Channel consistency rather than change takeaway message from VeeamON 2018

Veeam’s overall message at this year’s VeeamON event was change, with their hyper-availability vision, but for their channel partners, the messaging revolved around consistency of programs and assured consistency of support.

Kevin Rooney, VP of North American Channel at Veeam

CHICAGO — Last year, Veeam made some major changes to their channel sales motions, restructuring their internal sales and field resources to better map resources against enterprise targets. This year, consistency rather than change has been the message for the channel, with Veeam emphasizing that it is continuing to scale up channel resources and double down on what has been working.

“That’s the messaging this year, that the investment continues,” said Kevin Rooney, VP of North American Channel at Veeam. “We will continue to make strong investments in the channel across North America and Latin America.”

Rooney said that now that Veeam’s sales motion has been optimized, the innate consistency of Veeam’s channel partnering approach makes significant change much less necessary.

“Veeam has had a 100 per cent channel model and been consistently committed to partners,” Rooney said. “That 100 per cent strategy extends into every segment in which we compete, including the enterprise. In everything that we do as a company, partners are part of the thought process. That aspect is very different from other companies where I I have worked in the past. We don’t make huge turns. We just continue to invest, with more personnel, and more resources. It’s all about that consistency.”

That differs significantly from Veeam’s strategic partnering with other vendors, where there was much room to up the ante and deepen go-to-market relationships, and which has seen significant movement in that respect since last year’s VeeamON event.

The consistency extends into Veeam’s channel program, which is remaining basically unchanged this year.

“Our partner program has been profitable, so we have maintained it,” Rooney said. “We have emphasized maintaining consistency here.”

Veeam has been emphasizing its new strategic vision of hyper-availability at this year’s VeeamON, a much more automated extension of their traditional availability approach, and Rooney stressed that the company has been emphasizing the opportunities to partners in the new approach.

“In software, you iterate on what you have,” he said. “We’ve come from ‘it just works’ to ‘availability for the always-on enterprise,’ to hyper-availability. We need to make sure partners are able to deliver on hyper-availability from a product standpoint. There’s a major opportunity right now in the market because customers are replacing their legacy products. We need to get out in front of this opportunity. Customers are now looking at us because we are a vendor with a solution that is agile enough to service all different environments”

Rooney said that even though Veeam has more momentum than legacy competitors, there is still lots of room to grow, especially in the enterprise space because of the vendor displacement opportunities there.

“We grew 36 per cent year-over-year in a space where overall growth was up by five points,” he said. “Yet we are still number four in the market. Veritas, IBM Tivoli, and Dell EMC Avamar are ahead of us. We don’t dismiss any of them. But we are now winning more often in the enterprise. It is our fastest growing segment, even compared with a year ago. Our partners today are ready for the enterprise, and are able to fully service that part of the market.”

Rooney did stress though, that Veeam is making a greater channel investment than any of their legacy enterprise competitors.

“Our competitors can’t show the same kind of road map, with the same kind of investment, because they aren’t doing it,” he said.

“We are investing heavily in our sales engineering team that works with partners, the Veeam-badged people who enable our channel,” he said. “This enablement organization didn’t exist to anywhere near the same degree a year ago. We have the ability as a channel organization to generate resources. We can talk to the partners, ask them what they need, then we make the ask from the company and the answer is a ‘yes.’”

Rooney also noted that the appointment of Cisco veteran Damien Serjeant as Veeam channel chief, which was announced shortly after last year’s VeeamON, has been a great success.

“Damien’s leadership has been fantastic, and has been critical in bringing alliance relationships like with Nutanix and Pure Storage together in Canada,” Rooney said. “He has been important in putting together the multiple ways we can service our shared customers.”