CommVault : We are Displacing Competition Across Enterprises in India | Vikas Pradhan | Country Director– India, CommVault | Interviews | ChannelWorld.in

PARTNER HOTLINES

CommVault : We are Displacing Competition Across Enterprises in India

Interviewed on Mar 08, 2013 by Yogesh Gupta Vikas Pradhan, Country Director– India, CommVault, shares his unabashed take of the competition and the company’s India strategy.
Vikas Pradhan
Vikas Pradhan, Country Director– India, CommVault The competitions’ products have stretched to a point where more re-engineering is not commercially viable. We take into cognizance what they offer, and plug gaps through our Simpana architecture.

Interview Questions

Full Interview with Vikas Pradhan

CW : How does CommVault stack up against the competition?

Pradhan: Our Simpana platform competes with Symantec, IBM, HP, and EMC. As a new player, we consciously choose to fight these battles, and have been successful in displacing each one of our competitors from several enterprise accounts.

The four vendors have reasonably good products, and they were relevant to the ecosystem two decades ago. But there have been many changes in storage management, and the enterprise environment. Earlier, issues like compliance were not as serious as the are today. IM and e-mail were not a part of business communication few years ago. The competitions’ products have stretched to a point where more re-engineering is not commercially viable. We take into cognizance what they offer, and plug gaps through our Simpana architecture.

CW : Why should customers choose Simpana over competing products?

Pradhan: If an enterprise wants back up, archival (file or e-mail), de-duplication, or e-discovery, then they require five to six different storage products. In most scenarios, the products seldom talk to each other and there is a need for different admin heads (adding to overhead costs). CommVault took the bold decision of creating a single platform—Simpana— which contains individually licensable modules to analyze, replicate, protect, archive, and search data. The modules talk to one another effortlessly, making the  platform an effective, organically-integrated data management solution.

Then there’s the fact that CIOs continue to spend on storage. Though it has become cheaper, it isn’t free. There’s a recurring cost associated with maintaining data as you need tools to execute de-dupe or archival to manage it. With Simpana, CIOs don’t have to worry about added costs associated with future storage growth. Today, when an enterprise’s back up window goes beyond 50 to 100 hours, CIOs want to compress data and get back up at the earliest. Therefore, CommVault becomes the automatic choice.

CW : What is the company’s sweet spot, from an enterprise size and vertical perspective?

Pradhan:  Our technology can operate across the stack,  irrespective of the size of an enterprise. However, the enterprise segment is our sweet spot as their pain points are much bigger due to the size of the data they manage. That said, we also have SME customers.

Simpana has a horizontal appeal, and we have had wins in the automotive, telecom, manufacturing, and healthcare verticals. For complex ERP scenarios, which are a reality in the financial and manufacturing verticals, we become relevant to customers by providing a technology advantage.

CW : Given the colossal amounts of data they produce, shouldn’t national and state e-Government projects be a focus area?

Pradhan: We are consciously underplaying the government sector for now because sales cycles are too long. Those accounts require lot of effort, time and investment, and we do not have the bandwidth. However, we do have wins in the space, including an elite set of organizations under CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research). We first need to build credibility and product visibility across the private segment. Right now government is on a slow burner, but we will fuel it more next year.

CW : What is your partner approach—and experience—been like?

Pradhan: We have a 100 percent channel-driven model, and Inflow is our India distributor. We have OEM relationships with Dell and Hitachi, as they have, in a way, white labeled our products. We also work with large SIs like HCL, TCS, Wipro, and Infosys as they drive large government, PSU and private projects.

Till we came into play, tier-II partners were working with other storage vendors. Gradually, some of them cut back from selling competing products or increased their engagement with us. We are addressing this important community through our participation in various tech summits.

The most active vehicle is the tier-II channel. Last year, almost 70 percent of our Indian revenues were derived through this channel. To execute large a number of transactions and articulate value faster to customers, our dependency on tier-II channels is high. This route gives us a wide geographical reach, and the partners have long-term relationships with their top enterprise customers.

CW : How many channel partners would suffice for a country like India?

Pradhan:  The plan is not to exceed 100 partners for India and Sri Lanka, as too many partners ends up commoditizing a product. The traditional IT consumption cities have expanded beyond the top nine to places like Nagpur, Pune, Nashik, Lucknow, and towns in Kerala and Orissa among others. Hence, the roadmap is to have a geographic spread of partners.

CW : Which revenue model is more popular with modern organizations: On-premise or the cloud?

Pradhan: On-premise is popular as it follows traditional licensing according to infrastructure, servers, storage, and etcetera. The CLA (capacity license agreement) model introduced two years ago, priced by the size of data, is finding more acceptance. Customers choose a model depending on what makes business sense for them rather than what makes business sense to us.

The managed services provider (MSP) model has been our strength as RackSpace uses Simpana at the back end. MSPs charge a subscription to their customers and we charge MSPs. The consortium of HP partners—All Time IT Solutions—has CommVault as their storage partner. With the current drive towards the cloud, both SMBs and enterprises prefer the MSP model. We proactively introduced the MSP model few years ago when most competitors were far from doing so.

Fortunately, we have a technical edge over the competition in terms of how well the product works in a virtualized environment. We also have strong mobility solutions that work from desktops, laptops, and tablets to servers. CommVault puts together solution that works in the right manner at the customer end, across virtualized or mobile environments.

CW : How do you intend to inculcate trust across the partner community and customers in India?

Pradhan:  We have three teams in Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai. Each has a regional director, with sales executives supported by pre-sales persons. There is another team which is purely for tier-II channel partners, with sales and pre-sales executives.

We have a 300-plus team in the development center in Hyderabad, and have added another one in Bangalore. This gives customers confidence as many still believe in the ‘touch and feel’ approach. We also provide a technology roadmap to strategic customers. This demonstrates our commitment to the region, and that we are not a fly-by-night operator.

Other Latest Interviews

Latest Videos

Vishal Dhupar: NVIDIA is taking Graphics Virtualization to the next level

Vishal Dhupar, MD - South Asia, NVIDIA, talks cloud GPU, the power of graphics virtualization and how NVIDIA is going to be one of the cornerstones of the smart city pie.

Revisiting Customer Strategy Pays: Ram Kumar R, Gemini Communication

R Ram Kumar, Director of Chennai’s Gemini Communication (GCL), explains at length why an overhaul of GCL’s customer strategy and re-establishing connect were vital in helping the company bounce back.

Praveen Sahai: EMC has Consolidated its Channel Partner Strategy

Praveen Sahai, VP Channels, India & SAARC is upbeat about EMC's 3 P channel strategy

EDITOR'S PICK

Why Flash Storage Will Rule: Analysts

Analysts say flash storage’s enviable speed and performance are stirring up a revolution in the Indian storage market, opening new opportunities for organizations. 

3 steps to digitizing your work for maximum productivity

From the earliest days as a marketing slogan, the elusive concept of the so-called paperless office may finally be taking shape, if anecdotal evidence is anything to go by. A growing number of small businesses and startups, unencumbered by legacy processes, are quietly ditching printouts for an all-digital ecosystem, buoyed by soaring BYOD ownership and growing familiarity with a plethora of cloud services.

Is the information security industry having a midlife crisis?

The information security industry is hot right now, but it's hot because it's failing. The daily announcements about breaches and lost data confirm that criminals are winning the security battle, but how can InfoSec reposition itself in order to win the war?

SLIDESHOWS

The State of the Internet

Akamai's Q1 2015 state of the internet report provides insights into key global statistics including connection speeds, broadband adoption (fixed and mobile networks), and IPv4 exhaustion and IPv6 implementation.

India Software Market on an Upswing

According to IDC, the Indian software market has witnessed consistent growth of 10 percent since the second half of 2014, showing signs of growth and revival. 

7 Jobs Technology Has Replaced

Albert Einstein said once that it has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity. With every invention of technology some poor soul becomes vulnerable to losing his or her job in some corner of the world. Here are few jobs that will cease to exist soon.

Changing Fortunes of Top Tech Companies

The tech sector has been led by these companies for a long time. But how have they fared over the quarters?

India's Leading VADs

Why Channels Want to Partner With Inflow Technologies

Inflow Technologies’ tie up with 39 vendor companies, an extensive tech portfolio, and a services play, are great value propositions for enterprise channels, says its President and CEO, Byju Pillai.

iValue Creates Real Value for Channels in India

Focused on niche vendor alliances around data, network and app management backed by a robust channel ecosystem marked iValue's success in 2014. What clicked for the seven-year-old VAD?

RAH Infotech Shows Channels the Way Ahead

Mutual trust and long lasting bond with vendor companies and channel partners helps VADs to evolve and succeed in today’s aggressively competitive market. Leveraging competent channel partners and forge niche vendor alliances marks RAH Infotech’s success in 2014.

How Satcom Infotech is Adapting to New Security Landscape

As a leading value added distributor, Satcom Infotech is emerging as an end-to-end security player, helping both customers and partners grow.

How ComGuard Shields Channel Partners

As emerging technologies introduce new threats to the enterprise landscape, they are making channel partners anxious. But VADs like ComGuard are putting their worries to rest. Here's how.

Tech Chat

Collaborating To Outcome Based World: Priyadarshi Mohapatra, Avaya

Priyadarshi Mohapatra, Managing Director, India and SAARC, Avaya, on how IT is transitioning from a keep-the-lights-on role to one that enables customers to deliver results.

The Dawn of the Digital Age: Akhilesh Tuteja, KPMG

The development of digital infrastructure will be a key growth driver for technology and solution providers. 

Paradigm Shift from End-Users to User-First : Parag Arora,Citrix

Parag Arora, Area Vice President and India Head, India Sub-continent, Citrix, says new technologies will force organizations to take a user-first approach in 2015.

Mobile and Cloud Are Gamechangers of the Future: Karan Bajwa, Microsoft

Karan Bajwa, Managing Director, Microsoft India, says, in  2015, organizations will adopt a mobile-first and cloud-first strategy to get ahead of competition.

A Network for the Internet of Everything : Dinesh Malkani,Cisco

Dinesh Malkani, President, India and SAARC, Cisco, talks about IoT and the significant technology transitions in the networking world.

Moving to the Third Platform: Jaideep Mehta, IDC

Cloud and mobility are the two technologies that will fuel the rapid adoption of the third platform in India.

Envisaging a Holistic Security Strategy For 2015: Sanjay Rohatgi,Symantec

Sanjay Rohatgi, President–Sales, Symantec India, says the company has a set of holistic solutions in place to secure organizations from security threats. 

Beating the Bad Guys: Sivarama Krishnan, PwC

Organizations will need to turn inwards to establish robust information security strategies.

Building Capabilities for a Digital Tomorrow: Alok Ohrie,Dell

Alok Ohrie, President and Managing Director, Dell India, on the company’s investments to build end-to-end solutions and delivery capabilities for a digital world.

FAST TRACK

Kamtron Systems

Transitioning towards a service-oriented company will boost our growth, believes Kavita Singhal, director, Kamtron Systems.

TIM Infratech

Delivering ‘best of breed’ technologies to enterprises is key to success, says Monish Chhabria, MD, TIM Infratech

Mudra Electronics

A vendor-agnostic strategy helped us sustain business, says Bharat Shetty, CMD, Mudra Electronics.

Systematix Technologies

Our USP is a customer-friendly approach backed by services, says Akhilesh Khandelwal, Director, Systematix Technologies.

CorporateServe Solutions

Our ability to turnaround complex ERP projects in record time is what gets us customer referral, says Vinay Vohra, Founder & CEO, CorporateServe Solutions.

KernelSphere Technologies

We are emerging as an end-to-end systems integrator, says Vinod Kumar, MD, KernelSphere Technologies.

Uniware Systems

We constantly validate emerging technologies for first-mover advantage, says Vergis K.R., CEO, Uniware Systems.

Astek Networking & Solutions

An innovative approach helps us stay successful, says Ashish Agarwal, CEO, Astek Networking & Solutions.

CSM Technologies

Our approach is backed by innovation and simplicity, says Priyadarshi Nanu Pany, CEO, CSM Technologies.

SOCIAL MEDIA @ CW India
SIGNUP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER

Signup for our newsletter and get regular updates.