During the VeeamON 2019 event that concluded in Miami, USA last month, a lot of futuristic products and product extensions were announced. The company also announced that is has achieved $1 billion in annual bookings. As a leading backup provider for just over a decade Veeam has shown remarkable product innovation. It is uniquely positioned to deliver ‘Cloud Data Management’ platform for the future growth of businesses. DynamicCIO.com had a quick discussion with Shaun McLagan, Senior Vice President – Asia Pacific and Japan, Veeam Software during the VeeamON 2019 specifically on company’s growth story in APJ region and how it plans to expand its reach.
Below are the excerpts:
DynamicCIO (DCIO): The journey from start to a billion-dollar company must have been both very challenging and fascinating. Can you explain how the company evolved from Act 1 to Act 2, and how it achieved this ambitious target that it was eying for a long time?
Shaun McLagan (SM): When we think of our history, it’s just been about the right place, the right time and right product. The evolution of virtualization was a disruption for the backup industry. The legacy backup technology solution providers tied to physical and the legacy environment didn’t see the change coming but Veeam did. As soon as virtualization market took off, Veeam became part of the new ecosystem.
There are these five players on the top right side of the Gartner Magic Quadrant: DellEMC, Veritas, IBM, Commvault and Veeam. If there’s one company, among these five, that has exponentially grown its market share and number of customers, it is Veeam. Another interesting fact about Veeam is that of the total revenue, 70% comes from net new business and 30% from annual maintenance whereas in case of our competition, it’s the reverse. That means, businesses trust our state-of-the-art solutions and futuristic technology. The business of data protection in virtualized environments has been steadily growing. In India, it has grown 100% year-on-year.
Having said that, the road ahead is no less challenging than it has been so far. While we have been competing well with our cutting-edge technologies and superior solutions, how to manage data on-premise and in cloud, especially in the multi-cloud environments and how do we contemplate SaaS applications and DevOps etc. is the next big challenge to overcome. But as an organization, we are pretty sure we’ll be successful in our next iteration, which is Act-2 simply because we have a great technology, a great channel ecosystem and a great customer base – a perfect recipe for sustenance and growth.
Based on our achievements in all these years, there is a trust among the investors and venture capitalists. As a result, we secured a $US500 million funding in January this year. In this dynamically changing world, one need not be hooked on to hardware, which a lot of our competitors still want to. Our view of the future is to create a comprehensive data management platform in the cloud and at the same time, be equipped to manage the data on any platform for the legacy systems and environments. So, while we are not disassociating ourselves from the traditional, legacy backup solutions, we are surely preparing for the future which is nothing but cloud.
If we talk of geographies, Veeam in the top player in the Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In the US and Americas, we’re probably at number three or four. As far as India is concerned, we are the number one in terms of market share. Last year the market for data backup and recovery grew at about 4% globally but Veeam grew at 16%. In APJ, we grew at 36% and as I said earlier, in the hyper growth markets like India, we grew at 100%.
DCIO: That’s exciting. Veeam now boasts of over 3,50,000 customers, which means 4000 net new customers every month 50,000 every year. What are these customers buying Veeam? What is the attrition rate of this customer base?
SM: Without mincing words, I’d say our attrition rate is negligible and the rate at which we add new customers is phenomenal. That is proved by our Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 73. This means both customer trust and satisfaction are very high. The technology we produce is easy to use, easy to install, and very flexible to adopt. That’s one of the reasons we became a billion dollar software company faster than many others. Veeam doesn’t sell any services. And to compensate the revenue from services, you need to have a great technology, a great product roadmap. In past two years that I have been running the APJ operations, I haven’t had one technical support issue escalated to me, which is unheard of. That’s why the customer satisfaction is high, and attrition is very low.
We continue to grow because our technology helps organizations adapt to changing dynamics of business in which data availability is critical and any sort of downtime is unacceptable. If they have a legacy environment today and they want to move to a hyper-converged appliance, we help them with hardware from Nutanix, Cisco or HPE with Veeam data protection solution on top of it. If a customer has cloud/multi-cloud environments, we can help them with cloud-based solutions suitable for Azure, AWS or any other local cloud service provider that they prefer to go with. When organizations are looking at innovation in technology, they look at Veeam and that is why we’re growing at 8- 9 times than the average market growth.
DCIO: How do you think the APJ market will react to the new launches like Veeam Availability Orchestrator Version 2? And what would be your strategy to push it in the market?
SM: APJ is the most technology hungry region in the world. There’s a massive appetite for new technology and innovation coming all the time from regions like India. Veeam Availability Orchestrator v2 will take us even closer to the end customers and also to the service providers who provide services to the masses. Look at the emerging trends like smart cities and 5G rollouts, autonomous vehicles etc. They will create so much data. With that will grow the need for managing the data. Most modern enterprises will require 24X7X365 availability to run uninterrupted business. However, with the growing complexity in infrastructure and applications, failure and downtime is inevitable. Veeam Availability Orchestrator v2 will be their reliable, scalable and easy-to-use orchestration and automation engine to manage this massive data growth. It will also eliminate manual testing and recovery processes.
So, customers will love it. In Asia Pacific & Japan region, we grew three times the average company rate and the company grew four times the industry rate. We are quite excited about this hyper growth. Keeping the demand in mind, we have also doubled the team size in India in last eight months. We will simply reach out to the existing and prospective customer base to help them upgrade to VAO v2.
DCIO: Veeam also announced the launch of “with Veeam” program. How will that help in growth?
SM: Veeam has always been an open, flexible, hardware agnostic, cloud agnostic, and platform agnostic software company. We partner with premier enterprise storage players to provide users a wider choice that combines Veeam software. In recent past, we have announced solutions with HCI players like Nutanix and ExaGrid. Veeam has worked closely with its technology partners to provide flexible deployment options. Veeam APIs enable the broad partner ecosystem to build complete solutions that are powered by the our Availability Platform. The “with Veeam” program also provides broader and deeper integration points for partners to easily deliver a secondary storage solution as a unified full-stack.
With the announcement of ‘with Veeam’, we are taking this strategy to a different level where we help organizations achieve the right levels of data protection, data retention, data availability and data management that their business’s demand. Nutanix Mine with Veeam and ExaGrid Backup with Veeam are a few examples of this ambitious outreach mission. We work with other datacentre players like Cisco, HPE, Lenovo too. This is an easy way for our partners to build a unified offering with Veeam.