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Commvault Forms Metallic Business Unit for SMBs, Taps IBM, VMware Vet as Channel Chief

The new VP of worldwide channels is a longtime industry veteran.

Jeffrey Schwartz

October 15, 2019

4 Min Read
Commvault Go 2019 Opener

COMMVAULT GO — Commvault is taking its most ambitious step in years to grow its addressable market with the formation of a subsidiary called Metallic that will offer a new SaaS solution offered only through the channel for midsize organizations. The enterprise backup and data protection provider has also named two channel industry veterans, Mercer Rowe and Edison Peres, to help grow partner sales of its core enterprise offerings.

Both announcements on Monday set the stage for this week’s Commvault GO 2019, the company’s annual gathering for partners and customers, which takes place this week in Denver. At this year’s Commvault GO, attendees will see a very different face than last year’s gathering in Nashville.

Commvault-Execs-Go-2019.jpg

Left to right: Commvault’s Sanjay Mirchandani, Robert Kaloustian and Janet Giesen.

Gone is longtime CEO Bob Hammer. Sanjay Mirchandani, who took over as president and CEO in February, will address customers and partners for the first time. Also at Commvault GO, the company will outline how it will implement last month’s acquisition of software-defined storage provider Hedvig into its core data protection platform.

Monday’s channel executive appointments signal Commvault’s plans to become more aggressive in growing partner sales than it has been in the past. Rowe, who has led partner organizations at IBM and VMware, is Commvault’s new channel chief — his official title is VP of global channels and alliances.

Peres, a 14-year veteran of Cisco, who served as senior VP of worldwide channels, will work with Rowe as a strategic go-to-market adviser. Many of Commvault’s customers are very large enterprises and the company has a large direct sales force. Commvault over the years has tried to grow its partner organization.

“Commvault, like many in the cloud community, is striving to simultaneously engage existing channels and identify new routes to market in what is a rapidly changing channel and customer landscape,” said Janet Schijns, CEO of JS Group, an advisory firm specializing in channels and partner ecosystems with a focus on modern channel frameworks. “Adding two seasoned channel veterans to the equation will help immensely with the first part of the equation, helping to extend and enable the existing channel.”

The roles of Rowe and Peres won’t include the partner ecosystem for the new Metallic business, which Commvault also revealed Monday. Metallic has its own leadership and channel organization.

“Mercer’s role is larger, and they will obviously they will work together,” Mirchandani said, during a press briefing at Commvault GO. “It’s not going to be at odds with each other but there may be unique partners within the Metallic fold. Because that’s right for their business.”

Robert Kaloustian, who has worked for Commvault for nearly 20 years, is Metallic’s SVP and general manager; Janet Giesen is head of go-to market. Kaloustian told Channel Futures that all Metallic sales will go through partners.

“Metallic will be 100% channel-led, unlike Commvault,” he said, noting the latter sells both through its direct sales force and through partners. “There’s not going to be a direct purchase of this product unless it goes through our channel ecosystem.”

Initial Metallic partners include CDW, Insight, Sirius, Microsoft, Arrow and Ingram Micro Cloud. Giesen said Metallic plans to …

… roll out a broader channel program next year.

“You’ll see we’ve launched with a focused group of launch partners, distributors and VARs,” she said. “… we feel these are great attach opportunities for our partners.”

All of Metallic’s solutions are SaaS-based, though based on the core Commvault code. Metallic is aimed at organizations with 500-2,500 seats. Metallic is coming out of the chute with three offerings: Metallic Core Backup and Recovery for virtual machines and SQL data; Metallic Office 365 Backup and Recovery; and Metallic Endpoint Backup and Recovery. While Metallic is offering customers free trials initiated from its website, all purchases will be referred to partners, Giesen said, in an interview.

“Customers will be able to access a free trial of any of these three offerings that are shown from our site, but in order to get a paid plan, that would be facilitated by a partner,” she said. “This is meant to facilitate the opportunity for those partners to have an open conversation and look for those attach opportunities while not blocking the customer from trying it out.”

Mirchandani will outline his vision for Commvault Tuesday in the opening keynote.

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About the Author(s)

Jeffrey Schwartz

Jeffrey Schwartz has covered the IT industry for nearly three decades, most recently as editor-in-chief of Redmond magazine and executive editor of Redmond Channel Partner. Prior to that, he held various editing and writing roles at CommunicationsWeek, InternetWeek and VARBusiness (now CRN) magazines, among other publications.

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