Expansion of Infinidat partnership to sales portents new focus in Commvault strategic alliances

Commvault also announces Andy Vandeveld, most recently at Veeam, as Vice President of Worldwide Alliances, in a move that signals an increased focus on strategic alliances as a route to market rather than just technology integrations.

Andy Vandeveld, Vice President of Worldwide Alliance, Commvault

Data protection vendor Commvault has made a pair of highly-related announcements. The first is the appointment of Andy Vandeveld to Vice President of Worldwide Alliances, which integrates what had been two separate business units in OEM and strategic alliances in order to create new synergies in expanding partnerships as a route to market. The second is a prototypical demonstration of this strategy in action, which expands an existing partnering with Infinidat beyond technology integrations. This partnership will provide joint Infinidat-Commvault solutions for resale, and is intended to attract quality Infinidat resellers to Commvault who are not presently working with them.

“When I departed Veeam last year, I was contacted by other data protection vendors,” Vandeveld said. “It seemed like Commvault was going in the direction of emphasizing strategic alliance partnerships, and the focus on this route to market seemed like the right fit for me. Commvault has a long-standing history of market leadership in enterprise data protection, so it was a pretty easy decision this was the place I wanted to go to next. Strategic alliances are a part of the business that is important to the growth of Commvault.”

Vandeveld described his position as a new role, which consolidates others that were previously part of the go-to-market, by merging the Alliance and OEM units.

“Consolidating these under one business unit will allow us to drive focus in a more aligned way,” he said. “Before our OEMs like Hitachi were handled by a different group, but in reality the go-to-market motion is very similar. So we took two units that did similar things and brought them together into one group. It also makes the strategic alliances more aligned with how the OEM business is operating.”

Vandeveld said that the change will make the strategy both more efficient and more comprehensive.

“While our VAR partners are not part of this organization, ultimately the change will impact them, because we are expanding these strategic relationships from meet-in-the-channel or meet-at-the- customer to much deeper reseller relationships, which impact the ecosystem of VAR partners,” he said. “It will also ensure that as we build out our VAR channel, we will add some of those Alliance partners’ VARs that aren’t Commvault partners today. That will better drive our business.”

Commvault has had that kind of relationship with Cisco since last fall, where the companies extended their long-time technology partnership to allow Cisco and its channel to resell Commvault, for the first time. Now they have extended their existing relationship with enterprise storage vendor Infinidat to allow the company and its partners to resell joint solutions with Commvault.

Sunil Polepalli, Director of Worldwide Alliances at Commvault

“Infinidat has been in the market for four years,” said Sunil Polepalli, Director of Worldwide Alliances at Commvault. “They are really focused on customers with a PB or more of data, who have to contend with challenges around high performance, and address this with a combination of flash and commodity storage and sophisticated machine learning to deliver enhanced performance.” Their flagship InfiniBox product can store over 5 PBs of data with a smaller carbon footprint than most petabyte scale arrays, and they recently started shipping an Infinidat Backup Appliance.

“In the past, the Infinidat relationship was very much a technology alliance, where we made sure our products worked together,” Vandeveld said. “We did some go-to-market together, but it was more meet-in-the-channel. Now we are creating complete solutions with them that include Commvault, that they can resell.” The first of these is a full integration of Infinidat’s InfiniSnap with Commvault IntelliSnap technology, to support advanced snap management and application consistency data protection.

Polepalli said that while the joint technical innovation had been effective and had led to some good early adoption, customers wanted more.

“They wanted simplicity, one solution together for hardware and software, so we decided to evolve the partnership,” Polepalli added. “The go-to-market will be Infinidat, but Commvault partners will also be able to sell it.”

Going forward, Vandeveld said that turning more technology partnerships into joint go-to-market relationships will be a priority.

“We definitely are going to be focused on expanding the relationships that we have,” he said. “This is an important strategic direction for the company, and we will be looking for opportunities with a strategic alliance partner who wants to enter into a reseller relationship. We won’t spread ourselves so thin we can’t adequately service them, but they are an important direction.”