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Providing Technical Validation Backup to Backup Software Company

The Challenge

Acronis Inc., founded in 2000, is a leading provider of backup, recovery and security solutions for physical, virtual and cloud environments. Its hallmark is its patented disk-imaging technology that enables corporations, SMBs and consumers to protect their digital assets. Acronis' disaster recovery, deployment and migration software is positioned to help users protect their digital information, maintain business continuity and reduce downtime. A global company headquartered in Woburn, Mass., Acronis sells its software in more than 180 countries and in 13 languages.

Acronis competes against much larger, better known companies such as EMC, Symantec and McAfee, as well as smaller well-regarded startups like Mozy (owned by EMC) and Carbonite. Although its competitors offer different approaches and technologies and target different customers, one element they share is that they all outspent Acronis in terms of marketing, spending heavily on print, broadcast and web advertising. According to Inc. Magazine, Carbonite "invests millions of dollars a year to have popular radio hosts such as Beck, Randi Rhodes, and Rush Limbaugh recommend its product to their rapt and loyal audiences." In contrast, public relations is the driver of Acronis' major marketing efforts in the U.S.

Acronis selected Birnbach Communications as its agency of record to drive product coverage for both the Acronis consumer and corporate products and obtain key industry awards.

Strategic Execution At Work

Birnbach Communications replaced spray-and-pray efforts with efficient outreach, strategic deployment of programs with broad impact, and obtaining powerful thought-leadership placement.

At the start of the engagement, the Acronis and Birnbach Communications team was challenged by what was dubbed "The Most Important Product Launch in Company History" - the July 2009 launch of Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 (ABR10). Through a series of NDA-based, relationship-building outreach efforts, the team re-engaged press and analyst relationships that had withered from inattention and jump-started others that hadn't existed.

In the area of all-important industry awards and reviews, the Acronis and Birnbach Communications team lasered in on retaining awards Acronis had won in the past and expanding the list of company awards. This meant a combination of maintaining strong relationships with editors, reviewers and judges, looking for new opportunities and ensuring that applications were supported with the appropriate customer references, data and product/company positioning.

The Results

By virtually any measure - quality or quantity - the engagement was a success.

By sheer numbers, coverage in 2010 (with less than half of the number of press releases and announcements compared to 2008), coverage nearly doubled.

In an environment with fewer award programs being offered due to outlets closing and the rising expense of maintaining award programs, Acronis secured more awards in 2010 than in 2008 - 30 compared to 19 for 2008. As a result of the team's efforts, Acronis' trophy case now includes such awards as the Inc. 5000, Everything Channel Partner Program Guide, PC World 100, Storage Magazine Quality Award, Windows IT Pro Community Choice Awards, Redmond Magazine Reader's Choice Awards, and Deloitte Technology Fast 500.

Further, the team's outreach efforts solidified relationships with such key press and analysts at Gartner, The 451 Group, Storage Strategies Now, Redmond Magazine, EverythingChannel, Storage Magazine,, Taneja Group, IDC, Enterprise Systems Journal, Forrester, Enterprise Management Associates, CNet, Network World, PC Magazine and PC World.

Key coverage

Key reviews

Key awards

  • Windows IT Pro: Silver medal winner, "Best Backup Software Product" category for Editors' Best & Community Choice awards, Acronis Backup and Recovery 2010, 2010.
  • Windows IT Pro: Silver medal winner, "Best High Availability/Disaster Recovery Product" category for Community Choice Award, Acronis Backup & Recovery 10, 2010.
  • Windows IT Pro: Bronze medal winner, Editors' Choice award, Acronis Backup & Recovery 10, 2010.
  • Windows IT Pro: Bronze medal winner, "Best System Utility" category for Community Choice Award, Acronis Disk Director, 2010.
  • Redmond Magazine: 2010 Readers' Choice Awards, Acronis, Best Backup and Recovery, 2010.
  • Internet Telephony Excellence Award, Avistar C3 Business Pro Edition, Avistar, 2010.
  • Deloitte Fast 500: Acronis, 2010.
  • Redmond Magazine: Best Migration Product, Acronis Migrate Easy, Preferred Product and ISV Winner, 2010.
  • Redmond Magazine: Best Server Migration Product, Acronis Backup & Recover Advanced Server, Preferred Product and ISV Winner, 2010.
  • Redmond Magazine: Best Storage-Management Product: Acronis Backup and Recovery Advanced Server, Preferred Product and ISV Winner, 2010.
  • Redmond Magazine: Best Disaster Recovery Product or Service, Acronis Backup and Recovery Advanced Server, Winner, 2010.
  • Winner in Backup Category of Readers' Choice Awards: Acronis True Image Echo Server for Windows, 2010.
  • Business Solutions: Best Channel Products 2010, Acronis for the Acronis 10 Advanced Server Virtual Edition, 2010. " Readers' Choice Award Winner - Data Recovery Software: Acronis True Image Enterprise Server, 2010.
  • Business Solutions Magazine: Best Channel Product, Acronis, 2010.
  • Quality Award, Acronis, 2010.
  • Business Solutions Magazine: Best Channel Products 2010, Backup & Disaster Recovery Software: Acronis 10 Advanced Server Virtual Edition, 2010
  • Business Solutions Magazine (BSM) as a Best Channel Product. Acronis ranked at the top in the Backup & Disaster Recovery Software category, with its highest scores in the "richness of features/functionality" and "product reliability/durability" subcategories, Acronis, 2010.
  • Readers' Choice Award, Acronis, 2010.
  • Quality Awards V, Storage Magazine, Acronis, 2010.
  • Best of Synergy Awards, Workforce Productivity Category, Avistar, Citrix Synergy 2010.
  • Everything Channel's 2010 Partner Program Guide and Five-Star Rating, Acronis, 2010.
  • Technology Fast 500 for Acronis, 2010.
  • PC Advisor's Best PC Utility award, Acronis, 2010.

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