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Commvault’s channel chief outlines a busy year ahead

Recently appointed John Tavares has plans to reach out to MSPs, get more partners involved with SaaS and has a partner programme to launch in Q2

John Tavares can still count the number of days he has been channel chief at Commvault in double digits and he is getting ready for a busy year ahead for the firm’s partners.

The former EMC and Dell staffer officially took up the role of vice-president of global channel and alliances at Commvault at the start of the year, but comes into the position with plenty of channel experience.

“The one common thread through the majority of my career has been a partner-centric approach,” says Tavares. “I was there at the inception of EMC’s channel business and helped build not only the sales execution components of that business over many years, but also the partner execution components over many years, and it continues today.”

He also took the job with knowledge of Commvault, and during the interview process established that the senior management are channel supporters.

“When [I talk to the CEO] he always says, ‘Get me involved with the partners, use me’,” says Tavares. “You have CEO partner vigour in the company that translates to all the executives in the company. I’m surrounded by a company that is partner-centric and has high expectations of what we can do with the partner organisation and with our partners.”

The mission for the year ahead is to underline to the channel the moves Commvault has made into the software-as-a-service (SaaS) world with its Metallic SaaS proposition. In the first half of 2021, one of the big things on the horizon is the launch of an enhanced partner programme in April. The firm is already making it clear that it plans to introduce changes that will ramp up support for MSPs.

He has identified an opportunity to bring together different parts of the partner ecosystem and connect them with hyperscalers that are looking for SaaS tools. “They are looking to us and our partners to lead the way and to create the right combinations and the right go-to-market to help our customers in their journey to SaaS around their backup and recovery strategy,” says Tavares.

“I’m surrounded by a company that is partner-centric and has high expectations of what we can do with the partner organisation and with our partners”

John Tavares, Commvault

“I call this our ‘cloud go-to-market’ because it encompasses a lot of things, but it is number one for our partners and what you’ll see from me,” he says.

Most of the plans for the partner programme are under wraps until nearer the launch in April, but Tavares is able to reveal that there will be much more emphasis on managed service providers (MSPs) and in making life easier for the channel.

“I think partners will be very excited to see that evolution – there is a really good amount of innovation and good amount of simplification,” he adds. “One component that partners will see dramatically enhanced is our MSP component...there’s a huge opportunity in the EMEA [Europe, Middle East and Africa] market and the global market.”

As the company evolves, the door is open to more partners to come on board, and the hope is that MSPs, in particular, will be giving Commvault a closer look once the programme launches in the spring.

Those already involved would have seen the market for backup, recovery and data governance continue to expand over the course of 2020, and Tavares is optimistic about the fortunes for the channel going into this year.

“There is digital transformation in the marketplace and we’re seeing massive increases in activity in our customer base that our partners are working with, where data protection is becoming much more important in the conversations that our partners are having,” he says.

“Companies have been digitally transformed. They are rushing to digitally transform in almost every business in the world. So that’s creating a huge opportunity for everybody in technology, not just Commvault – but Commvault and Metallic are definitely playing a role there,” says Tavares.

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