid cloud backup solutions – that’s exciting,” he said. The company’s focus on managed services providers (MSPs) and its focus on the small and midsize business (SMB) space, is also a sweet spot for Bystrak.
While the data protection market space is looking a bit crowded, Bystrak sees plenty of room for growth and opportunities for partners. “There are a lot of companies that haven’t made backup decisions yet or have made decisions that aren’t cohesive. It’s a mistake for them to think they can do it themselves as they do with other cloud solutions,” he said.