Veeam Poaches Bakstran From NetApp, Promotes Mundle To Beef Up Channel Muscle

Data recovery and back-up vendor Veeam has hired channel veteran Brian Bakstran to strengthen the company's channel operation as it accelerates its drive into the enterprise cloud market.

Bakstran, a seven-year NetApp veteran, was named Veeam's vice president of Americas marketing. His recent hiring coincides with James Mundle becoming vice president of worldwide channel programs. Mundle has been with Veeam for about two years and previously led the company's North America channel strategy and operations.

Bakstran is part of Veeam's drive into the enterprise and its multi-million dollar effort to push partners into the cloud. Matt Chesterton, CEO of OffsiteDataSync, a Rochester, N.Y., solution provider that works with Veeam, said Bakstran's hiring is an impressive move by a company intent on keeping its foot on the growth accelerator.

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"I'm really impressed by him, and by what Veeam is doing overall with their leadership," Chesterton said. "His background, not only is he channel-focused, but he's got his head on right from a marketing standpoint. When you focus on both sales and marketing, and roll that into one person, it's really going to have an impact on the channel."

Bakstran was most recently at NetApp as vice president of global field and channel marketing. In his seven years with that company, he also held positions as vice president of North America marketing and as CMO.

Before NetApp, Bakstran spent nearly five years in various executive marketing roles at Computer Associates.

Mundle is a channel veteran who was director of Hewlett Packard Enterprise's enterprise server and storage channel sales for more than seven years, and spent a year as vice president of worldwide channel sales for Seagate's cloud systems and solutions business before joining Veeam about two years ago.

Veeam co-CEO Peter McKay said hiring Bakstran and promoting Mundle is part of an effort to set Veeam up for dramatic global growth. Over the last three years, the company has notched year-over-year revenue growth in the 30 percent range, and McKay has his sights set higher.

"We think there's more we can do, and that's going to come from expanding into the enterprise aggressively," McKay said.

Bakstran brings a skillset that Veeam needs in order to put itself on course for that growth, McKay said. "Marketing to enterprise customers is different from things we've done in years past. There's fantastic opportunity there, but we need different skill sets to grow in to more complex enterprises. The positioning is different. The messaging is different, and that's where Brian comes in."

By promoting Mundle, Veeam is seeking to bring unity to its far-flung global channel operation, McKay said. "It was more and more important that we have somebody at the executive level speaking for all the channel organizations around the globe," McKay said. "We don't want to do something in North America that disrupts something in EMEA. We need to act like a multi-national organization and be consistent, but able to modify for specific markets. James wakes up every day to make sure whatever we're doing is the right thing for customers and partners. We need to get consistency and bring in best practices from each geography; we also need to start using that proactively where we can roll out global programs that partners can leverage as they look to expand into other countries."

"Veeam's push to the cloud is really forward-thinking," Chesterton said. "The program and incentives are cloud-based and cloud-focused where traditionally the market's been all about perpetual [software license] sales. It's a great way for us to secure customers. We see where Veeam is going. They're taking out legacy players, winning deals and moving into the enterprise. There's a lot of excitement."

Chesterton said OffsiteDataSync's Veeam business has more than doubled every year for the last three years while its customer base grows by nearly as much annually.

Veeam has been on the move this year, pumping $200 million into its Cloud Connect 2.0 program to recruit cloud service providers; extending its Always-On Cloud platform to IBM, Lenovo and INFINIDAT; and integrating its back-up and replication software with Pure Storage.

The company also became a "premier availability solution" for Nutanix environments, introduced Veeam for IBM Bluemix and launched Veeam Availability for AWS, a solution designed to protect and recover AWS applications and data.

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