The exponential growth of data in the enterprise has created a crisis for CIOs to deliver greater degrees of data availability to meet 24/7 business demands, while dealing with ever-growing pools of all types of data in hybrid, multi-cloud environments. At the same time, as today’s economy demands unprecedented performance from systems and fuels the appetite for data across the enterprise, often an organization’s existing data centers cannot handle the data deluge. In an exclusive interaction with CXOToday, Sandeep Bhambure, Managing Director, India and SAARC, Veeam, explains how the company is addressing the data related challenges by making data hyper available to the multi-cloud enterprise. He also throws light on the company’s India-specific plans for 2019.
CXOToday: You have been getting recognition as a leading provider in the intelligent data management space for the enterprise. What exactly it means to a potential customer?
Sandeep: Let’s start with the challenges facing any enterprise today around data or the data deluge. One is around hyper criticality of data, essentially because data is the life blood of any business today and it has to be always available to the enterprise so that it can meet the requirements of the business, for its customers, partners and for its overall ecosystem. The second data-related challenge is the uncontrollable growth of data itself and its management. Finally, data no longer resides within the confines of the data center. Hence, the hyper sprawl of the data is another big challenge companies are facing today. This is a reality in the multi-cloud and mobile environment. Therefore, to manage all of this information, data has to reach a new state of intelligence and that is when Veeam steps in to provide Hyper-Availability, so that business can continue to operate without any disruptions. In other words, Veeam provides a complete platform for making this data Hyper-Available and to help enterprises to go on a journey of intelligent data management.
CXOToday: With a new CEO on board recently and you completing almost a year, so what kind of change in strategy or culture do you foresee within the organization?
Sandeep: We are a very young company. Founded in 2006, we are a born in the cloud company that has made rapid strides in the Availability business. Globally in terms of the customer base we have more than 3,20,000 customers, with almost 80% penetration with the fortune 500 corporations worldwide. Coming to numbers in India and growth in business field – overall the business climate is quite good, and we are getting a very good response from the Indian market so we are seeing a good growth on the booking revenues as well as in terms of the new customer acquisition that we are seeing in our business. This is primarily because of our strategy which is very partner centric. We are a 100% channel-focused organization. We are reaching out to the broad SAARC and India market through our partner community, and partners are really contributing to the growth of our business in India.
CXOToday: Veeam has made several acquisitions over the last two-and-a-half years. How have those acquisitions helped in the growth in the overall Indian and global market?
Sandeep: We have made a number of acquisitions in the past years and we continue to grow organically in the coming months. The acquisitions that we have done are basically helping us bring in the additional capabilities in the Veeam platform so that we can help the customers in their adoption of cloud, and making this work load on cloud Hyper-Available. A few quarters back we made an acquisition of N2WS, which gives us the capabilities of protecting the work load on AWS, Amazon Cloud. This brings in enhancement to the Veeam platform so that we can protect all the different workloads from any app to any data to any cloud. That is how we look at Availability.
CXOToday: Veeam’s philosophy, as you said, is to help customers on hyper-availability overcome different building blocks that exist in the datacenter and also to help them on their journey to intelligent data management. On that front, are you working with different IT providers to foster such an environment?
Sandeep: Today’s datacenters are very complex, and we need to inter-operate with different building blocks in the datacenter. Our philosophy is that we have to be vendor agnostic and need to inter-operate with our eco system partners and alliances like Cisco, HP, NetApp and Lenovo. Going forward we will continue to innovate and bring in support for different platforms. For example, we announced support for Nutanix AHV for making that environment Hyper-Available. Very recently we have expanded our offerings on the Cisco platform to announce hyper availability for Cisco Hyperflex. We will continue to support the newer platforms to help customers to move to a multi-cloud strategy. We also support AWS Microsoft Azure, Azure stack, IBM cloud and we will continue to enhance our offerings on the cloud portfolio.
CXOToday: What is your go to market strategy in India? Being a channel centric organization, what role does the channel community play in your overall business plan?
Sandeep: Veeam is 100 percent partner-centric organisation. Worldwide, the strength of our partners is 55,000 plus. We also work very closely with cloud service providers, having more than 16,000 cloud service provider partners across the globe. Our global strategy fully aligned with that of our strategy in India and SAARC region. We have built a very strong partner and cloud service provider ecosystem to cover a highly heterogeneous market. Notably, India and SAARC business comprise six different countries and even within that there are different pockets of concentration. For example, In India itself, if you consider verticals, Bangalore is more technology driven and Delhi has more of PSUs and government organizations. The west has finance companies and a large concentration of telcom. Bangladesh is also a growing economy, with telcos and finance at the heart of its growth; Sri Lanka also offers a lot of promise in terms of growth. So, to address this very wide market we have built a strong partner eco system which comprises of channels that are distributed across the region. We work very closely with alliances such as Cisco, HP, NetApp, Microsoft, Nutanix. Lenovo now is a new addition of our alliance ecosystem. We work with them to build solutions and make their solutions Hyper-Available.
We also have global partnerships with cloud service providers, including Microsoft on their Azure and Azure stacks. We also work with AWS, IBM and a multitude of local cloud service providers. Then comes the system integrators. The Indian-born system integrators who offer solutions not only to the Indian market but also to the global market. We work with all these partners and we have a very strong program, called the ProPartner program to enable the partner ecosystem to train them, to build resources and to provide them with capabilities to implement and support our solutions in this part of the world.
CXOToday: How do you cater to the SMB sector in India?
Sandeep: Veeam has actually grown, thanks to our huge SMB coverage and customer base that we have worldwide. Like I mentioned, we have more than 300 thousand customers worldwide and when it comes to India, if you look at the demographics and business in India and SAARC, there would be 2 million companies, as per the company data. We are more than 2 million companies, largely many of these companies would be classified at SMB. As per our recent study, we have around 4000 companies with more than 1000 employees. With that base which we have in this part of the region, it offers tremendous opportunities for Veeam to grow our business in the SMB space because even today SMB’s are adopting technologies in a big way, they are availing services on cloud, they are looking at virtualization, looking at in point protection and when the SMBB business is looking atprotecting all these workloads, Veeam has consumption models which are very conducive for the SMB business. The SMB’s can consume Veeam software in different formats – could be on perpetual licence basis or based on subscription model, so it is easier for SMB’s to use Veeam software in their setup.
CXOToday: What would be your suggestions to the CIOs to safeguard their data in the cloud?
Sandeep: My observation is that CIOs and IT leaders are adopting cloud in a big way. As per a recent study, close to 50% of IT leaders believe that they can actually move the mission critical workloads onto cloud. The second big trend that I am observing is that cloud is being considered as a target for a long term archival or data protection, because not only does it offer cost economy, it also helps in protecting information offsite. So with these two trends and with the explosion of data, my thoughts around data protection and Hyper-Availability is that the IT fraternity should consider solutions and capabilities wherein data can be seamlessly migrated or moved to the cloud and could also protect workloads on the cloud. And while doing that, they would also need capabilities for managing or orchestrating this movement of workloads from a single pane of glass. It is all about how enterprises go about their journey of intelligent data management and making sure that multi-cloud strategy is implemented effectively within their IT infrastructure.
Finally, CIOs need to know that the building blocks of IT which comprises of hyper-converged, all flash, multi-cloud and end-points cannot be managed through a one-size-fits-all solution, which is currently being deployed in most datacenters. That is a very traditional way of protecting and making the workloads available. These do not really meet the requirements of the business. IT should be more open to looking at capabilities such as Hyper-Availability solutions, which can protect their data in multi-cloud environments, as well as inside and outside their datacenters. This is the need of the hour and will also help organizations in terms of complying with the regulatory requirements.