Plamen Toshev, Managing Director for Bulgaria, on how to become a leader in offering effective solutions
In the quickly moving field of cyberthreats and security, organizations and individuals need a partner who is not only fluent in dealing with the dangers of the current environment, but also able to sense how it will evolve and offer effective solutions. Acronis is such an organization. Established in Singapore in 2003 and incorporated in Switzerland in 2008, Acronis unifies data protection and cybersecurity to deliver integrated, automated cyber protection that solves the safety, accessibility, privacy, authenticity, and security (SAPAS) challenges of the modern digital world.
Four years ago, Acronis opened an office in Bulgaria. In just a couple of years under the inspired management of Plamen Toshev, the Sofia branch grew from one of Acronis' R&D offices into the organization’s decision-making R&D center. In 2021, it moved to new, larger premises: a state-of-art office in one of Sofia's most striking business towers.
We met with Plamen Toshev to learn more about the achievements of Acronis' Bulgarian office and how the company helps clients to stay safe.
In 2022, cyber protection of organizations of all types and character is more important than ever. What is the philosophy of the solutions offered by Acronis?
Acronis solutions react to trends in the modern world and cybersecurity. Sadly, the situation is getting more complex by the day, and the risks for companies, businesses and individuals alike are increasing exponentially. The greater complexity has also increased the number and complexity of protection solutions, creating more risks in the process. On the one hand, we have the complexity of the solutions and knowledge needed for cybersecurity solutions to be properly understood and configured to fulfill their function. On the other hand, is their number. Many recent surveys have shown that companies use dozens of solutions simultaneously to protect different spheres of their activities and coordinated functionalities. Combined, these have caused the biggest problem in our field today: when these complex solutions are not properly configured and are not updated, the protection they offer is highly compromised.
And there is the human factor that we have always considered the weakest link in an organization’s cybersecurity. It should not be downplayed.
This is why the philosophy of Acronis covers these two spheres: the complexity and the human factor. It is fully integrated, meaning that all functionalities and solutions that we offer work with a single interface and platform. Acronis solutions are also automated. When they detect a problem, the reaction is to a significant degree automated. They do not need a human operator to decide what to do and whether to do it. When it is possible, in the great majority of cases, decisions in Acronis solutions are taken and implemented automatically.
This is how we, at Acronis, protect our clients.
Why does Acronis pay special attention to offering solutions to service providers?
Each business - literally from the small shop owner to the multinational company with a billion-dollar valuation - works with service providers. These can be just the person who configures the cash register and the computer in the shop, or the company responsible for a larger organization’s whole security system. All businesses nowadays rely on service providers. They are critical for their very existence. In the modern world, a business without computers and IT is next to impossible.
The service providers provide mission-critical services, yet they are often neglected.
This is why Acronis has developed a platform to allow service providers to work quickly and effectively with our solutions, as well as build custom ones by their teams. We also train their staff. Our solution allows full integration between separate environments. Instead of service providers training their staff to use 10 different software solutions to do their job, with Acronis they have to learn only one software that can fully support their clients' whole system.
This is our mission. To help businesses and service providers be more efficient and stay safe.
2021 was a year of record growth for Acronis globally. How is 2022 going on?
Right now, it seems that 2022 will outperform 2021, and we hope that this trend will continue each year to be better than the previous one. This seems to be the case for the last several years already. Our Sofia office is continuing to steadily grow and has become a strategically important unit in our organization. Currently, Acronis' Sofia office is not only our biggest R&D center, but it is here that we make strategic decisions for our products' development. We have people at all levels at this office - not just specialists and managers, but also directors and general directors, and members of the Acronis executive team that work and live in Bulgaria. The speed of our Sofia office growth is indicative of the growth of the whole company. We are going through a period of rapid expansion and we will continue to meet our partners’ and clients' expectations in the future.
Acronis' Bulgarian office stands out in the organization with its R&D work and achievements. What is the most exciting and interesting thing happening here?
Definitely the transformation and expansion in the past two years, not only in scale but also as a range of operations. Evolving from a large R&D office into the most important R&D office for Acronis is exciting. Here, in Sofia, decisions are made. People sit and consider what products to develop globally. We are very happy and proud of this achievement. This is a recognition of the success of the Bulgarian professionals who work here.
How do you feel at your new offices?
Our new office is amazing and all of my colleagues are very happy. The location is great and the building fits the highest international standards.
What does the labor market in IT look like in 2022? How do you deal with the challenges?
It is not very different from what it used to be in the past five years. In Bulgaria and globally, professionals are in short supply. This is why we, at Acronis, try to help the local ecosystems to create and train more professionals. We offer paid internships. We partner with local universities to improve the quality of their education. We also attract new partners, particularly in the field of education, to help have better educated IT professionals and to promote interest in IT among the broader public. According to analysis, the IT field will be one of the spheres that will continue experiencing a shortage of professionals in the next 30 years. Parents and children should be aware that a STEM career will guarantee good, stable, and well-paid jobs. This is the future and we should be ready for it.
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