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New Arcserve CEO aims to rebuild trust with customers

Outages, data loss and discontinued products have eroded trust in the Arcserve brand, but Arcserve's latest CEO, Chris Babel, wants to streamline its catalog and win back customers.

Incoming Arcserve CEO Chris Babel said the company's primary focus continues to be on SMBs, providing data protection software and storage hardware.

He joins as Arcserve's data center legacy has been threatened in recent years by an outage and customer data loss as well as the sudden discontinuation of several products.

Technical and public messaging challenges by Arcserve in the past few years might have eroded trust with that audience, Babel said, but he's looking forward to streamlining the Arcserve catalog and rebuilding the brand's image.

Chris Babel, CEO, ArcserveChris Babel

Babel, who started at the company on May 2, said he plans to focus Arcserve's technologies on customer data needs such as high availability, data protection, and replication across sites and clouds.

"We are helping companies grab data from any source and store it in a safe way for them, preferably in any location," Babel said in an interview with TechTarget Editorial. "[SMBs] don't want or need all the bells and whistles. They want some, but adding too much complexity is just confusing."

Babel's appointment as CEO coincides with an investment of an undisclosed amount from Arcserve's financial backers H.I.G. WhiteHorse and Monroe Capital. Babel was previously CEO at TrustArc, a data privacy company, from 2009 to 2023. Before that, he worked at internet infrastructure provider Verisign.

Crowded space

Arcserve, founded in 1983 as local network backup provider Cheyenne Software, is just one player in the data protection and storage market among many, said Marc Staimer, president of Dragon Slayer Consulting. The business has shifted from protecting data against outages to the concept of cyber resilience, where proactive data security technologies are layered into the IT stack -- including storage -- to help stop cyberattacks.

New forms of ransomware are using generative AI to expedite and obfuscate attacks, he said, which will bring Arcserve into competition with other players such as Index Engines.

"[Arcserve is] in a tough business," Staimer said. "The ransomware landscape keeps changing, and the bad guys are using AI to modify these attacks."

Challenges facing SMBs that Arcserve's technology could assist with, according to Babel, include recovery from ransomware attacks and adhering to data management and provenance stipulations outlined in data privacy laws such as the GDPR. The generative AI market boom is causing many SMBs to reevaluate their stored data as well, he said, and Arcserve is potentially in the right place to assist with creating an enterprise data set through its vault services, direct-to-tape backup services and data protecting features.

We all know Arcserve has gone through some challenges. The data loss [was] certainly a black eye for the company.
Chris BabelCEO, Arcserve

In 2021, Arcserve merged with StorageCraft, another backup and data protection company focused on SaaS data and MSPs. The merger gave Arcserve a larger presence in Europe and an MSP customer base, according to Babel.

Market challenge

Babel joined the company after the quiet departure of Brannon Lacey in late March, first reported by CRN.

Lacey, who joined Arcserve in the fall of 2021, led the company through a significant outage and loss of customer data with StorageCraft's disaster recovery service.

"We all know Arcserve has gone through some challenges," Babel said. "The data loss [was] certainly a black eye for the company. I commend the way that Brannon handled it and just tried to be transparent [to] get people back up and running quickly."

The company also drew ire from MSPs when it discontinued several products on short notice earlier this year, including its Cloud Services and OneXafe Solo offerings. Cloud Services provided cloud disaster recovery capabilities, while OneXafe Solo was a data protection appliance that connected directly with the cloud.

"That was oftentimes read as, 'We're getting out of cloud,'" Babel said. "I want to draw a hard distinction there and say, 'No, we still offer cloud services. Just not the product called Cloud Services.' ... [But] we frustrated some MSPs. We are trying to recover from that and work with them to make certain this is as smooth as possible for them."

Tim McCarthy is a news writer for TechTarget Editorial covering cloud and data storage.

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