Veeam Taps HP, VMware Vet To Head North America Channel

Data protection software vendor Veeam on Wednesday named Kevin Rooney its new vice president of North American channel sales.

Rooney, who was most recently senior director of vCloud partner sales at VMware, replaces Chris Moore, who left Veeam in October to oversee North American channels at visualization tool provider Qlik. Veeam is expected to officially announce Rooney's appointment on Thursday.

The naming of Rooney, who joined Veeam last month, comes as the company aims to extend the reach of its data protection software beyond its core customer base of midsized organizations into the largest enterprises. To further its expansion into large enterprises, Veeam must unseat established players such as CommVault, EMC, IBM and Veritas, which was recently sold to private equity investors by Symantec for $8 billion just over a decade after acquiring it.

At the same time, Veeam, which says 100 percent of its sales go through the channel, is looking to help partners transition from selling pure software into providing Backup and Disaster Recovery as a Service. The company has 37,000 partners worldwide, 9,000 of which are in North America, and is confident it can reach its revenue goal of $1 billion by 2018. Veeam's revenues of $474 million last year grew 22 percent, while sales to large enterprises were up 34 percent.

Rooney has the credentials to help Veeam further its large enterprise push. In addition to his tenure at VMware, Rooney spent five years at Hewlett-Packard, where he managed its large partner sales organization, which was responsible for $3 billion, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Rooney's resume also includes stints at Pillar Data Systems, Quantum and Fujitsu. Having worked with partners during his most recent position at VMware to offer services based on vCloud Air, Rooney believes Veeam's new Cloud Connect tool and forthcoming Managed Backup Portal will position partners to evolve from more transactional relationships.

"I've had conversations with some of HP's largest resellers, as an example, or Microsoft's largest resellers and VMware's largest resellers that are doing some Veeam but nowhere near what we can all do collectively together," Rooney told Redmond Channel Partner. "So I guess what they're doing is saying, 'I've got to get you more integrated into my business. We've sold it but we haven't built a business around it.'"

Managed Backup Portal, announced at the VeeamON customer and partner conference in Las Vegas back in late October, is aimed at providers who want to use Microsoft Azure as their cloud-based target, Veeam said at the time. The portal is currently in technical preview and its release is imminent, company officials have indicated. The Managed Backup Portal uses Cloud Connect to link customer sites to Azure, while delivering everything from client and job management to billing in a Web-based multitenant interface. The portal offers customer and service provider views and will be available in the Azure Marketplace.

Azure is the first global public cloud provider Veeam is working with to help partners build their own data availability services using the forthcoming portal offering.

"We are all in with Azure," said Doug Hazelman, Veeam's vice president of product strategy and the company's chief evangelist. Hazelman added that with this year's anticipated release of Microsoft Azure Stack with Windows Server 2016, "from the private cloud standpoint we will develop technologies toward that. It's going to work in both the public, as well as Azure Stack private clouds. "

Rooney and Veeam's worldwide channel sales team have their work cut out for them. While Veeam now boasts 1,000 of its partners have licensed Cloud Connect in its first year, Rooney acknowledged that the shift to cloud-based backup and disaster recovery is occurring rapidly. And the field is entrenched with well-financed rivals, including the newly divested Veritas and smaller rivals such as Zerto, which last month received Series E financing and is said to be eying an IPO.

"Our industry is competitive because everyone understands what's at stake." Rooney said. "I would offer the 'Always On' availability that Veeam provides is really unmatched in our competitive space. Our competitors may have been entrenched with our partners maybe a little longer than us. I would tell you that we're gaining market share across the board. And there's a lot of reasons for that, but they really come back to great products, a great program that provides great margin and great support. My job is to make sure that message is out there."

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.