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Throughout the course of the coronavirus pandemic, life has had to continue. For many in senior channel roles, that has included going through a virtual interview process, starting a fresh role, and getting to know colleagues and partners remotely.
For some, the process has been slightly easier because of their experience in the industry and prior knowledge of the channel. Those attributes have helped Jamie Farrelly, the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) vice-president of channel and alliances at Commvault, who recently joined the firm after a spell in a senior channel role at Veritas.
He comes into a business that is going through something of a transformation. It has already ushered in a fresh global channel chief this year, with former EMC and Dell staffer John Tavares joining the company. It is also pushing its software-as-a-service (SaaS) message hard with its Metallic backup-as-a-service platform, which can take workloads from numerous sources, including Salesforce, Microsoft Teams, Active Directory, Oracle databases and Commvault’s HyperScale X appliance.
“The mission, the opportunity and the momentum this organisation is building is close to my heart, which is harnessing the power of data,” said Farrelly. “It has transitioned over the past two years to get match fit to really execute on this opportunity, both to drive customer value and to solve these big customer issues, but also naturally to help drive partner profitability.”
He noted that there were only a couple of things that drive momentum in a tech company – and first is the technology. “We’ve been a market leader with massive heritage in the market for a number of years. But [the CEO has] taken all that heritage, all that knowledge and trust that’s been built with big customers over a period of time, and we’re building out models, not only to increase the feature functionality of what we do, but also building models for the future in terms of consumption and packaging models that are ripe for the market, as we start to move from a sell-through to an orchestrator model,” he added.
The channel is key to supporting that transition, and on that front Farrelly is keen to work with its established partner base.
“It’s the channel that is going to take customers there because, like most organisations, we’re humble about the fact that we’re part of a greater engine here, and we need to be kind of collaborative with other vendors with partners to solve customer problems and drive value. We’ve got to be collaborative, and what I’m seeing as I walk into the organisation is a huge focus on all the relevant route-to-market partner types that will drive both today and tomorrow,” he said.
It is an interesting time to be operating in the Commvault channel because customers are looking for more support with their data needs and are going through changes, some accelerated by Covid-19, to move towards a hybrid world where they are using more hosted services.
“There is a real focus on getting to the cloud and helping customers and partners navigate in the cloud, and being protected whilst they do it, with that level of agility,” said Farrelly.
Customers are moving more to the cloud and there are not many that do not face exponential data growth and coping with the management consequences of that.
“The fragmentation of data, growing everywhere on multiple platforms, now multiclouds and also all over the place. The security and compliance issues of that, and overall visibility [because you] can’t protect what you can’t see and you can’t optimise what you can’t see. So the tools we’ve got across the platform [cover] backup, recovery, insights and SaaS,” he said.
Farrelly’s main message for the channel is that Commvault is a business that has gone through a transition – it has changed its senior management team, it has a SaaS platform offering and it understands the cloud.
“We’ve got extremely clever people who are all focused on innovation, and when you’ve got a culture like that and the agility to make big decisions quite quickly, it creates momentum. One of my personal goals is to build the belief of the new Commvault into the existing channels and partners we have, but also to some of the new partners that we need to work with,” he concluded.