Veeam will focus on fewer partners in the UK this year as it looks to "do more with less", according to channel boss Greg Bailey.
Speaking to CRN ahead of Veeam's partner conference later this week, Bailey (pictured) said Veeam is looking to concentrate on a select group of partners as it continues shifting its focus towards enterprise customers.
To maintain its traditional business in the SMB space, Bailey said the vendor will look to further utilise the capabilities of distribution.
"We are still a 100 per cent channel-aligned business and from a partner community we are looking to do more with less," he said. "It's a real focus on the right partners, rather than trying to focus on a larger group of partners.
"We're focusing on having fewer partners in the field to manage but doing a better job of being more relevant.
"We're seeing in the partner community a transition towards annuity and cloud, and how Veeam is becoming more integral with solutions and the services partners offer, rather than backup and availability being a product sell."
Bailey said this shift is largely being driven by end users adopting cloud with the likes of Amazon Web Services and Microsoft, which is giving Veeam a way into larger organisations through cloud service providers.
Last year Veeam's saw year-on-year revenue growth of 38 per cent in its last financial year, with the cloud business growing at 50 per cent. The vendor's UK business was up 18 per cent, while cloud increased 20 per cent.
Also boosting Veeam up into larger businesses are its vendor alliances, in particular a lucrative partnership formed with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) last year, which sees Veeam carried in HPE's pricing list.
But Bailey stressed that this shift will not leave partners selling to the mid-market out in the cold, claiming that Veeam will look to distribution to remain connected to its SMB partners.
"I don't think we'll ever forget the fact that we're a business born out of the mid-market," he said. "In Q1 this year it was about 50 per cent of our business and while we're seeing a much bigger drive into enterprise and large enterprise, these things take a bit of time and the sales cycle is longer.
"You still have that traditional resell model of on-premise, stack it high - we can compete in the SMB space - but it's definitely a push towards the cloud providers and the larger enterprises that want a bit more flexibility with the offerings they are taking from those larger partners.
"There is more of a transition towards self-service and automation, and we're looking to empower distribution as well to do more. They have those online catalogues and they're making it much easier to attach Veeam to hardware and upsell."
The backup space has seen something of a revolution over recent years, with new entrants such as Rubrik and Cohesity claiming to bring a fresh and innovative approach to the market.
Bailey said he doesn't expect the backup space "is ever going to innovate and excite people", but that the key is to show customers how they can do more with the data they have stored.
However, Jonathan Lassman, director at storage specialist Epaton, said these new vendors have stolen a march on the likes of Veeam by wrapping their software up in an appliance.
"We don't see Veeam as a major threat to what we're doing right now because the whole market is moving to an appliance-based approach which fits in our wheelhouse," he said. "We're getting rid of tape and putting in an appliance, and Veeam don't make an appliance.
"The reason hyperconverged and Nutanix is fantastic right now is that they've taken the pain out of IT infrastructure. I don't have to think about servers, storage and switches because I just have software meshed to hardware.
"With the massive growth of hyperconverged, the backup vendors that are talking ‘hyperconverged' are doing very well. From an ‘industry veteran' point of view Arcserve are doing incredibly well right now, and from a new vendor point of view it's Rubrik and Cohesity."
Since publication Veeam has contacted CRN to respond to Lassman's comments.
Bailey said: "Today the major storage players need to collaborate more on building a cohesive future and have software players such as Veeam work on this with them, complementing their offer.
"The market has been clear with us - it doesn't want another box and another line of capex expenditure, they want the flexibility of utilising hyperscalers for backup and cross-cloud replication too.
"Ultimately they want us to make their lives easier, helpfully utilise investments in on-premises storage already made, and pull all the pieces together for them."
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