Axcient Readies New Channel Program, Expects Growth

Cloud backup and business continuity vendor plans to roll out a new channel program this quarter after doubling its number of solution providers in North America last year.

"I can't disclose too many details but I can tell you it's a very thoughtful and comprehensive program. We want to incentivize partners for success and there will be a lot of tools and training for the enablement of that success built into the program," said Justin Moore, CEO of Axcient.

The program will include opportunities for improved margins and revenue and is being piloted by a select group of Axcient's partner base, which now numbers more than 1,000, Moore said.

A new and more formal channel program is necessary because of the growth Axcient experienced in 2011 and expects again this year, Moore said.

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The Mountain View, Calif.-based vendor, chosen as one of CRN's Managed Service Vendors You Need To Know last fall, reported a near 400 percent increase in monthly recurring revenues at the end of 2011 compared to the previous year, a tenfold increase in the amount of customer data added to the Axcient cloud each day (now 15,000 GB added daily) and the addition of more than 300 new features to the Axcient platform over the last 12 months.

"2011 was an amazing year for us. We pretty much exceeded expectations on almost every front," Moore said. "Even more exciting was our rate of growth was accelerating at the close of the year. How much data we were adding to our cloud in the fourth quarter compared to the first quarter, that number had basically doubled."

Axcient sells 100 percent through the channel, Moore said, and credits solution providers with driving the company's growth last year.

Axcient was recently added to the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace and will be very aggressive recruiting more partners in 2012, Moore said.

"We see huge traction in the channel. We've done integrations with other vendors in the channel, like ConnectWise and Autotask in the PSA space and Level Platforms and N-able [Technologies] and LabTech in the RMM space," Moore said. "We're adding more new partners every quarter than the previous quarter, but we're also profiling partners. We know how many customers they have and every week in my sales dashboard I know what the penetration curve is."

About 60 percent of Axcient's total revenue comes from replacing Symantec Backup Exec, the dominant player in the market, Moore said. Another 20 percent comes from replacing other vendors such as Barracuda Networks and Zenith Infotech's BDR solutions, and the remaining 20 percent represent a customer's first data protection solution.

Next: Channel Road Shows

Axcient is gaining share from Symantec because it is a new technology replacing an old model," Moore said.

"Axcient is a service platform, Web based, easy to deploy, pay as you grow," Moore said. "Symantec is the most deployed data protection software in the market, way beyond anyone else. [But] it's a legacy technology. It's the same reason people go to over Microsoft CRM or over Sharepoint. It's legacy enterprise software sold as a license. It doesn't have the ease of use that vendors need today."

Moore plans to hit the road for a couple weeks in late February and early March with a team of Axcient staff and Hewlett-Packard staff for a slew of one-day shows for up to 750 partners and prospects.

"The road show is all about education, really providing actionable sales strategies," he said.

Axcient has received a boost from HP, whom Moore calls a strong technology partner, in bring its backup solutions to market. "We are HP's technology partner of the year. They don't have an equity stake in Axcient. No vendors or corporate entitites do, but we have a very strong partnership. We meet in the channel together and provide a better solution together," Moore said of HP.