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Veeam’s Ratmir Timashev On The 'Huge Opportunities' In Hybrid Cloud, Disaster Recovery And Office 365 Backup

The Veeam co-founder touted new partner-friendly product launches and said that Office 365 backup is the company’s fastest-growing product ever.

Veeam isn't wavering from its longstanding "100 percent" commitment to the channel as the data protection stalwart embraces new hybrid cloud models, co-founder Ratmir Timashev said this week in an interview.

Timashev, who is also the company's executive vice president of sales and marketing, spoke with CRN during the company's VeeamON conference in Miami, saying that Veeam is aiming to be one of the big winners in the era of hybrid IT.

[Related: VeeamON 2019: The 5 Biggest Statements From Ratmir Timashev]

Opportunities abound, including enhanced approaches to disaster recovery along with backup for Office 365 and for public cloud platforms such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.

"Those are the new platforms that represent the same, large opportunity as on-prem VMware," Timashev said. "That's for us and for our partners as well."

Ultimately, Veeam is now entering "Act 2," which is all about protecting and managing data in hybrid cloud environments, Timashev said.

What follows is an edited portion of the interview with Timashev.

What does Act 2 and hybrid cloud mean for your partners?

Act 2 means more opportunities, and a change in business model from just pure resale to resale plus services. Every time when a new transformational change occurs in the industry, there is an opportunity that opens up in two, three or four years, where a new set of leaders emerge. With any new market, there are always three winners. That's the definition of a mature market. We believe that in the next two to three years, there will be new winners for this new hybrid cloud market. The same is true for our channel partners.

Would you say a majority of customers still don't realize cloud and Office 365 data needs to be backed up?

Absolutely. We have to do a lot of education. Microsoft provides the resilient infrastructure, but it's your responsibility to protect the data that sits on top. If you delete emails, it's your problem, not Microsoft's problem. The opportunities are tremendous. The last number I saw is that Microsoft had 140 million mailboxes on Office 365. We protect around 1 million. Microsoft is adding 3, 4, 5 million every month.

Last year we generated $18 million in subscription revenue [for Office 365 backup]. The year before, we released the product and it was $3 million. This year we will be close to $50 million. Next year, it might be approaching $100 million. So within four years we are creating a huge subscription business. That's the fastest-growing product in the history of the company.

We created the VMware backup market, and we dominated it for 10 to 12 years. Now there are several new platforms in addition to on-prem—Office 365, AWS, Azure—those are the new platforms that represent the same, large opportunity as on-prem VMware. That's for us and for our partners as well.

Could you talk about Veeam's expanded efforts in offering disaster recovery?

Our disaster recovery product is Veeam Availability Orchestrator. It's a disaster recovery orchestration product, and we just released version 2. In version 1, we delivered the orchestration from replicas. You have to replicate the data into the secondary data center, and so if there is a disaster, the data is already replicated—you just have to recover it and orchestrate the recovery. But replicas are very expensive, because basically we have to have the data in two places. [Vice President of Product Strategy] Danny [Allan] uses analogies like, if I want to replicate my house, I have to have two houses. Backup is different—you can store many backups on cheap storage. In the first version, we orchestrated replicas. In the second version, we orchestrate disaster recovery from backups. Normally disaster recovery can be afforded only by the largest enterprises, and only for the [data that is] mission-critical. Now, because we can orchestrate recovery from backups, all organizations can afford it for all applications.

Our partners become the expert in disaster recovery. It's a very powerful product. ... We believe it's an awesome product for all our midsize companies and large customers. SMBs might not need it unless they're in a regulated industry. It's another opportunity for our resale partners to become disaster recovery consultants to customers.

Are you seeing more customers looking to pull their data out of public cloud?

The more data that goes into public cloud, customers want to bring a certain percent back. That's the capability that Veeam provides. With our cloud mobility, we can help you move the workloads. We can bring it back [from public cloud], and we have the ability to move data between the different clouds. In fact, in version 3 [of Availability Orchestrator], we probably will orchestrate that movement. So if Azure dropped the price tomorrow, we will understand that, and we will move your workloads from AWS to Azure.

What other products do you want partners to know about right now?

We have this product called Veeam Availability Console. In reality it should be called service provider portal—it's a service provider business in a box. It's a console that, if you are a Veeam Cloud Service Provider, it's your business in a box because you see all your customers, all your deployments, and you manage through that console all your deployments of Veeam technology. Backup and recovery, also billing, monitoring, alerting—it's a multi-tenant platform that allows you to manage all your customers from a simple interface. Our service providers love it. With the new version, our service providers are asking us to give access to our resellers, so that when you sell Office 365, you also sell Office 365 backup. And you sell it as-a-service using Veeam service providers. The reseller can white-label and deliver this as a service to their customers.

What are you hoping partners will take away from VeeamON and your message about hybrid cloud?

We are partner-first in all aspects—in sales, marketing and product. We first make the features available to our VCSPs or resellers, and then for AWS and Azure. Because our VCSPs partially compete with AWS and Azure infrastructure, because they have their own infrastructure. We always make features available first to our VCSPs. So we're 100 percent committed. Second, there are huge opportunities, so let's work together. Those are the huge opportunities we just described—hybrid cloud, disaster recovery, Office 365, AWS, Azure.

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