Going forward, Veeam’s acquisition by Insight is projected to make even more resources available for channel enablement than before.
Veeam made some tweaks to some of their channel enablement tools in late 2019 and early 2020. But the watchword for 2020 is consistency, not change. Building on 1.06 billion in 2019 bookings, the company has been doing very well in 2020, both before and during the pandemic. The plan for this year is to double down on what has been working, and focus on fine-tuning the execution.
“This year for us was trying to maintain stability around the structure and the GTM motion, to build on efficiencies, and not do that change up,” said Paul Strelzick, Veam’s SVP, Americas. “The idea was not to start anything specifically new, and to digest our wins. We had built that end-to-end funnel model, and we wanted to have that stability, keep that good closed loop and improve on execution, to add more ground between us and our competitors.”
The same philosophy guided the Veeam partner program.
“This year was about execution, which involved not changing up the partner program, and just doing a few things on the edge,” Strelzick said. “In North America, the partners are by and large happy with our program.”
Those things on the edge included tweaks to the Partner Marketing Center and the VASP [Veeam Accredited Service Provider] program.
“We have been very consistent in our engagement and our approach,” said Kevin Rooney, Veeam’s vice president of Americas channel sales. “Veeam is 100% channel. It’s inherent in everything that we do. But we have provided new opportunities and resources in 2020.”
“The Marketing Center is a concierge, with both self-service and people on the phone,” Rooney said. “You have to provide all your content digitally and allow partners to customize it. That aligns to online learning. We did a total overhaul of sales and technical certifications, and that launched in January 2020. The new certifications were built with solving customer challenges in mind. This has been very big for us. We have quadrupled the number of certifications and we are only in June.”
The VASP program, which supports partners offering professional services, has been revamped for 2020.
“We announced this program three years ago, but we have made some changes to do a better job programmatizing it,” Rooney indicated. “We have better emphasized a direct technical support team to help partners with professional services. We are also going on ‘ride-alongs’ to support partners on professional services calls. Some of these things weren’t that well set up before, so the program was refreshed late last year and it is being relaunched.”
Rooney said that revisions to the VASP program would have been necessary anyway, because the services market has changed since the program was created.
“We are now so much more deeply involved in enterprise accounts than we were then,” he noted. “That has brought partners in to support us on the service side.”
The enterprise push has also blurred the line somewhat between Veeam’s service provider business and the rest of Veeam’s channel.
“My responsibility is very focused on the Veeam Cloud and Service Provider business, while Kevin runs the overall partner program,” said Matt Kalmenson, VP of Sales, Commercial Sales & Cloud Service Providers at Veeam. “We are seeing the convergence of that market in a lot of the business.”
Rooney also said that the acquisition of Veeam by Insight won’t change Veeam’s 100% channel model, it will result in even more resources being available to the channel going forward.
“Veeam is continuing to invest heavily in partners,” he said. “Insight has been at the forefront of making sure that’s the case. They have asked about ways we can continue to invest in infrastructure and personnel. So the investment in our channel and our partners is on the rise. It was strong before but has gotten stronger since the acquisition.”
While any given partner’s business model will affect which of the new Veeam product announcements they consider most important, the enhancement of Veeam Backup for Office 365 to include Microsoft Teams.
“All of the enhancements are important, because they continue to show the iteration of our offerings, but Office 365 is our fastest selling product,” Rooney said. “Teams has had huge momentum because of the move to work from home. This applies to many of our partners, who have had to find ways of work from home when their model was built on being in the office, with call centres.”
“Some partners don’t have a bent towards Office, but the announcements show our iterative approach that continues to add feature sets,” Kalmenson said. “The interesting part for me is that we allow the end user to consume the technology in a way that makes the most sense for them. With Office 365, partners can resell the licenses or offer a consumption-based model, which allows the partner community to offer more choice.”
Veeam’s business model has held up well under the pressures of the pandemic.
“We had a really good growth in Q1, and were strong in April and May,” Strelzick said. “We aren’t looking to capitalize on a terrible thing, but our space is consistent. Companies need to protect their data. Because our solutions are so horizontal, in the differential segments under the umbrella, you see variation, but overall, it’s a good space both pre-COVID and now.”
“Data management was a priority before COVID-19 and that hasn’t changed,” Kalmenson said. “What this has done is force organizations to take a deeper look at their business plans. Some people might go back to the office, but the need for data management and business continuity will remain paramount and not ebb and flow based on market conditions.”