ORLANDO — Axcient is officially reborn. The company which eFolder acquired in 2017 has now been rebranded, and with the new monicker comes a fresh approach, based on a reorganized sales organization, a commitment to agile software development, and an emphasis on positioning the company’s products as a unified suite. Axcient is also re-emphasizing its commitment to a 100 per cent channel approach. That commitment to their MSP partners isn’t exactly new, even though the old Axcient had a hybrid model before it was acquired. eFolder had been channel, and the emphasis on selling only through partners had already been front and centre, particularly since long-time Ingram Micro hand Jason Bystrak joined the company early this year as Vice-President of Worldwide Channels and Distribution. Not surprisingly, that channel commitment was strongly emphasized at the ConnectWise IT Nation Connect show here. Axcient is a long-time integration partner of ConnectWise.
“The company integration is now complete, which is something that we have been working on for the past 18 months,” Bystrak said. “As part of the relaunch, we are emphasizing that we are 100 per cent dedicated to the channel. That’s very relevant to this show.”
The company’s new colouring – red – was prominent at its booth at Connect, with the two legacy brand colours – eFolder orange and Axcient blue and white – exiting with the old name. And while the decision to rename the company after the acquired entity isn’t exactly novel, that decision was strategic.
“We brought in a consultant who found that Axcient was a stronger brand,” Bystrak said. It is certainly an improvement on Axcient/eFolder, the tortured terminology that the company was using this summer, after having changed plans from the original decision to brand as eFolder.
The new company name is fundamentally connected to a new focus on branding Axcient’s offerings.
“Protect Everything is the new tagline for the company, and our focus is on the unified Axcient Business Availability Suite rather than the separate products, as was the case before,”Bystrak said. “There is a massive wave of people moving to SaaS products, so we want partners to think of the complete Business Availability Suite. The initial focus may well be for backup in an on-prem environment, but while they are with the customer, they should also talk about Anchor, CloudFinder or the Axcient Backup and Recovery Cloud [BRC].” Fusion and Replibit and the Axcient Cloud are the other Axcient offerings. The suite was formally announced last week.
The new approach has also led to a change in how some products are being positioned in the market.
“For example, we were positioning Anchor, which does sync and share, like Dropbox, but it is also good for server enablement, where you can put them in cloud with a mouse click. We want to position ourselves as being able to Protect Everything – all data, no matter whether it is on-prem, or in a private cloud, or in a public cloud. It’s a single integrated platform for the MSP
The company’s marketing has been repositioned around that new strategy, Bystrak said. The sales organization has also been restructured to support the new strategy.
“Jeff Cummings took over as Chief Revenue Officer in April, and he built a specialized sales team, where one group is focused explicitly on Business Continuity and the other is on SaaS,,” Bystrak said. “Before, it was just organized by territories. The team goal is to drive the adoption of the entire platform. He also made investments in a customer success team, so that whether it’s a support question or a product question, there’s a single throat to choke. He has done this at other companies in the past, with good results.”
The software development process has also been changed to an agile development model
“The new CEO introduced agile product development, which helps us bring things to product faster, and we have really seen excitement growing quickly around this,” Bystrak said. “eFolder had not done this at all before, and Axcient had only done it a little. It’s not that unusual. Many software companies are still doing traditional waterfall development.”
Bystrak reworked the company’s distribution channels, which he said has also produced results.
“We are seeing good traction with our relationships with Pax8, which we entered into earlier this year, and with Ingram Micro,” he indicated. “Ingram was the Axcient legacy distributor, and they carry the whole portfolio. Pax8 carries CloudFinder and Anchor, the two cloud backup products.”
The reorganized Axcient is in a stronger position to accomplish its goals, in a market with many competitors. The decision to combine eFolder and Axcient was consciously intended to create a rival to market leader Datto. The new company did not get off to a great start, and CEO Matt Nachtrab departed earlier this year, amid rumors that he was less than thrilled with the structure of working for an equity company owner.
“The new CEO, Eric White, who was previously the President, has successfully worked for private equity companies in the past,” Bystrak said. In particular, he has worked extensively with K1, who now owns Axcient.
Bystrak said that the reaction at the Connect show to the new company has been very strong.
“MSPs have responded very favorably to the enhancements to our platform, and the story is starting to resonate,” Bystrak said. “We track how many conversations and leads we have. We have a goal and we have already exceeded it.”