New Axcient channel chief emphasizes commitment to 100 per cent channel model

Axcient has named Gina Thompson as Vice President of Channel and Worldwide Distribution.

Gina Thompson, the new Axcient Vice President of Channel and Worldwide Distribution

Today, backup and cloud migration provider Axcient is formally naming a new channel chief. Gina Thompson becomes the new Vice President of Channel and Worldwide Distribution. She emphasized that a core part of her job remains the same as her predecessor’s – to educate the market that while legacy Axcient was not a 100 per cent channel company, the new Axcient, following a merger with eFolder and a pair of subsequent rebrandings, is committed to a 100 per cent channel model.

Thompson’s predecessor in the channels role, Jason Bystrak, was a long-time Ingram Micro exec, based in Buffalo, who had become focused on cloud in the latter part of his career there. Bystrak left several months ago for D&H, although Axcient says that he left on good terms. Thompson’s hire would seem to confirm that, because she has basically the same background as Bystrak. She has spent her career in IT, more than 20 years, at Ingram Micro. She had also transitioned to cloud, with her most recent role at Ingram being the Global Cloud Business Operations Transformation Leader. She was even based in Buffalo!

Thompson’s appointment follows David Bennett coming over from Webroot to take the helm as Axcient’s CEO a month ago. Bennett strongly emphasized that Axcient is 100 per cent committed to the channel going forward, and that he would be forceful in delivering that message. Thompson’s job is to deliver that same message with equal force and greater frequency, given that she will be the face of Axcient at many channel events.

“It’s important that partners know how committed Axcient is to being in the channel,” Thompson told ChannelBuzz. “We are emphasizing that we are not the old Axcient.”

The old Axcient, before the merger with eFolder, had a hybrid channel model, and while most of their sales did go through partners, they did have channel conflict issues.  The merged company was originally known as eFolder, but the company engaged a consultant who found that Axcient was the stronger brand, so the company’s name was changed twice, first to the somewhat convoluted Axcient/eFolder, and finally, to Axcient. Thompson acknowledged however, that the use of the Axcient brand requires aggressive work to inform MSPs that the company’s channel policies have changed since the old days.

“Our commitment now is to channel distribution,” Thompson said. “My background lends itself to building out this part of their business.”

Thompson stated that she will focus on three tasks.

“First, we will execute on what Axcient has been doing well so far,” she said. “Second, we will look at things closely, and will discontinue any plans that don’t yield results.”

That will include looking at their distribution. Legacy Axcient was a long-time Ingram Micro partner, while the company added cloud distributor Pax8 last summer, marking the first time that the legacy eFolder cloud products were sold through distribution.

“We will take a look at what is really working there,” Thompson said.

The third element of strategy will be to broaden their markets further.

“We will build out our international presence while strengthening our North American business,” Thompson indicated. “We will also work with additional vendors and develop multi-vendor programs. We have multiple products within our Axcient Business Availability Suite, and it makes sense to have different alliances with vendors around different parts of the suite like CloudFinder. I would like to get a handful of vendor partners around each of the products in the suite. These will be targeted, not spray it all out there and see what happens.”

The Availability Suite itself is now the focus, not the individual products, which was the case before the suite was announced last fall.

“Axcient has shown that’s the direction,” Thompson said. “With our existing partner base, there is the opportunity to sell that product suite and we are working with that distribution to reach new MSPs. Within the suite there are also different products that might be attractive to different MSPs”

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