Commvault Canada country manager Hemdan bullish on new Commvault offerings

While the Metallic SaaS solution for the midmarket won’t arrive in Canada till the new year, the strengthening of Commvault Activate further enhances a solution that is already doing well in Canada.

Bassam Hemdan, Commvault’s country manager in Canada

DENVER – Commvault made several significant announcements at the their GO event for customers and partners here this week. They unveiled their new Metallic SaaS offering targeted at the midmarket and the SMB, and which will be sold exclusively through channel partners. They showed off their recent Hedvig acquisition and emphasized how Hedvig’s storage management will complement Commvault’s data management in a left brain – right brain overlap that creates what they call the Data Brain. They also enhanced their Activate data analytics and governance solution, while simplifying its licensing and adding new resources to the Go-to-Market strategy around it. All this came in the context where many GO attendees were seeing a new CEO, Sanjay Mirchandani for the first time.  In February Mirchandani replaced a CEO, Bob Hammer, that had been the only Commvault CEO most of the Commvault ecosystem had ever known.

Commvault has been working hard in Canada since Mirchandani’s appointment to introduce him to Canadian customers and partners, however.

“We did an extensive coverage when he joined, and did as many introductions as we could on our own,” said Bassam Hemdan, Commvault’s country manager in Canada. “When we did a partner tour, they all knew him from his being CEO at Puppet. His having been the CIO for EMC helped with awareness on the customer side of the business. Many of them knew him.”

The Metallic announcement is significant because it is designed to expand Commvault’s Total Addressable Market. It is only in the U.S. today, but Canada is in the top five countries where it will be deployed next, and Canadian availability seems likely in the first half of calendar 2021. The company isn’t really positioning it as an alternative way to buy Commvault.  Mirchandisi made it clear he had no concern it would cannibalize the main product because the use case was different, and it doesn’t have everything that Commvault Complete has.

Hemdan thinks that Metallic will have some appeal to enterprise customers in Canada though, as well as those downmarket.

“I think it will involve an element of both,” he said. “SaaS is not new to Commvault. We have offered it to our enterprise customers around Office 365. SaaS has been a big, big market for so many applications. With the evolution of cloud solutions that are in the market, the majority of enterprise customers in Canada have a cloud play.

Louis Gervais, Director Advanced Solutions Central and Eastern Canada , Compugen

Louis Gervais, Director Advanced Solutions Central and Eastern Canada at national solution provider Compugen, thinks that Metallic will not be really that different a product for them to sell.

“I don’t think of it as a new product,” he said. “It’s just part of the toolbox. Metallic streams into the logical evolution of a single code. It’s not something that’s bolted on. It’s something that is already familiar.”

It comes as no surprise therefore, that Hemdan thinks that Commvault’s existing partner base in Canada will be perfectly adequate to sell Metallic once it arrives here.

“We have some very strong partners across the nation, and this is just an extension of what they are already doing,” he said. “We do see it having significant market potential in Canada even though a lot of companies have SaaS offerings in its space. This is a very advanced offering for that space which we think will put us in a unique position, and give us a powerful headstart into the midmarket.”

The Hedvig acquisition takes Commvault into an adjacent area with storage management that they have not been selling before, although their partners certainly have.

“We have already moved far beyond basic backup into information management,” Hemdan said. “I don’t see it as something that customers will see as complex, but as a logical connection that has to be addressed. Hedvig as a brand is something that some customers know, and some customers don’t, but the recognition will grow, and being able to sell both together will give more choice to customers.”

Training around Hedvig for partners is still being developed.

“It is still quite new,” Hemdan indicated. “Our Customer Success team is still putting the training and Go-to-Market enablement together for it.”

Gervais agreed that the combined sale is something that won’t appeal to everyone.

“Some will want to talk about it and some won’t, but it’s still a very good start point for broader conversations,” he said.

The enhancements to Activate and the changes to the licensing model to sell it by use case instead of just as a total package are intended to jumpstart its Go-to-Market, although Hemdan’s eyes lit up when asked how well it was already doing in Canada.

“Activate has already been doing very well for us,” he emphasized. “We just closed a very big deal, and have others in the pipeline.”

While Activate’s base is in governance and it has appeal in regulated industries, Hemdan said that its market extends well beyond that because of the multiple use cases.

“Regulation is only a part of what it does,” he said.

“We see this appealing to companies who have had issues with security, who want to arm themselves better for the future and look at processes, Gervais added. “It derisks the business.”

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