Veritas is giant force in information management: Channel chief Mark Nutt

We excel in delivering technology edge and customer value for channels to scale their business and increase profitability, says Mark Nutt, Global Channel Leader, Veritas

 

For almost two quarters, Veritas is operating as a separate company.

Symantec sold Veritas for $8 billion last August.

Information management company Veritas is fast capitalizing its product strength, brand loyalty and partner ecosystem. “We are investing in large Indian outsourcing companies. Because of their importance and influence, they are building not only in India but on global level. From investment perspective, it is good to be in India, investing in channels and globally developing strategic partnerships with some of the largest and most influential outsourcing companies,” said Mark Nutt, Global Channel Leader, Veritas.

In an exclusive interview with ChannelWorld India, Nutt spoke on the Symantec Split, new focus areas and priorities for channel community. “We have to be very visible in the market as there is enough and more opportunity in information management. We have well-defined processes and very strong plans that will help us win more deals by selecting the right customers, right solutions or the products to be successful with our channels, he said.

Edited Excerpts:

How challenging has the journey been as a solo company?

Actually for us there have been lot of benefits separating from Symantec. The split gives Veritas the prospect, now as independent company, to focus on information management.

The challenge is in the separation. There is also an opportunity in the separation, which is the ability to focus more on our customers, our partners and our portfolio to drive accelerated growth. The challenge is certainly behind us and we are looking ahead to execute our strategy as an independent information management business to capitalize on the growth opportunity that clearly exists in the market.

Any significant changes in GTM, sales strategy or otherwise with new Veritas since it became a part of Carlyle group?

Symantec interestingly had a strong commitment to channels and Veritas has a fantastic brand reputation globally. We will continue to recognize the opportunity that our channel partners present for Veritas to invest in our programs and build partnerships to deliver the real value of our products to our customers. There will be certainly no change in our channel enablement; in fact, moving forward, we will build stronger and deeper partnerships.

Also Read : Sharad Gupta is Channel Chief at Veritas India

Symantec and Veritas have a common pool of channels and customers. Will Veritas milk that pool or form a niche set of channels?

Very few of our partners actually sold both technologies. Majority of channels focused on information management and will become Veritas partners. Partners focused on security have remained as Symantec partners. Majority of Veritas customers have stayed with us for more than ten years and we continue to attract new customers, which we believe is the big opportunity for us as we move forward.

Also Read : Channels Applaud Symantec’s Veritas Gambit

Veritas (under Symantec) was in the league of bigger vendors like EMC and IBM, but it has moved towards a set of niche backup vendors like Commvault and Veeam. That’s a different and extremely competitive marketplace...

Some of the mentioned competitors do compete with us, but only in one part of our portfolio. In backup and recovery, we clearly are market leaders both in terms of fixed and virtual environments. Insofar as on premise and hybrid cloud environments are concerned, we dominate that area from a technology perspective and from market share perspective. Our broader portfolio positions us competitively and is certainly more compelling than some of the mentioned (niche) competitors.

For bigger vendors like IBM or HP, some are in fact partners for Veritas. We have global partnerships with HP as they recognize the strength of our information management portfolio from backup and recovery. In some areas, we are strongly partnering and in other areas it’s our portfolio breadth that is a convincing value proposition.

What are the market drivers for information management? Will the storage related technologies move into cloud? 

Companies with tremendous amount of data want to unlock its potential. That will certainly drive the demand as customers want insights into information for the business and take appropriate action. Veritas is well positioned to support customers in that area.

The on premise market will move to the cloud over time. We see customers continue to work within their own datacenter environments, move to hybrid cloud or operate on public cloud offerings in some instances. We continue our value proposition as market leader in on premise, in hybrid and in public cloud environment. The key factor is to strengthen our existing partnerships, have well defined GTM and forge future partnerships to cement our position in the market.

How well are channels globally warming up to Veritas ‘Partner Force’ program last October? How different is it compared to previous programs?

It’s the clarity on the opportunity with Veritas for growing partners who have the right capabilities around our offerings. And if they are committed, we are prepared to commit back to make sure they make money and are successful. It is that clear and that simple. This is what makes it one of the the most compelling and profitable programs in the market today. And that’s based on the feedback from our partners globally.

Channels have the option of working with various vendors. Why should the continue with Veritas?

The compelling reason why the channels should work with us is customer value.  There are huge number of customers managing an increasing amount of data for the last ten plus years with our technologies. The challenge for them is that the data they have and how to manage that more effectively moving forward. That’s the value customers are looking for and that’s squarely where Veritas is setting up as a market differentiator. We are an information management company and that’s how we will deliver value to customers through partners.

With advent of virtual and cloud, would Veritas engage solely with traditional channels (storage and information management) or induct end-to-end infra partners? Has your set of channel partners changed over the years?

My firsthand experience working closely with channels points to one thing - partners aren’t standing still as they evolve on an ongoing basis. They continue to evolve their business models.

Many who were originally resellers have become solution providers and many have started moved to cloud.  We will move to cloud with them and we will continue to support partners who sell products and their services to support customers in on premise environment.

As well as shifting our coverage model, we become attractive to ‘born in the cloud’ partners and partners that are predominantly selling services from cloud perspective.

How does the pie chart of Veritas pan out in terms of enterprise size – enterprise, mid-market and SMB? APJ and India story… Is it an enterprise company or for companies of all sizes?

There is growth in the market across large enterprises, enterprise and commercial market. We have large number of world’s largest corporations using Veritas technologies because of the trust they have in the brand and the capabilities we have developed over time.

In enterprise space, we have new solutions including Veritas appliances that are attracting new enterprise customers too. In the commercial (SMB) market, our BEA technology ensures further growth in short to mid-term.

Information management solutions cuts across verticals as we are a strong horizontal player. But the favorite verticals globally for us are banking, telecom, healthcare and government. Those remain almost same across APJ and also across India.

What would be the perfect Veritas pitch for enterprise systems integrators to their customers –technology sale or business benefit sale?

It is important to focus on the customer. Our partners are responding well to the customers’ needs with our product suite accordingly along with built-in services.

We have partners doing a good job with strong product sales around selling Backup Exec. In other areas, channels are proposing solutions to consolidate the customer’s infra around information management through Veritas purpose-built Backup appliance. Partners may have done the architecture part with the technology element from us and services by the partners. That’s a solutions sale.

In other areas, we have partners pitching business outcomes, like large systems integrators in India provide managed back up service in their datacenter or complement part of the datacenter or position that in the cloud. That’s a service based outcome from cloud perspective backed by Veritas technology.

Any list of Dos and Donts for channel partners engaged in selling information management solutions?

The complexity across information management stretches across availability, storage management, backup and recovery and information intelligence. Look for a partner than has a broad portfolio and a complete solution to deliver to your customer.

Trust is the key. Align with a company that has earned trust over a decade. Veritas has a brand which delivers partner value and customer value.

Make sure that you focusing on the partner to build business with for the next three five or ten years. Veritas certainly fits the bill.

CDOs (in some companies) is potentially a target audience to whom the partners sell directly. Emerging cloud partners will sell business outcomes to CIOs or CFOs. If CFOs are heavily engaged with outsourcing or partial outsourcing, they need to have more dialogues with them.

   Go with the industry’s market leader. For information management decisions, it becomes extremely crucial as customers (for archival solutions extending around seven years) need assurance from a vendor that is in for the long run.

   Frankly, weren’t there any apprehensions or negative impact from your channels and their customers during the split from Symantec?

   In terms of the challenges, we have successfully split from Symantec. There is always a challenge when you separate two businesses. One thing we reflect upon as a team is the value that our distributors and channels relayed to our customers in addressing some challenges around the separation. The successful separation was majorly due to the excellent support we received from our partners across the globe.