Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is lining up its third major acquisition of the year, with backup and disaster recovery vendor Veeam Software now on the tech giant’s radar.
That’s according to sources close to The Register, which claims a move could be on the cards as HPE attempts to round off its buying blitz in 2017 by bolstering its backup capabilities.
Should a deal go through however - for a speculated price of between US$1.5 billion - US$2 billion - Veeam would join SimpliVity and Nimble Storage in the HPE stable, following a busy three months of acquisition activity.
After forking out US$650 million for privately held hyper-converged infrastructure provider, SimpliVity, in mid-January, the vendor followed up with a US$1 billion acquisition of Nimble Storage less than two months later, in an attempt to bulk up its storage offerings.
For many, taking control of Veeam would provide the third and final piece of the puzzle for HPE, as it fights to maintain market relevance following the official creation of Dell Technologies in September 2016.
“Veeam is a potential target that could add an important piece for HPE to stay a key partner for CIOs in the 21st century,” Constellation Research Principal Analyst, Holger Mueller, told SiliconANGLE.
In continuing to take market share from legacy vendors, Veeam continues to challenge the status quo both locally and globally, with the company now counting 73 per cent of the Fortune 500 and 56 per cent of the Global 2000 as customers.
During 2016, enterprise new license bookings grew 57 per cent annually, while the number of new enterprise customers grew 48.6 per cent to 761 over the same period.
With over 230,000 customers worldwide, Veeam added close to 50,000 total paid customers during the past 12 months, keeping pace with the historical average of approximately 4,000 new customers every month.
Drawing on the support of over 45,000 ProPartners worldwide, more than 13.3 million virtual machines (VMs) are now protected with Veeam Availability solutions, including more than one million VMs under VCSP management.
From an integration perspective, Veeam has global alliances with Cisco, Dell EMC, Microsoft, NetApp and VMware, while also operating as a close partner of both HPE and Nimble.
In light of its close ties with key vendor partners, Veeam was an enthusiastic supporter of HPE's recent acquisition of Nimble from a local perspective, emphasising the end-to-end capabilities the trio collectively possess.
“It’s a smart move for HPE as it expands their storage portfolio to serve even more market segments, and Nimble’s predictive flash arrays are certainly among the strongest solutions in the market,” said Veeam Head of Alliances, Peter Bender, via an email statement to ARN following the $1 billion deal in March.
“The storage industry is no stranger to consolidation, and as flash and hybrid flash arrays become the norm in the enterprise data centre, it makes sense that the big players would seek to acquire advanced solutions that will give them a competitive edge.
“And it gives Veeam customers the opportunity to have an end-to-end integrated approach with Veeam, HPE and Nimble technologies.”
With two major acquisitions already completed and key technologies aligned, one core question remains - does HPE have the appetite for a third?
In short, the answer appears to be a resounding yes, with increased speculation coming a matter of days after HPE claimed its acquisition drive isn’t over yet.
As reported by ARN, the vendor’s partners can expect to get their hands on an even broader portfolio selection from the company, with its executive vice president and general manager, Antonio Neri, flagging plans for more acquisitions.
Addressing the local channel at the HPE Discover Forum 2017 in Sydney last week, Neri told partners that further acquisitions are set to be a core part of HPE’s strategy going forward, boasting that the company had pockets deep enough to continue making large, strategic acquisitions, even after forking out billions on several relatively recent purchases.
“Make no mistake, this company, by August 31st, is going have [US]$11 billion on the balance sheet. That’s a hell of a capacity,” Neri said. “We are using that capacity to really target acquisitions around [our] strategy.
“We may have become smaller to get bigger, but we’re also getting much more focused.”