I love data protection within IT— so much so that I am starting my 30th year focused on DP by leaving the analyst world and going back to the vendor world at Veeam. Here’s why:
The state of the data protection industry
After seven blessed years as the Principal Analyst at ESG covering data protection, I’ve never been more amazed at the amount of innovation occurring to solve the ever-changing challenge of DP. Notice that I didn’t say “never-ending problem”. The greatest challenge here isn’t that “backup is perpetually broken”. It’s the expectations of users and the requirements of organizations that continue to heighten. This means that technologies that aren’t visionary and innovative become lethargic and die (even as they continue to sell mediocre offerings).
Three characteristics of a world-class company
I’ve made a career out of picking disruptors at pivotal points in their momentum. After over 20 years within centers of DP innovation, I helmed ESG’s analyst coverage of data protection, where I had the profound honor of collaborating, offering insights and learning from every DP vendor in IT.
I discovered there are three defining characteristics of a modern DP vendor. First, they must be looking ahead (vision) of current market demands. Second, they are continually innovating (execution) to ensure that customers and partners get what they want before they need it.
Third, their executive leadership and organizational culture are so aligned (energy) that everyone in the org is not just working to be successful transitionally, but also changing the landscape itself.
Candidly, most vendors don’t have these qualities, despite what their shiny facades say.
Why Veeam for you and me?
Veeam has the above characteristics. Veeam’s original dominance came from solving VM backup and recovery when no one else understood how important they would become. But that wasn’t the end of the story because Veeam didn’t stop innovating past its initial success. Veeam then added snapshot integration. It added replication. It added tape support for long-term retention (who adds tape today?). It added systems monitoring and insights.
And Veeam is not done yet. In the last 30 days, Veeam’s biggest release yet was announced, a 36% YoY growth with trajectory to be a $1 billion company was achieved, plus it announced an acquisition.
Veeam’s culture has always been to ask: What else do customers and partners want? And what will customers and partners need? It then delivers ahead of mainstream demand. In so doing, Veeam’s vision and innovation has educated mainstream on what is possible, thus becoming self-fulfilling leadership while eroding the market share of seeming juggernauts in DP that just couldn’t stay ahead of market requirements. Surprisingly, Veeam has continued to do this while maintaining its “easy button” or its “It Just Works” design to assure a user-delighted experience.
Veeam’s best days are still ahead, which is saying a lot. The products have expanded far beyond the original solution offerings. The internal culture is amazingly energetic. The sales/marketing engine is reinventing itself for a much broader range of customers, partners, and alliances. The customers continue to be rabid enthusiasts and advocates, and the leadership team is channeling all of that into an #AllIn attitude that is breathtaking to be part of. And so, I joined up. If you haven’t looked at Veeam lately as either a customer, partner or future team mate, then maybe you should!