Veeam powers on as data protection and cloud management tools become crucial to remote working

June 23rd, 2020 | by Grace Chng
Veeam powers on as data protection and cloud management tools become crucial to remote working
Healthcare organisations are among the many that use Veeam software to manage their cloud data. PHOTO: Veeam Software Facebook page

The coronavirus is not stopping data protection and cloud backup firm Veeam. In May this year, its bookings passed US$1 billion and it is aiming for US$1.6 billion by the end of this year, said chief executive Bill Largent.

Growth is due to organisations’ awareness that data protection including security services and cloud management tools are crucial for operations especially for those that have embarked on digital transformation activities.

In the past few months, the awareness has taken on a higher level of urgency as the coronavirus forced workers out of offices into their homes.

The safe movement of data to the corporate cloud as well as to other clouds, for archival and backup services, has called for a new level of importance, he said in an interview at the start of its customer event called VeeamOn last week.

Organisations must know where their data is if they are to provide good backup and data protection, he added.

Even before the coronavirus appeared, Veeam’s growth trajectory has been upward. In the data replication and protection market, research firm IDC figures showed that for the second half of 2019 Veeam led the market, growing fastest at 21.3 per cent year-on-year, with nearest rival Dell Technologies clocking in at 12.4 per cent.

Veeam’s growth was also faster than the market average of 7.6 per cent year-on-year growth.

In future, growth may come from acquisitions. Veeam’s new owners Insight Partners which acquired it last year for US$5 billion, are looking for an aggressive growth path including acquisitions, he explained.

“The US government is the biggest buyer of IT products and services, so having a US company as our owner will help us get into this market,” he said. The software firm which was co-founded by two Russians, has also shifted its headquarters to the US from Switzerland.

Investments in R&D will more than double this year including headcount, although Largent did not offer any figures. Veeam’s core R&D team has moved to Prague from St Petersburg. Increasingly their focus will be on data migration to clouds such as Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.

As businesses slowly emerge from the lockdown, Largent does not see any change to its plans. “Our biggest challenge post-coronavirus maybe the way we do our proof of concept,” he said. “Previously, we will go onsite and be in our customers’ offices. Not we may not be able to do this, so we will have to think of new ways.”

In the Asia-Pacific and Japan region, IDC also shows that in the data replication and protection market Veeam has achieved the fastest year-on-year growth at 32.1 per cent, ahead of its rivals like Dell and Veritas.

To cater to growing demand in this region, Veeam has hired more than 50 people in the first six months of this year, and adding about 20 more for the rest of the year.  

Shaun McLagan, Veeam’s senior vice-president for the region, said that Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Japan and India are experiencing good growth.

“In the last two to three years, the region has moved forward rapidly. Organisations in the region have leapt forward where it comes to cloud application,” he said. “They are thirsty for tools and looking to IT as enabler for digital transformation.”

“We are also seeing a lot of cloud adoption outside of IT in the areas of software-as-an-application like in Office 365 and OneDrive,” he added.

The challenge for IT managers is that they know where the data resides in their IT departments, but the data sprawl is growing in other parts of organisations.

So the surface they need to protect is much wider. Their challenge is how to get their arms around the data wherever it is and protect it.

Veeam is targeting all market sectors including SMEs, said McLagan. “We’re looking at our data – across all industries organisations are buying. The importance of data and data protection is ubiquitous and everybody is doing it.”

He added that the big deals in the coming quarter are likely to emerge from the financial services in Japan, the public sector in Malaysia and retail in Australia.

Looking back at the health crisis of the past four to five months, McLagan was surprised that everyone had more time on their hands.

“Our data says that our business hasn’t slowed down. We don’t have supply chain issues because we don’t have hardware, we don’t do services so we don’t have to be on-site to install things,” he said.

“I’ve found that roles that I thought were dependent on having to be in the office tied to systems were equally effective remotely like technical support,” he noted.

“The only change is internal in that we must continue to be flexible with customer relationships,” he added.

New products announced at VeeamOn

Veeam will be announcing several new products soon. Keeping true to its reputation for simplified innovation and also addressing the current mass transition to work from home, Veeam will emphasise data and business continuity needs in its product development.

The new Veeam Availability Orchestrator (VAO) Version 3 and new disaster recovery pack includes a purpose-built disaster recovery (DR) planning and compliance solution for all types of workloads. Veeam claims that it will provide businesses up to 80 per cent cost savings.

Work from home has led to significant rise in Microsoft Teams, a communication and collaboration tool, as workers strive to communicate, collaborate and stay productive.  Usage has increased to more than 75 million daily active users.

Veeam’s latest Version 5 of backup for Microsoft Office 365 will make it easier for users to quickly restore and find documents and files from within Microsoft Teams.

As Veeam’s fastest growing product, with downloads by more than 120,000 organisations, representing over 12 million user mailboxes, the latest version of Backup for Microsoft Office 365 will deliver native backup and recovery for Microsoft Teams. It promises the fastest and easiest recovery for Teams data in the industry when it is out in the third quarter of this year.

Veeam is also adding more cloud-based protection features. The latest version of Veeam Backup for AWS, which is available now, features disaster recovery to protect against regional outages.

It also launched version 3 of Veeam Availability Orchestrator, adding full recovery orchestration support for NetApp OnTap snapshots which will be available next month.

Originally, VeeamOn was scheduled to be held in May in Las Vegas but it was cancelled due to the coronavirus and replaced by a virtual conference held last week. More than 23,000 attendees registered for the virtual conference.

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