Eric Simmons knows that the key to solving problems is to first address the human. Whether it’s educating client companies about the importance of backing up their applications for security or transforming a company into a place of cooperative work and genuine community, Eric knows how to bring people together to make a difference and keep moving forward. He knows that exponential growth means taking risks, failing fast, and learning, but it also means an organizational culture that embraces trust and transparency. He’s bringing that philosophy, honed by over 25 years of leadership and mentorship experience, to Toronto-based Asigra, a cybersecurity firm specializing in data backup and recovery. As CEO and president, he’s infusing the already successful company with new life on both the product and the culture fronts, and ensuring that Asigra will provide support for their clients and their team for years to come.
Asigra: solving problems together
Like many other innovative companies, Asigra started as a way to solve a problem that no one yet realized needed solving. Back in 1986, founder David Farajun had trouble finding a way to back up his work, and realized others must share that concern. Thus, Asigra was born. Since then, Asigra has provided companies with backup, recovery, and cybersecurity solutions—like their revolutionary Deep 6 Security stack—continually providing peace of mind even in the face of evolving malware thanks to the constant innovation that earned them CRN’s Coolest Data Protection Vendors of 2023. Asigra’s success comes from the dedicated practice of always looking towards the future and anticipating upcoming trends and challenges so that they can roll out products in time to address them.
But it’s more than just looking to the future and at the big picture in terms of business and technology. Asigra sets itself apart on the human front, as well. “There’s a sense that everyone is supporting each other, which drives a lot of excitement,” Eric says. When he joined, Eric worked with workplace coach Lance Secretan to give Asigra a quick culture lift to take it to the next level, and managed to make it a sustainable one. “We became more of a caring, supportive culture where people treat each other with dignity, respect, and love.”
Protecting clients through innovation
With the team aligned, Eric next turned his focus to launching a groundbreaking platform that can back up numerous SaaS apps all in one place, while also looping in underserved markets. SaaSBACKUP will allow companies to better protect their critical data. Meanwhile, their Deep 6 Security leverages bi-directional anti-malware scanning, content disarm and reconstruction technology, and deep multi-person authentication, all to detect, quarantine, and destroy malware so that client companies can be sure their data remains private and intact. The suite of technologies goes far deeper than traditional anti-malware to root out ransomware and other cyberattacks that can cripple a company and pose threats to employee safety. For many resellers and managed services providers, Asigra provides a refreshingly thorough solution to the constant worry of cyberattacks.
Award-winning experience and leadership evolution
Eric and Asigra both uphold and celebrate the constant striving to innovate and evolve for the better. His long-term vision for a better future has developed over 25 years in leadership positions in business innovation, enterprise sales, strategic partnerships, marketing, operations, and more. As chief strategy officer at IMC, which provides digital solutions to Fortune 1000 companies, he helped launch BiasProof, a training tool to support diversity and inclusion strategies. Prior to that, he was CEO of Altum Health, leading the surgery and rehab provider to its highest revenue and profit margin in 25 years of business, including landing a $300 million contract with WSIB. And those are just some of his senior leadership positions and achievements, which also include winning Dell’s Platinum Award, and transforming Rogers Communication into a fully managed service provider which led to a 60% market share in Canada.
All of this has coalesced into a unique, inspirational leadership style that encourages people to leverage their strengths and support one another’s weaknesses for the best possible innovations, and to take pride and joy in their work. Eric also strives to make all team members feel inspired and valued, and feel that their work is important, which fosters creativity and leads to exponential growth. “I really enjoy working with people, whether internally or externally, and finding unique ways to solve business problems,” Eric says. “People spend so much time at work, so the better the environment, the more people enjoy and believe in what they’re doing.”
CEO & President — Asigra