Veeam future proofs back-up, targets CSP opportunities in India

Veeam strives to transform and evangelize customer cloud data management strategy, say senior executives, Dave Russell and Asanga Wanigatunga.

Dave Russell, Vice President, Enterprise Strategy, Veeam Software and Asanga Wanigatunga, Vice President Cloud & Service Providers-APJ, Veeam, talk about why customers across markets are beginning to understand the value of effective cloud management tools, and why CSPs are critical to drive go-to-market for Veeam. 

Edited excerpts:

What are the pitfalls or danger areas that CIOs ought to watch out for, when they talk about cloud data management? Can you give a customer and industry perspective around these aspects?

Russell: A CIO ought to truly take stock: he shouldn’t be fooled into thinking that everything's already done from the availability perspective, and shouldn’t misunderstand that the system is well protected or over-protected. 

The cloud is extremely resilient, there are many servers, and there are a lot of network connections. Going back in time CIO should worry about, ‘we went to the cloud for certain benefits but it's still incumbent upon me and my organization to ensure that, we can deliver what the business expects. Don't just rely on thinking someone else is protecting our data. 

The cloud providers are very reliable but things happen and you don't know what the impact is going to be. And that's why it's still coming upon you as a business owner, as a CIO, to understand you can properly ensure that the data is well protected.

What do you see as a specific strategy for customer conversations from an India standpoint?

Russell: Customers are frustrated just trying to meet their daily back-ups and we want to go in and help them and that's why we say we're back up "ON". The next piece that's a little bit more evangelical, is the idea of what else to do with the data. 

In the larger organizations, people work in silos and as a result, a back-up admin would not possibly even know who in the business does analytics. Veeam has started to automate functionality that can take back and do more within - such as ransomware detection, compliance, erasure of data where it's appropriate. In other words we would want the back-up man to be the hero, who says, “Yes, we got hit by ransomware, and we have got the data back in a few minutes."

Veeam has internally felt we must start messaging these pieces now and that's why our tagline is ‘Backup for what’s next’. I expect a lot of the world will really start appreciating that message that we are evangelizing right now, say, only by 2022.
 
It has often been noticed that Veeam has suffered from brand misperception and is often confused with similar sounding names. How is Veeam addressing this and establishing its brand and presence?

Russell: In the last fourteen and a half months, people's perceptions of our company has really shifted for the positive. We're investing in messaging. Achieving one billion run rate is certainly very good. But if you think about it, the majority of our business comes from Europe, second piece comes from United States, but we're actually under-represented there. The fastest growing markets are over here. 

I think the defining thing about Veeam is “Customer First”, that explains why Veeam customers are probably better salesmen because its sheer word of mouth.

The cloud providers are very reliable but things happen and you don't know what the impact is going to be. And that's why it's still coming upon you as a business owner, as a CIO, to understand you can properly ensure that the data is well protected.

What do you see as a specific strategy for customer conversations from an India standpoint?

Russell: Customers are frustrated just trying to meet their daily back-ups and we want to go in and help them and that's why we say we're back up "ON". The next piece that's a little bit more evangelical, is the idea of what else to do with the data. 

In the larger organizations, people work in silos and as a result, a back-up admin would not possibly even know who in the business does analytics. Veeam has started to automate functionality that can take back and do more within - such as ransomware detection, compliance, erasure of data where it's appropriate. In other words we would want the back-up man to be the hero, who says, “Yes, we got hit by ransomware, and we have got the data back in a few minutes."

Veeam has internally felt we must start messaging these pieces now and that's why our tagline is ‘Backup for what’s next’. I expect a lot of the world will really start appreciating that message that we are evangelizing right now, say, only by 2022.
 
It has often been noticed that Veeam has suffered from brand misperception and is often confused with similar sounding names. How is Veeam addressing this and establishing its brand and presence?

Russell: In the last fourteen and a half months, people's perceptions of our company has really shifted for the positive. 
We're investing in messaging. Achieving one billion run rate is certainly very good. But if you think about it, the majority of our business comes from Europe, second piece comes from United States, but we're actually under-represented there. The fastest growing markets are over here. 

I think the defining thing about Veeam is “Customer First”, that explains why Veeam customers are probably better salesmen because its sheer word of mouth.

Veeam has been actively positioning CSPs as a big slice of its global GTM strategy. What are the CSP opportunities and use cases for Veeam in India?

Wanigatunga: In India, we will keep investing in CSP opportunities. We've seen in seen phenomenal growth in Q1 and H1. That's also an indicator of the local market. 

CSPs in India want things like multi tenancy and API; they want to programmatically drive our software. They want billing and they want integration with things like VMWare which is the underpinning platform. Veeam is very much focused, from an R&D perspective, to cover all customer workflows. 

The second use case we really focus on the CSP market is what we call backup and the DRaaS (Disaster Recovery as a Service), our Veeam Cloud Connect business, where we build topline product capabilities offering, service catalog offerings where backup, DR (Disaster Recovery) and Office365 Backup as a service now allows you to apply Veeam Logo to it. 

It's a customer acquisition strategy and why that business is now starting to take off - when Veeam is driving big transformational projects, CSPs are pushing DRaaS. So even though backup-as-a-service might be a low value transaction, it has high strategic value. 

The third use case we see is our traditional partners, SIs that are effectively reselling software. They're building the stack and they're handing it over to the customer. We're finding the Indian market similar to the global market. These partners are trying to build an annuity business. Any new revenue stream gives almost a 10x multiplier for the traditional SI. So we are finding the partner ecosystem is coming to us.

Fourth group, with the cloud journey we're hunting new ecosystem of MSPs in the hyper scalar space. The next category of partners we want to engage with are the SaaS players in the market. 

In Japan and ANZ, we want some really large SaaS providers that are now attaching our software for it. So they're selling any ERP product they literally click our software as part of their software costs that they deliver to a customer but it allows them to deliver the SLAs. And in India we see that ecosystem growing. So what we're now trying to understand is who are these new SaaS and passive vendors that are being born out of India that are going global and we want to be part of their blueprint for data protection. 

Who are the CSPs you are engaging with globally and in conversations with, in India?

Wanigatunga: In Australia we have a big ERP vendor that uses Veeam in the software stack and in Japan we have a healthcare vertical SaaS provider. So they deliver healthcare applications to doctors and surgeries using Veeam in the delivery of that software. In India, we are still in conversations, the names of partners, I am not at liberty to reveal at the moment.

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