Commvault's new channel boss has put improving quality of service for partners at the top of his agenda as the vendor looks to fend off competition from emerging backup and recovery vendors.
The backup and recovery player has come under attack from new entrants into the market such as Rubrik, SimpliVity and Cohesity, which claim Commvault lacks their pace of innovation.
Last year, Commvault's CEO Bob Hammer, who was recently ousted after an activist investor put presure on the firm to make management and operational changes, responded to attacks from the competition, retorting that the market's new vendors offer no advantages in terms of cost, performance or functionality.
But Commvault's competitors are going from strength to strength; Rubrik hit a $300m run rate earlier this year, as Microsoft chairman John Thompson joined the vendor's board of directors, and partners have voiced their excitement over HPE's acquisition of SimpliVity.
Speaking to Channelnomics Europe a little over a month after his appointment as VP of worldwide channels at Commvault, Scott Strubel outlined four ways he is looking to improve quality of service for partners in order to beat the vendor's new competition.
Internally hiring to fill channel-facing roles
Strubel's appointment is only one of three senior leadership changes at Commvault. In January, Owen Taraniuk stepped into a role as head of worldwide partnerships and market development, followed by the appointment of Andy Vandeveld as VP of worldwide alliances in February.
The new hires mark the beginning of a recruitment drive at Commvault for this fiscal year to on-board more presales solutions architects, sales representatives and delivery engineers to work with the channel in selling its back-up solutions.
Strubel could not put a number on how many new hires he expects to make, but said he expects the larger headcount to have a substantial impact on the volume of transactions partners make with Commvault.
"We have a significant team already employed by Commvault to serve and support our partners and I am actively growing that team throughout this coming fiscal year. I have job requisitions open in multiple countries in Europe right now to build up our team to represent our distribution partners, our market builder, premier and authorised partners," he said.
"We are increasing the number of sales and technical jobs we have to service and support those partners. I will not try to wow the market with the number of people I throw at this, I will try to wow our partners by the deliverables this team will give them.
"Our sales partners will be there to actively raise the number of transactions partners are doing with Commvault and raise the average sales price of those increased transactions with the ultimate goal being the significant acceleration of growth in their top line revenue, and maintaining the profitability they have seen and will continue to see with Commvault."
Creating "experiential bias" among partners
Strubel echoed remarks from CEO Hammer that Commvault offers "absolutely superior technology" compared with its new back-up and recovery competitors. But the channel chief admitted that Commvault could lose business with partners if competitors manage to offer a better quality of service.
As a result, Strubel said he's looking to create a sense of "experiential bias" among its partners so that Commvault wins more repeat business.
"It's very commonplace today that customers may have a need for endpoint backup or share-point backup, or scale-out data protection and backup or VM backup. In these examples, they may hear or see solutions in the market from our competitors," he said.
"We just have a lot more that we are bringing to market, so we need to be as good as any point competitor in bringing the business and technical collateral that partners need.
"If any competitor of ours does a superb or superior job in bringing sales or technical enablement and collateral, or a playbook of support and services offerings, the experience the presales and sales delivery organisations have will bias them towards that solution. I intend to effect an experiential bias to make them lean towards Commvault… so solution architects and delivery engineers employed by our partners go to sales reps saying - ‘let's sell more Commvault because we had a really good experience doing it'."
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