Acronis extends Microsoft partnership around Azure to give customers and partners more choices

The deeper integration with the Azure cloud will let MSPs leverage Acronis for the Azure environment, instead of having to manage it themselves.

Data protection vendor Acronis has announced the extension of its long-time strategic partnership with Microsoft to more deeply integrate Acronis solutions with Microsoft Azure cloud services. The move follows Acronis’s announcing of a similar strategic partnership with Google in March.

Mark Jameson, Acronis’ VP and GM, Disaster Recovery Services, also has responsibility for business development of new channels, which includes the Microsoft and Google relationships. He explained what the new relationship means.

“We already have partners today that have Acronis protecting their customers in Azure, and protecting Office 365 in Azure. This now extends the choice option for clients. We want to give them more options how to store their data. While customers have always been able to use their own Azure account as a target to store data on the Azure cloud,  this extends that, so that they can leverage our account with Azure to store the data there.”

Jameson said that the value proposition of the new option is the same for customers who manage their own data as it is for many partners who manage it for their customers.

“Before, they were responsible for the Azure environment themselves,” Jameson said. That required manual installation and configuration of the Acronis Backup Gateway in Azure. Now, the integration is all handled natively.

“This makes it easier for people, and is especially valuable for smaller MSPs,” Jameson added. “It really takes a load off them. If they buy the service through us they now have the option of using Acronis, Google or Azure as targets – all managed from a single console.”

Today, only partners who sell the Acronis cloud product can benefit from the new capability, but that will change. That will allow it to impact many more partners and customers, because while the Acronis cloud business is growing at a much faster rate than on-prem, most of their install base is still on-prem.

“For resellers who sell our classic on prem product, we are developing the ability for them to select Azure as a target in the same way,” Jameson said. “The plans are to release this in the first half of 2019, likely later in the second quarter.”

Jameson added that Acronis will also be adding new capabilities around both G Suite and Office 365, leveraging both platforms’ native capabilities.

Coming on the heels of the Google partnership, which allowing for the differences in how Google and Microsoft deliver their cloud services, is very similar, the new partnerships significantly enhance Acronis’ own capabilities.

“It takes it to the next step for us,” Jameson said. “Now between Azure and Google, it will let us turn on data centres around the world, including countries where we have not had a data centre presence before.”

One of those countries has been Canada, and this will allow Acronis to address data sovereignty concerns that some customers will have, as well as explicit regulations in some cases in other geos.

“Today, we turned on our Google data in London, where we were before, but are now present in a more significant way, as well as in Montreal and in Mumbai India and Brazil,” Jameson said. “Because we started with the Google partnership first, that’s why we are ahead in turning on data centres there. We plan to roll out more data centres as well.”

The AWS cloud can also be used as a target, but the depth of integration is not there yet compared to Google and Azure.