Veeam Stays The Channel Course In Push To Keep Data Centers Available

Ratmir Timashev (left) with Chicago-based comedian Richard Laible

Veeam told attendees of its first-ever user and partner conference that it remains 100 percent committed to working with channel partners to bring its message about the importance of data center availability to business users.

Veeam, best known as a provider of data protection technology for virtualized environments, tried to steer the channel conversation away from mere virtualization to push partners to work with customers to ensure their data center infrastructures can support consistent availability of data.

Speaking before about 300 solution provider personnel on the opening day of the VeeamON conference, held this week in Las Vegas, Veeam President Ratmir Timashev said it is important that channel partners talk to customers about continual access to data as modern data centers evolve into the cloud.

[Related: New Veeam Availability Suite Combines Backup, Monitoring]

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"But one piece is still missing," Timashev said. "Availability."

Timashev said the traditional partner approach to availability is the idea that, if it's not broken, don't fix it. "But there is a lot of competitive pressure," he said. "Partners have to change."

One thing that won't change, Timashev said, is Veeam's commitment to a 100 percent channel focus. "No way that will change," he said. "Our business is driven by partners, and they are driving the industry."

That channel-only focus so far is working for Veeam, which Timashev said has more than 25,000 partners worldwide serving more than 120,000 customers. Revenue for Veeam this year is expected to grow 40 percent over last year, while growth next year is expected to reach 30 percent, putting Veeam on track to have $1 billion in annual revenue by 2018, he said.

"My [business] partner 15 years ago told me, the best product never wins," he said. "Fifteen years later, I say to myself, what do I do? Do I make the product less good? But I realized, the company with the best partners wins."

Chris Moore, senior director of North American channel sales and Veeam's channel chief, said his company is unique in its reliance on the channel.

"We don't have another route to market," Moore said. "We don't want another route to market."

To help partners better serve customers, Veeam is preparing to shortly make assessment and implementation services available to partners, Moore said. The goal is to drive these services through partners, he said.

Veeam in the fourth quarter also will introduce a couple of channel-focused promotions.

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Chris Moore

The first promotion is a partnership with VMware whereby every time partners attach Veeam to a deployment of VMware's vSphere with Operations Management, or VSOM, they can gain a margin of up to 50 percent, Moore said. "I don't know another 50 percent partner play," he said to a round of applause from the solution provider audience.

Veeam also is working with partners on a "Buy Now" promotion to get customers to purchase the company's technology before Jan. 1, when a price increase is slated to happen.

In addition, the company is providing materials through a marketing self-service portal for partners looking to develop marketing campaigns, and is providing blueprints to help prepare new partners to work with its technology, Moore said.

It is hard to think of another company with the kind of channel focus shown by Veeam, said Rich Baldwin, CIO and chief strategy officer of Nth Generation Computing, a San Diego-based solution provider and Veeam partner.

"Veeam gets the channel," Baldwin told CRN. "The company is a safe investment for us. It has good product, and is easy to work with and profitable for us. Our salespeople normally don't want to come to events like VeeamON. They prefer to be in the field. But we had a lot of our salespeople want to come here to learn."

While Veeam may not have as complete a solution as companies such as Symantec or CommVault, the company is hitting the target in focusing on availability in modern virtualized and cloud data centers, Baldwin said.

"Veeam does all the important stuff," he said. "And it works well, and is priced right. There's no need to do tremendous price negotiations. And no need to fight with direct sales."

Jim Millard, systems engineer at OneNeck IT Solutions, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based solution provider and Veeam partner, told CRN that Veeam has driven itself to ensure ease and simplicity with its solutions but is not resting on its laurels.

"Veeam is stupid easy to implement," Millard said. "It's more about fixing the environment than implementing a solution. If clients see the solution in a webinar, they see how quickly it is implemented. We're not talking two to three weeks. It's more like one and a half days. Stand up the software in a half-day, then spend the next day training customers in how to use it."