While partners were happy to be back to face-to-face contact with Veeam, policies will continue pretty much as before, with emphasis on things like services and subscription which have recently proven to be very successful.
VeeamON 2022 last week was the company’s first in person event in three years, although there was a virtual component, for those willing to get their information that way. Partners, however, tended to be on the ‘eager to attend’ side, part of which was due to the desire to get back to business as normal, and part of which was due for a desire to resume the networking and other business-building activities which are much easier in person than online.
While many vendors over the last two years have been talking a good game about how much more efficient it is for them to reach more partners cost effectively through virtual events, the partners themselves seem to prefer the in-person events over the Zoom and Teams variety.
“Partners have been very anxious to be back,” said Paul Strelzick, Veeam’s GM and SVP, Americas. “The return of events has been at the request of partners. We began to hold regional events between August and December last year. At that time, partners were still feeling it out. Now they are pleased that we are back to full engagement.”
“It was partners who drove us out of lockdown,” agreed Kevin Rooney, Veeam’s VP, Americas Channel Sales.
Rooney emphasized that while Veeam had learned valuable lessons from the lockdown, it won’t be translated into major new directions in policy.
“Nothing changes in our Go-To-Market strategy,” he said. “We learned lessons about being responsive to customers and partners who get back face to face. But we continue to be prudent. The biggest takeaway from the lockdown is that we can be incredibly efficient in a certain way.”
One change is that big strategic partnerships, which have bounced around somewhat in recent years in terms of their importance to the company, are on the rise in importance again.
“Back in 2017, when Peter McKay was CEO, Veeam talked a ton about strategic alliance partnerships,” Strelzick said. “It was kind of an unnatural force fit into our Go-to-Market at the time. So we wound up putting on the backburner something that was being pushed too hard. It’s now coming on of its own volition, and we are learning how to bring all this together effectively. We are also working well with strategic partners around ransomware and other solutions.”
The growth of IPv6 support is also something that is rising to the fore, but Strelzick emphasized that this isn’t so much an issue of Microsoft CSP partners beating down the doors for it as it is a natural evolution of the technology.
“It’s one of those things whose time has come,” he said. “This has been mandated by the federal government for many years, but every year for the last 20 years, the government passed waivers to its own mandates around it. I don’t think we had this big partner driven request for it. It’s more of a natural technological evolution.”
Looking at channel plans for the year ahead, Rooney said that the focus on services will continue to grow.
“Our service offering for channel has grown faster – it is our fastest growing program – and makes things stickier with the customers,” he said
“Our adoption of subscription is much higher in North America,” Strelzick said. “EMEA is catching up. APJ is a little further behind. We also have a heavy focus on our Office 365 product.”
Rooney also highlighted the efforts of Veeam’s Canadian team, led by country leader Damian Serjeant and Sonia Mazzaferro, Veeam Canada’s Channel Chief.
“Our Canadian team is absolutely killing it,” he said.