Acronis CEO looking to grow company into multibillion dollar business

Acronis Meeting

We were invited to a media lunch meeting yesterday with Serguei Beloussov, the CEO of Acronis. Acronis is a well-established company that specializes in backup and disaster recovery solutions for the Windows and Linux platform.

Serguei Beloussov
Serguei Beloussov

System administrators and IT managers will probably be interested in the rather interesting history of Acronis. The company started by Beloussov as SWsoft in Singapore back in 2000, and was subsequently split into Acronis in 2003, with the other half eventually changing its name to Parallels in 2007.

Beloussov helmed Parallels as is CEO from 2006 to 2011, where he successfully grew the company to over several hundreds of millions in revenue, with 50 million end-users across its various product lines.

Growing the company

In his own words, Beloussov made a surprise return to Acronis as the CEO in May 2013, which he still has a substantial stake of over 60 percent in. Beloussov shared that he is looking to restore the original Acronis DNA with a focus on key tenets such as technology excellence, innovation, simplicity and efficiency.

He had already made significant changes to the business units and strategy of the company to date, and he says he is looking to grow the company into a multibillion dollar business. “I believe Asia is the number one market for us,” says Beloussov. He further added that Singapore could potentially be the company’s headquarters in “less than five years.”

As it is, Acronis is looking to invest in the region, in terms of people, budgets, management attention, public relations and marketing.

On data backup

True to his new role as the leader of a company best known for its data backup solutions, Beloussov was quick to offer nuggets of advice for businesses and consumers on how to properly protect their data. According to him, people don’t think about losing data, which means an unexpected disaster can well leave one out of luck.

“If you keep a reserve copy, you will never lose your data,” he says. While losing data is sometimes about losing files such as pictures and other media content, it is most often about saving the time needed to recreate work documents. Given our very finite lifespans, lost data translates into a loss of our lives, he reasoned.

Beloussov offering some broad strategies that both businesses and consumers will do well to adhere to. Specifically, he recommended doing a general check-up about twice a year, drawing a parallel to going to the doctor for regular check-ups to stay ahead of major health problems. In that vein, having a good backup system will allow for a full system recovery that is both fast and simple.

Going into Mobility

One of the areas Acronis plans to go into would be mobility. On that front, Beloussov believes he has the solution to the hot-button topic of BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device.

He highlighted several reasons why existing solutions don’t work well, including how prohibiting access to corporate network results in decreased productivity and lowered mobility, while MDM (Mobile Device Management) solutions often result in employees carrying a second, personal device to work anyway.

Acronis Mobility
Various traditional responses to BYOD and their associated problems (Source: Acronis)

Beloussov briefly highlighted how Acronis Mobility offers advanced policy engine and Active Directory integration in order to securely and quickly replicate the content of the mobile device. This data is kept in sync to ensure that no data is ever lost.

For now, the company has indicated that more big changes within Acronis are afoot. We’re update you when we hear about them.