Veeam runs with cloud's tide

Veeam runs with cloud's tide

New Zealand is a hot market for virtual backup, but for which customers? And for how long?

Virtual back up and management provider Veeam in February reported that New Zealand led the way for the company in year-over-year revenue growth, out of all markets in APAC.

New Zealand’s revenue growth came in at 69 percent, two percentage points higher than the region as a whole.

The company says this reflects the shift that organisations are continuing to make towards virtualised networks and hybrid cloud environments.

“It is still one of the top-three initiative for most organisations out there,” says Don Williams, the company’s regional director. “Veeam products were built for virtualisation. We’re finding a lot of customers are challenged leveraging the physical solutions from legacy vendors in a virtual environment.”

The percentage of the revenue growth, however, is a drop from the year-over-year growth reported for 2011, which came in at 102 percent in New Zealand. The percentage of new reseller growth also declined in New Zealand, from 220 percent YOY growth in 2011 to 59 percent growth in 2012, perhaps reflecting a maturation of the New Zealand market.

The company today works with 163 local partners. According to Williams, the vendor has emphasised “mindshare” among resellers to develop business.

“In the past, it was just transactional order-fulfillment, and now their skills are up to the level of our own team,” says Williams.

In New Zealand, the company distributes its standard perpetual licences through Westcon, and its pay-per-use offering for managed service providers are distributed through NewLease.

Veeam touts ease of use, affordability and scalability as selling points. A company can start with Veeam "from a few thousand dollars on up, depending on how big the environment is," says Williams.

"For a lot of legacy solutions, before you can even get the product up and running, you would need professional services, and training for the customers and teaching them how to use the product," he adds.

Ease of use is a winning point as far as Veeam channel partner Business Technology Group is concerned.

"I can speak for our engineering team, which is a diverse group, and they are all using it happily," says the reseller's national sales manager Duncan Dwight. "We have other technologies that do similar jobs, but you can't do everything and add true value to it. Veeam is strong with its value proposition in the space we use it for."

Dwight says he feels Veeam is a mid-market product for virtualised environments, but the size of the client's virtual infrastructure and the complexity of its backup process are factors in determining if it is the right fit for a customer.

"If the client is too big from a scale point of view, and has specific specialist requirements beyond what Veeam does, then you have to step into the larger and more expensive products like Commvault for example," Dwight says.

According to Dwight, BTG evaluates technology based on factors including if it works as advertised and if it will be an effective spend of a clients' money for the job it's doing.

"We test a lot of technology and there are ten ways to 'skin every cat', as they say," Dwight says. "As a technology service provider, it also makes sense to have similar technology in similar parts of our clients' solutions, so we get economies of scale from knowledge and process."

Dwight adds that the vendor has had excellent support from Westcon.

Williams says continued growth hinges on the company’s relationship with distributors, resellers, and the coordinating efforts of Veeam’s New Zealand channel manager, Matt Harrison, along with the vendor’s inside sales team.

Harrison became Veeam’s first 'feet on the ground' in New Zealand when he joined the company in February. He joined the company from IBM where he was New Zealand territory manager. He was also the IBM team leader for Westcon.

“We put a lot of focus on demand creation among end users and our account team will work directly, hand-in-hand with our channel partners to do that,” Williams says.

Any suggestion that Veeam’s channel has reached maturity does not mean there isn’t opportunity for partners to make money selling Veeam solutions.

“The key point is that over the past few years, we’ve had the channel embrace our technology and these partners have been having a lot of success with VMware and Hyper-v and they are selling Veeam right alongside that,” he says. “It just extends their portfolio and selling 100 percent through the channel, we’re only as good as those partners.”

From a global perspective, virtualisation will continue to provide growth opportunities for a number of years. Veeam has 57,000 customers around the world, but Williams points out there are also 350,000 VMware customers around the world. Williams says as Hyper-v gains traction, there will be opportunities to sell there, and to sell in mixed Microsoft-VMware environments and manage data backup from a single pane.

The company has also just announced a series of enhancements to its ProPartner programme in the ANZ region, including more incentives and rewards, as well as free technical training.

“As we are a channel focused business, we really do understand and value the needs of our partners,” says Williams. “With the continued growth of the virtualisation market in New Zealand, we have further strengthened the Veeam ProPartner programme in an effort to reward our partners and help them become more profitable. (...) It’s a community designed to help create new opportunities and accelerate existing opportunities for our partners.”

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