Veeam Strengthens Channel Focus To Tap The Enterprise

Ashok Acharya
Regional Director for India and SAARC, Veeam
Data backup provider, Veeam has seen its partner base expanding in the last 12 months, backed by the alliances it has made with other vendors and the access that has given them a wider reseller base. In India, the firm started by focusing on virtualization and VMware environments and grew a channel base that could handle both product sets in less than a year. Last year, with the launch of its Veeam Availability Platform for the Hybrid Cloud, including the Veeam Availability Suite 9.5, it has acquired a number of enterprise customers.

In a recent interaction with Channel Times, Ashok Acharya, the company’s new Regional Director for India and SAARC region, claims that Veeam, unlike many of its contenders, is a 100 percent channel focused company.

Acharya, who has two decades of experience in the industry and held various senior leadership positions with technology providers such as like Juniper Networks, EMC and Adobe before joining Veeam last September, explains what channel partners can expect from Veeam in 2017.

Please tell us something about your recent expansion of distribution agreement with Avnet in India.

Avnet and Veeam plan to enable channel partners to drive new business opportunities and better address customers’ modern data center needs. As per the new agreement, Avnet will deliver Veeam availability solutions to their partners in India. Avnet offers Veeam solutions in all major regions of the world including Asia Pacific, the Americas and Europe. India is an important market for Veeam globally, and we are committed to working closely with Avnet to enable our customers to leverage the full potential of virtualized and converged infrastructure. Together with Avnet, we aim to achieve scalability, collaboration and consistent delivery of our availability solutions.

How can Veeam’s channel partners expect to grow their revenue stream and continue to be a successful part of its channel ecosystem?

Firstly, I should make it clear that unlike other vendors, we’re a 100-percent channel-focused company. We are continuously adding to the revenue stream of our ProPartners by offering new products and features. Recently this has included quicker recovery times of data, integration with Microsoft Office365, and tools that provide greater visibility and monitoring. We do this because we’re committed to enabling our partners to keep the 30-40 percent annual growth rates they’ve received in recent years.

How did the channel partners gain from the launch of Veeam Availability Platform for the Hybrid Cloud last year?

The announcement was hugely significant for our ProPartners because it enables them to up-sell and cross-sell a host of new services that sell business continuity and tell the broader ‘availability’ story that is at the core of everything we do.

As part of the launch, Veeam has included new products such as Veeam Availability Orchestrator, Veeam Availability Console, Agents for Windows and Linux, and new capabilities for Azure and Amazon Web Services. With these, we close the loop between physical servers, the virtual environment and public cloud. Our new products will have a major impact on Veeam’s partner market penetration. I think this launch really made it clear to the market that we’re not just about data backup. People understand more broadly now the importance of data availability and 24.7.365 uptime.

What does Veeam believe its channel partners expect from the company over the next 12 months?

You can answer that question in two ways. As a business, 2016 saw Bill Largent become our CEO, Peter McKay joining Veeam (from VMware) as President and COO, allowing Ratmir Timashev to focus on strategy. We’re entering a new phase of aggressive growth toward the enterprise customer, crossing over $500M (and higher), which we believe is going to make us a one billion-dollar company by 2019. Ten years on from our inception, we continue to be a growth company. Partners take comfort in that.

Now, if I answer your question from a channel-specific view, we understand that our partners require us to continue to develop and innovate our technology. By doing this we support and protect their investment and deliver a predictable and profitable partner program that offers high margins on license, subscriptions and service sales.

Recently Veeam announced its Impact Partner Awards, which includes vendors, distributors and resellers. The company named Ingram Micro its top distributor. HPE as its strategic alliance partner of the year and Insight as its corporate reseller of the year.

Besides alliance partnerships, what else is Veeam doing to help reseller community sell its software?

Building on the relationships with the likes of Dell EMC, HPE, Cisco, VMware, Microsoft (and IBM in v10 next year), we believe our channel partners are looking for us to further expand the coverage to include seamless support of all public cloud providers (Azure, AWS, IBM SoftLayer, etc.).

Larger customers tend to have a presence in all the major public cloud providers and therefore Veeam support across all of them will remove any potential roadblocks for resellers. We’re also delivering more in the way of Solution Design documents similar to the recent Cisco Validated Design (CVD), which covers the availability with Veeam on the Cisco Hyperflex platform. Design documents such as this give both partners and customers a level of comfort and will significantly help the sales process, and ultimately provide visibility of future product offerings and enhancements through more extended roadmaps. That’s all been taken into consideration and we’re ready to deliver.

How has the Veeam brand grown over the last few years?

We really are at the cusp of a major digital revolution globally. As enterprises look to harness the power of the cloud and keep pace with changing user demands, 24.7.365 Availability is no longer an after-thought; today, it is a strategic priority. Veeam has always been a company synonymous with innovation and customer satisfaction. Not many companies are as exciting as Veeam, and our partners like to be associated with us. They expect us to continue to disrupt the market from a product, marketing and sales perspective. Selling the best product in the market is not enough.

The product must be easy to sell, and supported by the most efficient teams on the ground, which is exactly why expanded our Veeam team from fewer than 2,000 employees to more than 2,500 in 2016.

How do you see Veeam making an impact in 2017 on the India technology landscape?

As we’ve moved to take on the enterprise space, we have evolved our channel ecosystem. We are committed to our resellers, but we now have programs for Service Providers and System Integrators too. This has really helped us sharpen our go-to-market approach and provided a host of new opportunities for ourselves and for the channel community with which we work.

In 2017 we and our partners will strengthen our focus to pursue the enterprise business, but also build out our strong SMB and commercial customer base and drive the availability of our customer’s data as they digitize and transform their companies. Our partners have been such a critical component to Veeam’s success to date we look forward to continuing that globally over the coming years.

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