We are investing aggressively to expand in India : Asanga Wanigatunga, Veeam

Owing to rapid digital transformation, Veeam sees India as a key strategic market for its cloud availability and backup solutions. 

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In an interview with IDG, Asanga Wanigatunga, Senior Director, Cloud and Service Providers - APJ at Veeam shared his outlook for the Indian cloud managed service market.

Edited Excerpts:

How do you see the Indian market for your solutions? How do you plan to further expand in India?

If you look at Veeam's business globally, we had a solid year. We looked at our real growth markets and found that in India we were under-invested from a resource perspective. So, towards the end of last year we started investing in more headcounts, and we see it as a market where we need to invest heavily because it's moving. 

If you look at where we have historically done really well is organizations that have new projects, especially driven on the back-end digital initiatives. And the reason for that is that we see ourselves as the availability platform for enterprises. If you are going for a digital initiative, your brand depends on how your platform is functioning. We are finding that many organizations are taking that seriously because if they are going down this path, high availability becomes a key aspect of it. If you look at India, it correlates quite nicely why we are investing aggressively. We believe the market is very open especially in the enterprise end, the cloud and service provider end and the global system integrator space. 

As far as security is concerned, what is the security strategy for your product portfolio?

If you look at our product portfolio, we are about keeping an enterprise always on. So, we see ourselves as the availability platform. When it comes to security, we are seeing an interesting traction. What's driving out of that is lot of the ransomware attacks that have been happening recently. So, if you look at an organization on how they attack ransomware, is that they use proactive measures with security products-- which is not what we are. We are the insurance policy to the security strategy. If something goes bad with the proactive protection technology, our technology allows you to recover that stuff. 

In the Indian market there is a big adoption of SaaS-based products. So, if your apps are in the cloud, there is a section in the customer world that think that it is now protected; but the reality is that it's not protected. It is just highly available and so if a malicious or unintentional user goes and deletes everything and it gets hacked or vulnerable. The SaaS platform does not protect; but keeps the platform highly available. So, we are seeing a push by organizations to our products in that line. 

Veeam had a recent partnership with Pure Storage. Can you tell us how it benefits the company?

We have a very rich ecosystem of alliance partners, Pure Storage being one of the key ones. We earlier made announcements about our other partnerships with Netapp and Cisco. We have a multitude of go-to markets. But, one of the value of the value proposition is that a lot of customers invest in storage because at this time, it has become quite expensive. Our native integration into these platforms like Pure Storage, means they could optimize our backup and availability technologies on it. So, we build native integration into these platforms, which is good for joint customers because if the customers are investing into any of these brands, whether it is HPE or Cisco or Netapp, our technology integration allows them to get a much better RoI. 

Coming back to India, what growth opportunities do you see in the Indian market?

We have had a very good business in the mid-market in India and it is growing fast. If we were to double our business in the coming years, it's really two main aspects. One of them is enterprise. So, we are focussed on very large enterprise teams to go after that market. The other market is cloud and the global systems integrator business. India has very large cloud providers in the market.There is a big market for cloud service providers and we see government initiatives like Digital India giving a boost to cloud requirements and that's where we are doubling down to catapult our business.

What challenges do you see in your path for the Indian market?

One of the key aspects is hiring the right talent. So, we are now focussed on finding the right team to build the business. Our product strategy is extremely rich from the global perspective. We are really keen on building enterprise-grade features which means we can address the Indian market requirements and what the market wants. At the same time, we need to build the right go-to market teams locally to go execute on that. We don't see that as a challenge, we see that as something we need to get right. 

What is your primary product strategy that you are developing for all global markets?

We are in a hybrid model. If we think about ten years ago, it was like a one-size-fits-all market. In today's market, a customer whether existing or new business they are building, whether on-premise or off-premise, they will have stuff on-premise in physical and they will have stuff on cloud, whether it's SaaS cloud or a hyperscale cloud like AWS, Azure, Google and IBM. Organizations are also building stuff on cloud-native. All the net new applications that are developed today are running on that. The customer today will pick the right platform for the right problem they want to solve. So, we see ourselves as a platform player to be able to sit amongst the top of that and provide the availability and data protection. That means that if a customer wants to move stuff across, our platform will allow to do that. For us, investing in the platform is priority number one.

Today, there are many tech disruptions taking place. Do you see any impact of disruption on your organization and how are you preparing for that?

From our perspective, we don't see disruption in that. In fact, we have mapped out our growth trajectory to 2022. Having said that, we are forward looking to see how we keep innovating.  If you look at Veeam's history, we are only an 11-year old company and we went from zero to 827 million US dollars in ten years, which means we have to innovate very fast here. What we are concerned here is that we want to disrupt ourselves internally to maintain that growth trajectory. So, we are are looking at a lot of these innovations that we need to solve the problems of today differently than we solved ten years ago. You will see a lot of new solutions coming from our side and VeeamOn in Chicago is also where we will make new announcements. 

 How are you working to expand the channel ecosystem in India?

We are investing quite aggressively to build the channel ecosystem. What we offer is an availability platform which is part of a much bigger play. The partners add a lot of value to our go-to markets. Partners help us stitch the entire thing together, everything from hardware to software to solutions and to delivering the services across. We are obviously building an ecosystem around that. We are looking at it from a different dimension. We look at it from a vertical perspective. Some of these partners are very rich at the vertical play, like education, government and healthcare. If you look at healthcare, the platforms there are not only mission-critical, they are life-critical and we need delivery partners, providers in healthcare vertical that understand the applications well.