Veeam is the market leader in this space, but they see it as an almost complete green fields opportunity since their share is 8.5 million users in an area Microsoft estimates at 300 million today, growing to 500 million in 2025.
Today, Veeam Software is announcing the general availability of Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 v6, the latest version of their SaaS backup and recovery solution for Microsoft 365. Its’ new features include a self-service restore portal for customers, and cloud object storage integrations with the big cloud providers’ archiving tiers, something that has been available for Veeam’s core offering, but not until now for Backup for Microsoft 365.
Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 is now the market leader in its space, with 73% growth YoY last year, but the company still sees this as an enormous growth opportunity for them.
“We are still in the early days of this market, with Microsoft 365 Backup remaining a green fields opportunity for Veeam,” said Danny Allan, CTO and SVP of Product Strategy at Veeam. “Microsoft says they have 300 million users and by 2025 will have 500 million. We have only 8.5 million of those. We are only just beginning to scratch the surface.”
Allan said that most of the industry remains largely unaware of the need for this kind of protection.
“Every time the industry moves to a new infrastructure like cloud or SaaS, it takes 5-10 years to catch up,” he stated. “Customers assume things will come automatically in the new infrastructure, and they don’t, but they are still responsible for those activities. More education and awareness is needed. The IT industry as a whole has done a poor job in learning from our history. We learn the same things over and over. The adoption of newer technologies is often driven by people who are not as tech savvy as the core IT group. So the process is often driven from the top down without recognizing the implications for the business itself. People in the LOB [Line of Business] make the choice to go to the cloud and IT is playing catchup in those environments.
“True leadership from an IT perspective means empowering your IT teams to lead,” Allan continued. “That’s often the inverse of what happens. Leadership tends to drive things forward rather than empowering the IT teams to drive the transformation.”
Allan said that Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 v6 is significant for Veeam.
“This is not an incremental release,” he noted. “It’s a significant addition in terms of capabilities, additional APIs and automation. The biggest component is a completely new addition – a self service portal for end users, which reduces costs for organizations.” This self-service restore portal lets IT administrators securely delegate restores of emails and files from one centralized location, and means that restore scenarios, like simple user accidental deletions, will not require an IT admin’s assistance and can be done independently by users.
“There are several drivers for this,” Allan said. “As a population, we are all becoming more digital savvy. End users now CAN log into a self-service portal and recover their own data. This reduces costs, which allows them to reduce burden on the IT help desk and allows them to focus on more strategic things, which is a benefit to everyone.”
The self-service portal has multiple benefits for Veeam channel partners.
“There are three benefits for the channel,” Allan said. “The first is lower costs, which translates into increased margins. This reduces the burden on them to provide services like file recovery and email recovery, and makes it easier to tier data onto colder ties of storage.”
The portal also makes it easier to offer the solution as a service.
“We have a lot of channel partners who package it up in this way,” Allan said. “Many customers don’t want to deal with this on their own, and the security capabilities allow for that.”
The other advantage for partners is the improved automation and scalability capabilities.
“They offer a broad collection of services through their environment, and adding a lot of APIs and automation makes it easier for them to integrate this into an as-a-service operation,” Allan noted.
Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 v6 enables making a secondary copy of data in low-cost object storage such as Amazon S3 Glacier, Glacier Deep Archive and Azure Archive.
“The first stage in data protection is to take your first copy of the data,” Allan said. “We had that ability to copy backups, but not to tier it into colder tiers of storage. We did in our image-based backup, but not in Microsoft 365. I don’t know of any vendor who has been tiering for Microsoft 365.”
Security has been enhanced with multi-factor authentication [MFA] access.
“This was not supported for end users before because we didn’t have end user access before, as we do now through the portal,” Allan said. “Adding the end user access makes MFA significant. It wasn’t necessary because it didn’t involve the end user before.”
Finally, the new version also enables the channel to a greater extent through greater automation.
“What most software vendors mean by automation is they offer APs that enable automation,” Allan stated. “The value actually comes from the partner who enables the API bundles in data protection for Microsoft 365 access. So we are not actually offering automation, but rather enabling it through the channel.”