Acronis looks to build on the presence of its platform by opening it up to developers, something they say will materially assist their large number of channel partners.
Data protection vendor Acronis is now cyber protection vendor Acronis. And they are opening up their newly renamed Acronis Cyber Platform to third party developers, with fully open APIs supported by software development kits. They will also be launching a marketplace in October.
“After 16 years we are now making our APIs available to the public,” said William Toll, Acronis Cyber Platform Evangelist. “That’s a pretty dramatic change in the business model and go-to-market model.”
The idea here is to try to get as much of Acronis’ large ecosystem, which includes 50,000 channel partners, integrating with their own software or software that they work with.
“Why are we doing this”” Toll asked rhetorically. “Everything revolves around data. Data is at the centre of digital transformation, and is the glue that allows digital transformation to occur. With data now being so central, it needs to be protected from loss, from theft, and from the possibility of manipulation through things like ransomware.”
That task, Toll said, requires more resources than any single vendor can provide.
“One company alone can’t solve all these problems. Opening up our APIs will allow developers, ISVs and service providers to bring in more data sources. Now developers and partners can bring in additional data sources using our SDKs.”
Acronis is not the first vendor in the data protection space to fully or substantially open up their API, with some players from the hyper-converged infrastructure spectrum being in the forefront here. They all tend to see this process as inevitable in order to encourage application integrations.
“We know everyone is trying to open it up,” said Gaidar Magdanurov, Acronis’ CMO. “We do have a major asset here in that we already built the platform needed for this five years ago on a new architecture. Now everyone is looking into platforms, so already having the platform makes this a good story.”
That platform has been known as Acronis Data Cloud, but is now being rebranded as Acronis Cyber Cloud, as Acronis changes its product branding to put the primary focus on cyber protection. Acronis Software Defined Infrastructure, their scalable software-defined infrastructure solution, is also being renamed, to Acronis Cyber Infrastructure.
“This is something that we have wanted to do for quite a while,” Magdanurov said. “Two years ago, we began to promote the whole concept of cyber protection – converging cyber security and data protection. This is something that we pushed to analysts, taking the position that digital transformation would require multiple vectors of protection. We got recommendations from them that we should push this harder. Everyone looks to combine security with data protection.”
Acronis estimates that their 50,000 channel partners presently generate $5 from Acronis for every $1 that Acronis makes itself, and that the opening of the cyber platform API and the rapid expansion of the ecosystem will double that, to $10 in partner revenue for every $1. The launch of a marketplace in October, likely at the company’s big event, the Acronis Global Cyber Summit in Miami Beach, will be an important part of that.
“Acronis was the first to deliver a solution designed from scratch for service providers, and the opening of our APIs will extend our value to this market,” Magdanurov said.
“Partners can add a lot of value with this,” Toll indicated. “MSPs can back up additional data sources and protect it with our Notary Service using blockchain.”
“Partners sell bundles of services, and opening our APIs will enable more services, which means that will be able to sell more products and have more upsell opportunities,” Magdanurov stated. “More services on a single platform means more margin and lower churn. For those partners who do integration work, especially in the enterprise market, this will allow them to build everything on one platform.”
Acronis also indicated that the upcoming update to Acronis Cyber Cloud 7.9 will be available to all Acronis customers and partners by the end of April, with its new capabilities including support for G Suite backup and protection against crypto-miners.