Alcion Exits Stealth As ‘Modern AI-Driven Company’ Focused On Data Protection, Security, CEO Says
Joseph F. Kovar
‘You will be seeing a lot more work on the security side. We know very well how to do core backup and disaster recovery. ... But we have also been spending a lot of time on the security side to bring those worlds together. I think we will see this fundamentally be the market shift in the next couple of years,’ says Alcion co-founder and CEO Niraj Tolia.
You said your Ph.D. dissertation was on deduplication?
Right. So I’ve been working in this space for a little while now. But honestly, it does not matter what I do. It matters what our customers feel. And to give you context, we’ve been live with customers since January. We officially launched May 31, but we’ve been live with customers since January. … I’m going answer in the context of how our customers believe we are differentiated, where they see our value. Essentially what we provide is three legs of the stool in terms of differentiation. Each is valuable enough, but the way they combine is the way we look at it.
What are the three legs?
First of all, there is a security aspect. A fundamental thesis is a lot of the digital disruption is going to be cyberthreat-related. So malware, ransomware, etc. And how do you build something like this? Do you do this inline? How do you do it in an API-first manner so you can integrate with XDR [extended detection and response] and SIEM [security information and event management] systems? Already coming out of the gate, we have some of that. So that is one core angle. That’s where a lot of the business need is coming from.
When you look at the MSP, SMB, midmarket segments, a lot of our customers have to wear many hats. They may be managing multiple pieces of IT, or they are an MSP working with different players in the space, or they have multiple products under their portfolio offering and they want something extremely easy to use they can rely on. So ease of use is another very big deal for us.
And a large component of combining security and ease of use is combining it with AI. How do we learn user behavior? How do we take ‘control’ away from the user? How do we be intelligent in terms of how we do backups, not just doing backups based on user activity or native scheduling, so when users are likely to be most active, you reduce recovery time objectives? But also, how do you respond to the world around you? We do automatic integration against, for example, XDR systems where if something is attacking your VMs or your laptops, the odds are they’re going get to your Microsoft 365 data sitting in SharePoint and OneDrive. To detect threats in the broader environment, we will go to intelligent backups and proactive backups. We’ll mark last-known good backups without the user having to do anything.