When recently appointed Veritas head of global channel, Mark Nutt, was in Sydney, he sat down with ARN and spoke about the company’s strategy since its planned spin off from Symantec’s information management business. He also talked about where Veritas plans to hedge its bets in the market. Nutt joined Symantec in 2011 to lead its EMEA strategy and sales operations team and was previously the general manager for a channel partner, Morse.
Julia Talevski (JT): What will you be focusing on initially?
Mark Nutt (MN): With our vision and strategic objectives, we want to make sure that we’re covering the market in an effective way. We’re building a channel to help us get scale and reach in the market.
It’s also important to think about customer choice and value. We recognise that we’ve serviced a lot of our customers around on-premise capability, but many of our customers want to move to a managed service or a Cloud-based service, although we’ve got partners that can provide that, there’s an opportunity for us to expand.
We’ve been achieving some solid growth numbers around Veritas and the third layer of our strategy is profitable growth. When we think about the customer lifecycle, it’s about understanding where our partners play in that customer lifecycle and making sure that we understand the role of our partner, and that we measure and reward it effectively.
JT: How have you been communicating to your partners about the changes that Veritas is undergoing with the split away from Symantec?
MN: We’ve just gone through the sales separation in April, and we’re heading towards operational separation in October, then legal separation towards the end of the year.
We had our worldwide sales conference in US, which was an opportunity for our teams to hear from our chiefs. Some of our partners heard directly about our strategy, commitment and our plan.
We had about 150 partners that joined us in Orlando and they were very excited about us bringing back the Veritas brand. For a lot of our partners, the Veritas brand represents a strong channel commitment and an opportunity to grow.
One of the best practices that we’re sharing is monthly calls and talking directly to our partners around our strategy and plan and the progress that we’re making.
We’ve also been running partner councils - globally and regionally, and we continue to leverage our advisory councils so that we’re hearing the right messages from our partners on how we’re doing.
JT: What has been the feedback from your partners so far?
MN: The feedback has been positive. We talked about our partner program, which we set up to reward growth, increase capability and commitment.
We shared our vision with our partners around information management. When we think about our customers, they’re looking to improve some of their key business services and increase their overall productivity. The message we’re sharing is that it isn’t about infrastructure management, that’s shifting to information management.
Some of the messages that we share with our teams and partners are around getting them to think about the data they are storing - 69 per cent of the data that customers are storing, has very limited value. When you think about information management - what do I have, where is it? What’s the business value of it? Once you start to understand the true value of the information, then you can make better and informed decisions about what you want to store and where you want to store it. That could be on-premise and in the Cloud.
JT: Will there be any impact on partner investments as a result of the split?
MN: We’re protecting their investment and what we’ve been sharing with our partners is that we’re going to continue with the framework of the program. Like all things, it will evolve over time.
Partners that have gone through the validation process with us, that have met the revenue goals and technical criteria till the end of our fiscal year (March 2016), will be protected in terms of their status and commercial terms with us.
At that point, as we go through the operational and legal separation, we’ll further think about our strategy, program and how it may evolve.
Our programs are very focused around growth, capability and commitment. For the partners that have stepped up with us over the past 12 to 18 months, we want to give them the opportunity to get a strong return on their investment.
JT: Where do you see the opportunities for partners in the market?
MN: We have a strategy around services that will be partner led. We are building great technology and we have a very strong roadmap that will take us forward. But beyond that, we rely on our partners and their service capability to deliver value to our customers.
Our partners are working with us around support. It’s a technology that has great margins and partners can build their services around it. In regards to our product roadmap, we’ve delivered some strong releases on our existing products and the NetBackup 5330 is our strongest appliance offering in the market to date.
Our roadmap is looking at a number of new products through information availability, backup and recovery, and information intelligence.
The near-term our Information Map, presents a tremendous opportunity for our partners and it’s very closely linked to the messaging that we’re talking about in terms of information management. For customers that are using our backup technology, it gives us the opportunity to understand the data they have and how to map that.
Another exciting development we’re bringing to market is the Veritas Resiliency Platform (VRP). We’re taking that technology beyond the private Cloud and start to think about how we deliver solutions, in the hybrid or public Cloud environments. You’ll see us launch VRP in the mid-term.
JT: Where do you see some of your growth coming from?
MN: We have seen very strong growth around our appliances business with purpose-built back-up appliances, which is an integrated hardware and software stack focused on providing an enterprise level back-up and recovery solution for customers. We entered that market three or four years ago and we are now significantly taking market share. Many of our partners have helped us achieve that growth. In the next six to nine months we expect to be the market leader.
Compliance is also another area where we expect to drive growth in the mid to long term.
JT: How do you see the Australian market in comparison to other markets?
MN: It’s the first time I’ve been in Australia and it’s an opportunity to meet with customers and partners. I’m meeting with the team as well. We’ve got a tremendous customer lists and have some of the strongest partners in the region.