How has your recently launched partner program, ‘Partner Force’ fared in India? What are the salient features of this program?
India is a key strategic market for Veritas and we are committed towards enabling the businesses in India with the right tools to harness the power of information. Launched in November 2015, the “Veritas Partner Force” program seeks to achieve sustainable and profitable growth for both partners and Veritas by leveraging joint assets to deliver value to our customers. We believe Veritas Partner Force is a game changer that offers our partners increased support, access to our technology and engineers, and importantly, the confidence to be trusted stewards of the Veritas brand to our customers. The key changes made in the new partner program are:
- Increased Opportunity Registration cap: Veritashas increased the Opportunity Registration cap from US$500K to US$1M, while maintaining payout rates, so partners can create and register bigger Veritas transactions with their strategic customers
- Enhanced Growth Accelerator Rebate: Veritas has enhanced its Growth Accelerator Rebate by introducing a 3-step payout program that increases high growth accelerators and simplifies quarterly payouts
- Streamline path to platinum status: Veritas has consolidated the qualifications for skilled partners to achieve platinum status by requiring two – rather than three – expert competencies and replacing the customer reference requirement with the opportunity for partners to better showcase customer successes
To ensure that our initiatives are aligned to partners’ needsin India, we have listened to our partner community and build program enhancements based on extensive partner feedback to strengthen Veritas’ channel presence. To date, we have 40 managed partners and 150 partners in India.
Symantec and Veritas have a common pool of channels and customers. How is Veritas leveraging on these common set of channels now?
While we were a part of Symantec, we had a very large pool of partners across the globe. As the majority of our partners are focused on information management – where Veritas is the leader in this space – the separation from Symantec has minimum impact on us. Today, 98% of our managed partners and distributers have migrated successfully from Symantec Partner Program to Veritas’ Partner Force program. We see partners building competencies around our entire portfolio of products; from backup and recovery, information availability and our archival product range. In India, we have a good pool of managed partners and we are driving our revenue on the SMB front through close to 150 odd partners – a substantial number to give us that desired reach to our customers. India is a very strategic market for us and we want to effectively collaborate with our channel partners to provide customers with the right solutions.
With advent of virtual and cloud, would Veritas engage solely with traditional channels or induct cloud-ready and cloud-only partners?
Businesses today, irrespective of size and vertical, are increasingly adopting cloud infrastructure to enhance their business growth due to cost considerations. According to Veritas’ State of Hybrid Cloud report, 74% of enterprises leverage two or more cloud infrastructure vendors to support their workload requirements and 23% are using four or more vendors. However, managing the data in such heterogeneous environment poses a challenge for the IT managers. This is where our partners could play a key role in helping our customers to understand the IT environment and advise them on the solutions that would address their critical business needs.
We have observed that the partners are continuously evolving themselves according to the changes in the industry. For instance, many who were originally resellers have become solution providers and others have started moving to cloud. At Veritas, we have been supporting our partners and customers across physical, cloud and virtual environments and we will continue to do so, as we have capabilities and solutions that could be deployed for different platforms. With our wide array of offerings, we are able to continually engage partners from both traditional channels and cloud environment.
What would be the Veritas GTM pitch for enterprise SIs to their customers?
We have partners pitching business outcomes to large systems integrators in India, to provide managed back-up service in their datacenters or in the cloud platform. Furthermore, we have solutions for enterprise customers and SMB customers. We rely heavily on our partners to build competencies and avoid becoming retailers/resellers providing products. We aim at building services for implementation and consultation around our products to give our customers a complete level of satisfaction. Our SMB product – Backup Exec is completely driven by channel, hence we have a mix of partners and SIs who are supporting our customers in the SMB sector.
What are the priorities in Veritas channel roadmap for 2016?
At Veritas, we are focused on solving organizations’ growing data challenges. We are well positioned to innovate and deliver the benefits arising from information management. Veritas pursues market segments that in aggregate represent a $24B market opportunity by 2018. These markets include Backup and Recovery, Integrated Appliances, Information Availability and Archiving solutions, where Veritas holds number one or number two market share positions.
Notably, Veritas’ product strategy combines continued investment in leading products and the development of next-generation solutions to help customers be agile and effective. We are looking forward to enhance our industry-leading backup and recovery, storage management, clustering, disaster recovery, archiving and eDiscovery core solutions in the upcoming year. These solutions will create the foundation for information availability and insight – to help customers unlock the value of their data to drive business productivity and profitability. Partner Force is our key platform and our commitment to support the speed of execution – if we are successful, we will be a true partner-led business.
Any significant changes in GTM, sales strategy or otherwise with new Veritas since it became a part of Carlyle group?
Veritas has had a strong brand reputation for our products and is now emerging to become the leader in the information management space. We recognize the opportunities that our channel partners present for Veritas and will continue to expand partnerships to deliver the real value of our products to our customers.
What are some of the best practices deployed in Veritas channel strategy?
Partners are key to Veritas’ success as an independent company. As a 100% channel driven revenue model, we are working towards a close and continued connection with our partners. With the launch of our partner program – Veritas Partner Force we have made it easier for our partners to be more profitable and predictable while selling Veritas solutions. The program has further provided us with a platform to engage ourselves with our partners in all the countries that we operate in on a regular basis and enlighten them on their performance simultaneously. The Veritas’ Voice – a monthly newsletter to provide regular updates for our partners – is another initiative that we have embarked on.
In addition, we are happy to share that we have added a four-member virtual team based out of Mumbai to support partners by validating technical proposals and designing solutions for them.
We also have a programmatic approach towards driving enablement for our partners. We are conducting enablement sessions country-wide in multiple cities on a quarterly basis. Currently, we have close to 200 representatives from the partner committee attending our enablement sessions in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. Last but not the least, we have carved out a non-commercial segment which is completely driven by our channels. This is generating pure incremental revenue for us in India.
In today’s digitalized world, many enterprises are faced with a twin challenge – the exponential growth of data driven by digitalization and shrinking resources and budget to acquire new applications or solutions for effective data management. We observe that enterprises are adopting cloud strategies to improve their service reliability and productivity. In addition, other technology trends such as mobility have also reached an inflection point – driving the change in commercial behavior of enterprises. These trends have led to an evolution – with enterprises moving from on premise to virtual or cloud environments, in order to be agile to meet market needs. We see potential opportunities for Veritas to expand our reach in India, especially in the telecom, BSFI, ITS and government sectors – to enable our customers to harness the power of information and stay ahead of their competition.