Clumio expands presence in Canada to meet enterprise backup-as-a-service demand

SaaS backup-as-a-service startup Clumio, which sells entirely through channel partners, hired its first Canada-based sales and engineering team this spring, and is seeing good results in the Canadian market.

Brian O’Shea, Clumio’s VP of Sales

Enterprise backup-as-a-service provider Clumio formally launched into the Canadian market in April. Since then they have shown good momentum, pandemic notwithstanding. While they sell entirely through channel partners, they have added to their internal Canadian-based staff that works with partners. They also launched their Data and Control plane in the AWS region in Canada.

“I have not seen an uptake in customer acquisition anywhere else like this since we launched, and the channel in Canada has blown me away,” said Brian O’Shea, Clumio’s VP of Sales. “We are looking to take it to the next level over next several months, expanding both the feature sets and the team.”

Chris Gowans became the first member of the Canada-based sales team in February, when he moved over from Pure Storage’s Canadian operations as the Toronto-based sales exec for Clumio. He was quickly joined by Wayne Silberman as the cloud systems engineer, also based in Toronto, whose most recent employers before Clumio were Komprise, Rubrik and Commvault.

Sales have been brisk since Clumio got a sales team on the ground in Canada, even though the overall numbers are still small because of their newness to working in Canada from within Canada.

“We are onboarding almost double digits per quarter, and we are extremely happy with the uptick in customers,” O’Shea indicated.

The first two public references are Brampton ON-based Maple Lodge Farms, the largest chicken processor in Canada, and Clumio’s first Canadian customer, and  Hamilton-based McMaster University.

Getting their data management plane up in the AWS, which also took place this spring, was of critical importance in being able to close deals.

“We were going through the Proof-of-Concept process with these customers, but we were waiting for our data management plane to be resident in Canada to close them,” O’Shea said.

O’Shea said Clumio isn’t seeing any real lag in Canadian acceptance of enterprise backup to the cloud.

“There is something of an inherent belief that the Canadian market is behind the US, especially when it comes to cloud,” he said. “I don’t believe that at all. “We are seeing an uptick in VMC [VMware Cloud on AWS] and broad adoption of IaaS and PaaS workloads as well as SaaS. Canadians have been taking a more pragmatic approach on cloud, but that makes sense considering that it’s typical in the U.S. for the tech leaders to sometimes stub their toes.”

Clumio typically gets its foot in the door on a project basis, and then follows a ‘land and expand’ strategy from there.

“While we don’t support mainframes today, we can address the vast majority of workloads now,” O’Shea said. “Our insertion point on the VMware side is typically on VMC side or cloud-native, and our channel has done a great job of positioning us there. We can go to AWS customers and save them 7-10% off their entire bill and the channel has taken that message out. We want people to get a taste of the platform and see its power, and then they typically ask for more, including mailboxes, and on-prem workloads. The pandemic has further helped us here – it tends to benefit SaaS companies generally – by helping us show where we can add efficiencies and business value.

“In the U.S., we were engaged in a very competitive, very large bid, and everything was put on hold when the lockdown started because they couldn’t access their data centre,” O’Shea commented. “They were able to test us because to deploy us, we provide an access key, and they download the VM with containers. That’s all you need to do to access the platform. So they never even tested anyone else.”

Clumio has a 100% channel Go-to-Market strategy, and they already have a good partner foundation in Canada.

“We have four partners in Canada today,” O’Shea said. “We have one Canadian partner who can be termed a regional/national partner, while the others are bigger North American/international partners like SHI. We have exceeded our expectations in working with partners in Canada. That’s likely because smart people gravitate to great technology, and are successful because they seek out the best solutions for their customers.”

Clumio is looking to augment its channel in Canada, but only with partners who fll gaps in coverage.

“We won’t be in a great rush to expand the partner base,” O’Shea said. “We are looking at some regional-based potential partners, from a coverage perspective, but I don’t want to have 2000 partners. We want to make sure we can service our partners the best we can, so they can make great business decisions recommending us.”

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