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Veeam bullish on growth in APAC

Veeam’s top executive in Asia-Pacific expects the company’s growth momentum in the region to continue despite the Covid-19 pandemic, and is setting sights on growth areas such as container backups

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Backup and recovery software supplier Veeam is bullish about its growth prospects in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region despite the challenging economic environment.

Speaking to Computer Weekly on the sidelines of VeeamOn 2020, Shaun McLagan, Veeam’s senior vice-president for Asia-Pacific and Japan, said the company was already growing eight to 12 times faster than the market in the region – and that the momentum is set to continue.

And with the cash injection from Insight Partners, its new private equity owner, Veeam has stuck to its hiring plans amid the Covid-19 pandemic, including the appointment of a  country manager in Indonesia.

“We’re also lucky that we don’t have supply chain issues as we don’t need services to be physically installed,” said McLagan. “The fact that you can install Veeam in your datacentre from home by just dialling into your cloud provider really means there’s no impediment to doing stuff that you may have been wanting to do for months.”

McLagan expects Veeam’s APAC business to grow by almost 20% in its second quarter, on the back of a similarly strong quarter in 2019. This is despite expectations that the demand for data protection and infrastructure will dip or remain flat this year.

“I don’t think Covid-19 has changed the importance of data,” said McLagan. “It probably reminded people that data is critically important. And data will be everywhere – at the edge, in a cloud, and it’ll move between and it needs protecting.

“We were growing well, we continue to grow well and the fact that we don’t need to ship you anything physical is an advantage for us,” he added.

Not ready to rest on its laurels, Veeam is now setting its sights on growth areas such as backup solutions for containers.

“In the next 12 to 18 months, the container backup space will go from what I perceive as an interesting talking point to a requirement that will become a monetisable market,” said McLagan.

Meanwhile, Veeam is continuing to introduce backup offerings for public cloud services, including Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

During its VeeamOn virtual event, the company announced that its latest version of Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 will deliver native backup and recovery for Microsoft Teams through application programming interfaces.

McLagan said it was a combination of luck and good timing that had enabled Veeam to pull off the Teams backup feature at a time when use of the Microsoft collaboration tool was growing.

“We use Teams internally and we’ve really ramped up that usage in the past six months. I think we got a little lucky on that one,” he said.

Earlier this year, Veeam made a notable addition to its software licensing options – a universal licence that can be applied to any workload, whether that is virtual, on physical servers and workstations, or in the cloud. 

McLagan said the option has been welcomed by Veeam customers who would have had to acquire separate licences to run software agents on different types of infrastructure and operating systems where their workloads reside.

“The feedback from partners and customers is that any time you want to remove complexity from licensing, you’re doing a good thing, so it’s been really well received,” he said.

The security angle

With cyber security and data protection closely intertwined, some data management players have been adding anti-malware and threat detection capabilities into their offerings – a move that McLagan claimed is being driven by marketing.

“Security sells and gets people to turn up for webinars,” he said. “One of the poorest mergers and acquisitions in IT history was between Symantec and Veritas, so the fact that every data management and backup vendor is selling a security story is, in my humble opinion, pure marketing.

“If the idea of backup and security was great, Symantec would have been a blinding success, whereas it was a blinding failure by every single measure you could possibly look at,” he said.

In September 2016, after Veritas split from Symantec early in the year, former Veritas CEO Bill Coleman told Computer Weekly’s sister site SearchDataBackup that Symantec was mostly focused on security and did not have a long-term strategy for Veritas.

Veeam’s approach, McLagan said, is to offer backup and recovery capabilities, along with tools such as Veeam DataLabs that enables enterprises to use security technologies from different suppliers to perform specific security tasks such as penetration testing.

“We’re not pretending we’re a security company,” said McLagan. “And the idea that I would charge you to look at your backup data to try to sell you a security angle – I don’t believe CIOs are going to buy that story.”

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