Channel partner programs, Business continuity, Enterprise, Storage

Commvault Partner Strategy Helps Shake Off The Competition

Commvault VP and channel chief Ralph Nimergood

As you dig into Commvault's partner strategy it becomes clear why they seem unfazed by rival attempts to attack their market share.

The Trenton Falls, New Jersey-based company has been in operation since 1996. The company's first offering was a suite of storage management products, designed specifically for complex environments. Since then, the company has grown to operate in nearly every region of the world and just celebrated its 10th anniversary on the NASDAQ. If you speak with Ralph Nimergood, VP of worldwide channels and alliances, it’s Commvault’s dedication to its partners that has spurred this growth.

“Commvault is a company that's dedicated our lives as an organization to helping our customers with data management and data oriented complexities," Nimergood tells ChannelE2E of the data protection and information management software company.

Nimergood has a long track record of success in the channel. Before joining Commvault in 2012, he previously held key partner-driven roles at Cisco Systems and the former Hewlett-Packard Co.

Partners In Success

Indeed, Commvault has experienced six consecutive quarters of growth, and increased success in every theater in which they operate, including Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the Americas. Total revenues for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 were $172.9 million, up 8% year-over-year, an increase of 4% sequentially and an increase of 10% on a year-over-year constant currency basis, the company announced in May.

Commvault's partner ecosystem spans an array of traditional VAR (value-added reseller) partners, and the company boasts between 3,300 and 3,400 solution providers around the world, according to Nimergood. "Our ecosystem is made up of a multi-route to market strategy," he explains. "We really want to surround our customers with what they need in the consumption models that are meaningful to them, delivered in form factors that are important to them ... and really delivered by the partners that they know and trust as trusted advisors to their business."

Between 85 and 90 percent of Commvault’s business is run through the channel according to Nimergood. "We're a company that's committed to the partner community and see it as an enabler to our business objectives, but also critically important for providing end-to-end and whole solutions for our clients. And our business is growing and the market, including Wall Street, is rewarding us for that," he says.

True believers include TCS, a global leader in IT services, digital and business solutions. In a recent win, TCS recommended Commvault's technology to Randstad, an HR services company that's migrating and consolidating workloads in Amazon Web Services.

Fending Off The Competition

During this year’s VeeamOn conference, Veeam boasted of a strategy to disrupt Commvault and migrate customers to Veeam. But Nimergood seems unmoved by the assertion. Commvault’s traditional customer is in the mid-market to enterprise arena. Nimergood says he rarely sees Veeam acting in that space. "When we see Veeam in that marketplace they're typically coupled with various other point products to make up a solution," he says.

Nimergood says his company differs from its competitors by building its end-to-end solution on a common code base and offering all elements of the data management portfolio from a single solution with a single pane of glass. “So for our partners it's a 'learn once, deploy often' , independent of the type of deployment," he asserts.

In the arena where Commvault typically competes with Veeam, which according to Nimergood is the SMB and small virtualization space, Commvault has specialized offerings, including packaged plays that use portions of the overarching technology delivered in value bundles. “And we've been growing that portfolio in excess of 50 percent year-on-year and doing a pretty darn good job competing with Veeam in that space,” he says.

“And we actually haven't seen them in the space that's our home court which is enterprise and cloud."

There are a number of companies vying for space in the midmarket backup and storage arena. Commvault and Veeam also contend with companies like Dell EMC, MicroFocus and Veritas.