Commvault this week introduced Andy Vandeveld as the company’s new vice president, worldwide alliances. Vandeveld, whose previous position was vice president, global strategic alliances, at Veeam Software, has a couple of decades of experience developing and implementing OEM and channel strategies for technology companies, including Citrix, Brocade, Juniper Networks and IBM.
The hiring of Vandeveld backs up recent statements made by another new Commvault hire, Owen Taraniuk, global head of partnerships and market development, regarding the company’s mission to expand its worldwide indirect business. Vandeveld reports to Taraniuk.
Channel Futures chatted with Vandeveld to hear more about how Commvault’s alliance strategy will benefit the company’s 3,300 channel partners.
Channel Futures: Tell us more about your new position and how it fits into Commvault’s strategy to expand its indirect business.
Andy Vandeveld: This is a new position in that it combines a few different functions together – alliances, OEM, and some other parts of the business – into one role, although it builds on some things that were already in place. But it is an example of the company focusing more on the partners’ route to market, particularly with strategic alliance partners, making investments and building that into the main part of the go-to-market strategy of the company.
CF: Elaborate on your focus on alliance partners.
AV: Channel partners are an important part of the ecosystem in these alliance relationships. We have reseller relationships with many technology companies, and they have their ecosystem of channel partners, VARs and distributors. Being able to be resold through these alliance partners and their channel, as a part number on their price list, is a way for us to help simplify the acquisition of Commvault assets. It allows the alliance partners to be part of a complete solution that can be offered to customers through their VAR channel — so I look at that as a continuum.
CF: I know that Commvault is growing its number of alliance partners. What’s the company’s strategy for selecting these partners?
AV: Commvault is the leader in enterprise data protection, so the partnerships that we’re forming, particularly with reseller [vendor] partners that we put in place or are looking to put in place – such as the one we announced Thursday with Infinidat – is to align ourselves and be able to offer with those partners a complete solution for an enterprise class of customers.
These solutions can come in multiple forms — on-premises, cloud-first solutions such as those with partner like Google Cloud, AWS, or Microsoft Azure, or, more typically, they come in the form of a hybrid solution — some on premises, some in the cloud.
This is an important part of the go-to-market strategy of the company going forward — putting together solutions that can be offered through our VAR channel and our partner’s VAR channel. This is a major direction of Commvault that we’re putting investment behind, focus behind, and we’re doing hiring to support it.
We hear from customers that they want an offer that’s not piecemeal from vendors, but from a single vendor as much as possible.
CF: How do these alliances impact Commvault’s VAR partners or those of the alliance partners?
AV: We have our partners, about 3,300, and probably have some VAR partners in common with our strategic alliance partners; however, there are a fair number of partners that may be a partner of the strategic alliance partner but not a Commvault partner. So a lot of focus here is to enable those partners and bring them into the Commvault ecosystem, so they do become a joint partner.
CF: Today, Commvault focuses primarily on the enterprise customer. Are there plans to expand the customer base to include mid-tier companies?
AV: Yes. So the solutions we build can serve the mid-tier or medium-size business as much as they serve the enterprise customer. As we build solutions that span cloud, hybrid cloud and on-premises, that’s very relevant to midmarket customers and midsize enterprise customers.
We’re also trying to simplify Commvault partners’ ability to sell Commvault to make it more consumable by midsize companies.