New Commvault CMO Isabelle Guis: Her First Priorities
Commvault has been showing signs of a business turnaround in the data protection market. New SaaS backup services, c-suite leadership and executive channel management appear to be aligning to boost Commvault’s financial performance.
Still, there’s lots of work to be done. Commvault faces fierce competition in the data protection market — from entrenched enterprise rivals and well-funded cloud startups. Among Commvault’s challenges: Further building the company’s brand within the IT channel and out to end-customers.
Recent Steps By CEO Sanjay Mirchandani
Mirchandani himself arrived in February 2019 after successful tours of duty at Puppet, VMware, EMC and Microsoft. At Puppet, he grew the user base to more than 40,000, including 75 percent of the Fortune 100.
To jumpstart growth at Commvault, Mirchandani focused the company on three priorities:
- Simplifying business operations;
- Driving predictable and responsible growth through execution excellence; and
- Continuing to innovate at a rapid pace.
Amid all that, Mirchandani and the executive team had to deal with pressure from activist investors while attracting new talent to the business. And yes, new talent has arrived. Among the new names to know: Former Dell EMC executive John Tavares as VP, global channels & alliances. And now Isabelle Guis as chief marketing officer.
New Commvault CMO Isabelle Guis: The ChannelE2E Interview
Guis arrives with strong credentials after tours of duty at Salesforce, Egynte, EMC, Avaya, Cisco and Nortel. Piece it all together, and she has driven marketing initiatives that span SaaS applications, governance, storage, enterprise networks, SMB communications and more.
So what attracted Guis to Commvault — and what are her first priorities at the data protection company? ChannelE2E pursued answers in this email interview.
ChannelE2E: How did you hear about the Commvault opportunity?
Guis: I’ve always kept a pulse on the technology industry, and have crossed paths with many Commvault employees over the years, so I’m quite familiar with Commvault and have a true admiration for the company. Recently, I have been particularly impressed by the launch and acceleration of Metallic. I have also worked closely with Metallic’s General Manager, Manoj Nair, over the last several years and realized we have shared synergies and passion for the SaaS market. Those similarities are part of what led me to believe I’d enjoy the opportunity to work for Commvault. I’m excited to be part of a winning culture, and I look forward to taking the marketing organization to the next level.
ChannelE2E: What inspired you to pursue and accept the position?
Guis: Commvault is an established leader in intelligent data services with a compelling industry-leading portfolio that’s helping customers both simplify operations and achieve digital strides to better tackle today’s business challenges. That is exciting on its own. On top of that, in a changing world, this already dynamic industry offers customers so much choice. Marketing organizations are going to be critical in helping customers find the right solutions for them at the right time. Having the opportunity to be part of that process for customers and helping them solve their business problems is what drove me to pursue joining the Commvault team.
Once offered the opportunity, there were a few reasons I chose to accept the position. The first is Commvault’s strong existing foundation – with its impressively talented team, robust portfolio and strong leadership. The second major factor was that Commvault is a public company in a space where most are private. Commvault has the financial transparency and public trust that I think is required to succeed in the market. That part of the business really excites me.
ChannelE2E: What are your first priorities at Commvault?
Guis: My plan for the next few weeks is to submerge myself in all things Commvault. My first priority is to get to know all of the wonderful and talented people in the Commvault ecosystem. I believe that a deeper understanding of the company’s employees, customers, partners and influencers is absolutely critical to success. It will help me better understand the company and it’s portfolio on a much deeper level and ensure that I can help everyone continue to achieve greatness.
ChannelE2E: In your prepared statement about the career move, you mention that you can’t wait to “make magic at Commvault” with the leadership team. I think that’s a really telling comment, and may provide some hints about your personality and business style. What type of “magic” do you think you can help Commvault deliver for customers and partners?
Guis: The Commvault leadership team is already making magic, and I’m looking forward to contributing to their successes and helping secure new wins for the business and its partners and customers. Honestly, the possibilities are endless. Part of creating “magic” today, in the wake of the pandemic, is recognizing where organizations are in their efforts to modernize and move to the cloud and making sure that companies have the right information and tools to ensure that they are getting the most value out of their data.
ChannelE2E: You have a mix of classic enterprise IT and SaaS/cloud experience. How will that help you at Commvault?
Guis: I’ve been working in classic enterprise IT for over two decades, so I’m comfortable navigating well-established companies like Commvault that have deep relationships with existing customers, partners and industry influencers. I understand the intricacies of larger enterprises and know how to operate efficiently and effectively within them. I see my SaaS and cloud experience playing well here and serving as an asset for Commvault’s portfolio and vision in the coming years. As the company doubles down on innovation in cloud and SaaS (as proven by recent announcements with Microsoft, the Metallic Cloud Storage Service (MCSS) launch, and the Metallic portfolio expansion), I’m confident my experience can help these new ventures excel. My hope is that Commvault will be the only company that truly lives and breathes intelligent data services, and I am going to help us get there.