While Metallic’s control plane was built on Azure, the Go-to-Marketing and engineering issues that have been announced around Azure are new.
Commvault has extended their long-standing partnership with Microsoft, through a multi-year agreement that integrates the engineering and Go-to-Market of Microsoft Azure with Commvault’s Metallic SaaS data protection business unit.
Commvault has always had a tight relationship with Microsoft around Metallic, because the Metallic control plane is on the Azure Cloud, but the joint collaboration between the two companies in developing and selling Metallic is new.
“While the control plane was built on Azure, the relationship between us and Microsoft was still arms length,” said Manoj Nair, Metallic’s General Manager. “This partnership focuses on joint engineering teams established to accelerate our innovation. It will let us address how we can be the first to leverage new capabilities coming out of Azure, and how we can extend Microsoft data management features to cover Metallic. That dedicated engineering is one big element.”
Out of the gate, the collaboration involves deepening the use of Azure capabilities, particularly around Azure Blob Storage. The new agreement includes plans to build a SaaS offering of Metallic Cloud Storage on Azure Blob Storage, as well as other integrations with native Azure services.
“We have leveraged hardened Azure Blob storage but there’s a lot more there we can do, including Microsoft’s capabilities from an analytics perspective, that you will see us accelerating,” Nair said.
The joint Go-to-Market strategy involves multiple activities.
“There’s incentivation for sellers on both sides, which means that Microsoft sellers will sell Metallic and get incentivized for that,” Nair indicated.
Nair also emphasized that Metallic’s status in the Azure marketplace is much more than just being available there.
“Being a featured app on the Azure marketplace is important because this is the first time anything from Commvault is fully transactionable on the marketplace,” he said. “It’s like doing the transaction on Microsoft paper. We go right to the top on the marketplace and you can buy it like Azure. An Azure enterprise customer committed to a certain spend can draw down on it by consuming Metallic, like Azure. That doesn’t happen with anyone else in the data protection space.
“What is unique here is that we are the sole data protection leader with the control plane native on Azure,” Nair added. “This itself will push consumption because of the way that it is architected. That is very unique. We get treated as close to a native Azure service in terms of benefits and compensation.”
“The important thing is the broader partnership,” said John Schwan, Metallic’s Head of Global Partner Sales and Programs. “I look at it through the partner lens and this expands the market opportunity. It’s a great opportunity for partners to expand how they want to go to market with Metallic, and this will create a ton of new opportunities. The marketplace itself is super exciting. The CSP environment also lets them work with us in private offers, and we will be paying significant agent and referral fees there.”
“We are getting great feedback from partners we have briefed,” Schwan added.
Commvault is also working on Go-to-Market incents of its own around the partnership.
“We are coming out with a Seeding and Attach program, and are working on special end user incentives to attach to Microsoft 365,” Schwan said. “This will make it very compelling for customers to consume us, as well as for partners to sell us. This will be out in the month of July.”
While Metallic will have a special relationship with Azure because their control plane is there, Nair said that it will support customers who are in other public clouds.
“Commvault is always open from a customer choice perspective,” he stated,. “Commvault is on all the leading public clouds. The Metallic control plane is on Azure, but it supports hybrid environments today, and other public clouds, all from this control plane hosted in Azure.”