Exclusive: Acronis Expands Data Protection Channel Program To The Cloud

Acronis this week plans to unveil an extension to its channel partner program that it said will help make it easier for cloud service providers to bring the vendor's data protection technology to a wider range of customers.

The new Acronis Partner Program for Cloud is targeted primarily at providers of hosted, managed and telco services while helping more traditional solution providers move quickly into offering services, said John Zanni, chief marketing officer and senior vice president of channels and cloud strategy for the Burlington, Mass.-based vendor.

The program is available to partners who work with the Acronis cloud, have their own cloud, work with customers' own data centers or some combination of those scenarios, Zanni told CRN.

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Acronis two years ago launched the cloud version of its solution.

The Acronis Partner Program for Cloud covers Acronis' full portfolio of backup and recovery, disaster recovery, and file sync and share applications, Zanni said. It provides partners with new subscription discounts, market development funds, and other benefits depending on their level in the program.

The tiers of the program are revenue-dependent, with a minimum commitment of $250 per month in Acronis revenue to get into the base level. "If you aren't able to commit to $3,000 per year, you are not a serious partner," he said. "That's just a couple servers a month."

Acronis is looking at two categories of resellers for the program, Zanni said.

"The first is traditional resellers who have not sold cloud services before but now need to," he said. "We help them add the services and understand subscription-based solutions. The other is resellers already selling other services like Exchange who can now add incremental data protection services."

The Acronis Partner Program for Cloud will help accelerate business growth in the data protection and file sync and share markets, said Charles Grau, chief information officer of United Data Technologies, a Doral, Fla.-based provider of managed, professional and other IT-related services and an Acronis channel partner.

"This is a very encompassing solution," Grau told CRN. "When you look at what a lot of organizations are doing, particularly with the adoption of [bring your own device], they need increasingly more help with protecting their information. BYOD is very complex, but protecting information is important in mitigating risk for these customers."

Acronis has become an important partner as customers have come to understand the importance of the cloud as a viable and inexpensive alternative for data protection, Grau said.

"Acronis gives us the ability to not only back up data to the cloud, but also offer on-premises data protection with a tie to the cloud," he said. "This lets us provide clients with resiliency on a pay-as-you-go and on-demand basis, making it a very attractive offering."

The Acronis Partner Program for Cloud will be successful, Zanni said.

"I've done this before," he said. "I was with Microsoft's hosting channel for six years and have a lot of deep relationships. We also understand this will require a significant upfront investment to work. We have already committed the resources. We expect a lot of hand-holding in the beginning, but we've invested in that."