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December 17, 2021
Veeam’s Anand Eswaran
Days after RingCentral unexpectedly announced the resignation of president and COO Anand Eswaran, he has resurfaced as CEO of Veeam. The data protection provider revealed Thursday that it has tapped Eswaran, who immediately took the reins from Bill Largent.
Eswaran is a seasoned executive who held leadership roles at HPE, SAP and Microsoft before joining RingCentral in 2020. Largent, who joined Veeam 13 years ago, will remain chairman of Veeam’s board. During the past five years, Largent served two stints as CEO.
Veeam first tapped Largent as CEO when co-founder Ratmir Timashev stepped down as its longtime leader in 2016. The following year, Veeam named its then-president and COO Peter McKay and co-founder Andrei Baronov as co-CEOs. Following McKay’s departure in 2018, Baronov became Veeam’s sole CEO.
After private equity and venture capital firm Insight Partners acquired Veeam for $5 billion last year, Largent stepped in again as CEO. Now Veeam has its eyes on going public with an initial public offering and sought a CEO that could help the company scale. The company hasn’t yet said whether that will be a 2022 event.
Veeam’s annual recurring revenue (ARR) surpassed the $1 billion mark this year, a milestone that RingCentral was at when Eswaran joined that company. RingCentral most recently reported ARR of $1.6 billion, a 39% year-over-year increase. Eswaran told Channel Futures that there are many similarities between RingCentral’s growth trajectory and Veeam’s.
“There was a lot of work needed to be done on taking the go to market to the next level,” Eswaran recalled. “What got you to a billion [dollars] is slightly different from what you need to do to further accelerate growth, from keeping the high velocity SMB motion going and capturing the enterprise in a good way.”
Besides surpassing $1 billion in ARR this year, Veeam counts 400,000 customers and 35,000 partners worldwide (9,000 in North America). Eswaran said partnerships have always been key in the roles he has served. At Veeam, historically a channel-focused company, it is no different, he said.
“Partnerships and different layers of partnerships is what really turbocharges growth, and we can take it from linear to logarithmic,” Eswaran said. “And that’s what I am excited to do. Veeam has done a great job building the ecosystem. But there’s an opportunity to layer on further partnerships from GSIs, and MSPs and carrier partners and so on.”
Eswaran’s departure from RingCentral came at a time of transition for the rapidly growing UCaaS provider. Having joined RingCentral just two years ago, Eswaran gained a high profile. He played a key role in the partnership RingCentral and Mitel announced last month.
Under the pact, RingCentral agreed to acquire Mitel’s intellectual property rights and network and call management, security and infrastructure patents for $650 million. In return, Mitel investor group Searchlight invested $200 million in RingCentral equity.
Consequently, RingCentral is now the exclusive UCaaS partner for Mitel. The pact makes RingCentral’s cloud phone system, called Message Video Phone (MVP), the migration path for Mitel’s hardware-based telephony systems. The two companies will integrate with Mitel’s CloudLink platform. Several high-ranking Mitel employees last week said the partnership played a key role in that company’s decision to lay them off.
Eswaran said he had nothing but positive things to say about his tenure at RingCentral. But he relished the chance to become CEO of a company on a single growth…
…trajectory. “It’s an opportunity to be the CEO to further accelerate growth of a company with a very strong foundation and a much more global presence,” Eswaran said, adding: “it’s an opportunity, hopefully, to take a company public.”
Asked about his understanding of Veeam’s business, which is markedly different from that of RingCentral, Eswaran noted that he had extensive exposure to data protection technology at HPE and Microsoft. Eswaran said he sees untapped potential for Veeam’s data protection platform.
“At some point, looking at data protection and looking at data insights is a key part of the job,” he said.
Eswaran added that Veeam can expand its total addressable market (TAM) by tapping the adjacent markets of its alliance partners. Among them are Microsoft, VMware, HPE, Cisco, AWS and Google Cloud.
“While we talk about modern data protection today, and we talk about backup, recovery, multi public clouds, and so on, I think that’s just the tip of the iceberg,” he said. “This category could be evolved and shaped itself to many adjacencies.”
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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