New Arcserve North America SVP of Sales Stephen Thomas looks to enhance partner engagement

Thomas is stressing that Arcserve will remain consistent in its go-to-market and programmatic approach, both of which he sees as strengths in the market, although they will be implementing measures to energize their channel.

Stephen Thomas, SVP of Sales, North America, Arcserve

Data protection vendor Arcserve has named Stephen Thomas as their new Senior Vice President of Sales, North America. He thinks that Arcserve is in a strong position in this market, and that while some tweaks to enhance engagement with partners can be anticipated, Arcserve partners can expect continued stability, both in how the company goes to market and how they executive programmatically with their channel.

Thomas has spent much of his career in the cybersecurity space, particularly during his 15 years at Symantec, although there were some backup responsibilities with Veritas for part of that term. His other senior sales positions at Armor Cloud Security and Cyberbit were cybersecurity ones. He sees the data protection and cybersecurity sectors as very similar, however.

“Both are very heavily competed markets with many fragmented solutions,” Thomas said. “Arcserve beat the market growth in data protection across all of the regions last year. One other vendor did that. We also have an advantage in that while many companies come to market in data protection with strong features, our portfolio is a single solution – a physical virtual or cloud solution in a singular offer. A partner of a customer doesn’t have to address a secondary solution.”

Thomas indicated that specific people at Arcserve played a large role in his decision to come to the company.

“Tom Signorello, the CEO, had been the CEO at OnX, a solution provider,” he said. “Having a leader at the helm of the business that comes from core channel business – he gets it. Sue Fossnes, the North American channel director, was my partner in crime at Symantec. She has done some amazing things from a margins perspective in the program.”

With Arcserve having both a mature brand and a mature channel, Thomas said that the challenge in driving higher levels of sales is to re-engage and re-energize partners.

“Last year we did a reboot of the brand, and we have been telling that story,” he said. “But with the channel, it’s more about re-engaging partners in a way that connects with how VARs are transforming their own businesses today. For instance, we are looking to tell them the story around our RHA {Replication and High Availability] product and they can leverage that to migrate customers from on -prem to the public cloud seamlessly. We can help them transform their businesses with this. A lot of legacy partners have already transformed their businesses to add managed service practices, and we are focused around helping them build out managed service offerings.”

Arcserve is also emphasizing that they can provide a complete solution through a partner, and not just one piece of the puzzle.

“Some of the vendors we compete with, like Rubrik, have sexier technologies, but the customer need isn’t simply the one brick that they provide,” Thomas said. “If a customer has a legacy technology, like tape, they have to protect that as well. They solve one part of the problem, while we solve the entire problem. We also have a strong UDP cloud hybrid option, and are really excited about the 9000 series appliance, which we just launched. It’s the first purpose-built appliance for backup and DR from an application availability standpoint. Gartner also speaks of our solutions’ ease of deployment, which isn’t universal in this business. We get great feedback from existing install base customers on that.

“We are also hearing a perception from partners that the programmatic elements of some of these companies aren’t as mature,” Thomas added. “With us, you get clarity and engagement. We deliver a similar technology stack and with predictable revenue, strong margins and good programmatic support.”

That being said, Thomas said they do see potential to improve some things.

“We need to invest more in our marketing with partners,” he said. “We are making bigger bets there, doubling down with some of our larger partners. But we won’t be making any big shakeups. My hiring is a sign that we will be in a stabilized place in how we go to market and how we execute with partners.”

Thomas said that Arcserve is also doing very well in the Canadian market.

“In Canada, we have a great leader in Rob Low, and we will continue to resource him and help grow the business in Canada,” he said. “Spencomp Solutions [the Montreal-based 2018 winner of Arcserve’s Canada Partner of the Year] has done great work for us, and we will continue to expand that relationship.”