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Commvault reveals EMEA distribution rationalisation

Commvault evaluating distributor relationships as part of sweeping changes to channel organisation

Commvault is reviewing its EMEA distribution as part of extensive structural changes to its channel organisation.

In July the storage vendor first announced it was overhauling both its channel-go-to-market strategy and product portfolio.

Now, Commvault VP, worldwide channels, Scott Strubel, said “distribution rationalisation” in the region was high on his to-do list.

“We have more distributors than I think we need,” he told Microscope, adding that he was looking to work with distributors that are actively building practices around Commvault’s solutions.

“It is my goal to evaluate a number of [them] based on what they’re doing…We want to be more interesting to less distributors,” he added.

Commvault’s aim, said the exec, is to be more prescriptive in its channel strategy, as well as making its engagement with partners more consistent and predictable.

The changes this summer saw the firm merge its different channel territories into one global organisation.  Where partners had been categorized and managed by theatre, or geography, Strubel said Commvault has brought them together to provide a “consistent route to market”.

At the same time, Commvault unveiled a dramatically slimmed down product portfolio, which the exec said had previously been “rather complex”. The vendor went from 20 to just four SKUs: Commvault Complete Backup & Recovery, Hyperscale, Orchestrate and Activate.

Strubel said he wants to see more channel sales staff trained on Commvault, which he said while appreciated by technical engineers and pre-sales staff, was perceived by sales teams as too complicated. He hopes the changes to the portfolio will mean “a dramatic increase in the number of sellers selling Commvault.”

The company has also made improvements to both its partner portal and introduced a new quoting system to make it easier and quicker for partners to deliver a quote. In addition, it now offers a Commvault Partner Success Desk (PSD), where partners can call Commvault for pre-sales and sales advice.

Strubel is also pushing for closer collaboration with alliance partners such as Cisco, NetApp and HPE, noting a high degree of overlap between partners. He says those vendors’ partners are compensated for selling Commvault as part of their overall solutions, maintaining that selling its Intellectual Property (IP) is the most important thing.

Regarding recruitment, Strubel said to get into new markets, the company needs to work with select partners that “can differentiate themselves, whether through their vertical, geographical or market knowledge.”

He also said Commvault would look to “reactivate” partners that have one little with the firm to date and make them aware of the changes at the organisation.

Strubel believes Commvault today – where around 90% of sales go through the channel – is now a completely different entity to partners. “If you didn’t know Commvault as of July this year, you don’t know Commvault,” he said.

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