15 May 2015
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A closer look at Commvault's growing success in NZ

By Catherine Knowles

Commvault's presence in New Zealand is growing, fuelled by a local team with decades of experience, an unwavering focus on the customer and a targeted technology offering.

Two crucial Commvault team members based in New Zealand are Prasanna Gulasekharam, Commvault country manager, and Simon Probert, NextGen sales director.

As country manager, Gulasekharam is in charge of growing new business. He has a particular focus on bringing new enterprise customers on board and anticipating and meeting their needs.

He also works closely with partner alliances, which is where Probert comes in.

NextGen is one of Commvault’s two distributors in New Zealand and as such, works to enable partners and seek out opportunities in this market.

“We service, help and assist the partner community to understand Commvault’s product better, facilitate deals, provide information, and help the sales team with positioning as well as market and opportunity identification – we actively go out and speak with end users,” says Probert.

Commvault has been operating in New Zealand since 2003 and has expanded their team over the recent years.

At present, both Probert and Gulasekharam have more than 20 years of experience in the IT industry, and this is mirrored by the sales team, who all have about 10-15 years experience in the New Zealand IT market.

Prior to his current role, Gulasekharam was country manager for Riverbed and also worked with IBM for eight years, where he was general manager of systems and technology group.

Probert previously held the role of country manager for Commvault, which gives him a deep understanding and knowledge of the vendor that he can apply in his current position.

Gulasekharam says, “It’s unusual for any vendor-channel alliance to have this sort of partnership.

“We’re two people who have a good network, have experience with enterprise customers as well as the channel, and have experience in going to the market in a fashion that the market requires.

“It’s easy - he knows what I’m thinking before I do and vice versa. The conversations we have are simple.”

Probert says, “When you’re used to operating in an environment with constant change, you’re used to seeing challenges that arise for customers and you know how to respond to them. That’s why we’re a good team.”

Currently, Commvault and NextGen are working with a large government department to help action change within the organisation.

Commvault started its relationship with the department five years ago, when Probert was country manager.

Now, although he is no longer in this role he can still utilise the knowledge he has of this customer, providing them with consistency, continuity and seamless change.

“Whether it’s this large government department or another existing customer looking at how to grow and do things a little bit differently, we have the history and the logic of why they began the journey in the first place and we can help them move forward,” Gulasekharam says.

“Commvault has had a long standing commitment to the New Zealand market, and that’s not going anywhere,” says Probert.

He says Commvault recognises that the New Zealand market is different to other regions and needs to be treated as such, which is why local knowledge is so crucial.

“Being geographically as small as we are, and being as geographically as remote as we are, we have a whole set of requirements that other countries don’t have,” says Gulasekharam.

For instance, New Zealand companies don’t have local data centres and therefore have a different set of data management requirements, as opposed to businesses in other regions such as Australia, he says.

“It’s always a mistake to assume what’s happening in the New Zealand market is happening in the rest of the world.

“It’s a really big mistake, and something big companies, vendors, suppliers, always get wrong.

“They don’t design their products for the New Zealand market, either,” says Probert.

He says a lot of technology solutions in the market are often ‘quite niche’. The problem with this is that an environment eventually migrates away from a niche product and this slows down a business’ or vendor’s ability to move forward at the pace necessary.

Commvault's technology has been developed in-house and remains primarily focused on data management.

As the product is focused on data and not technology, and as data is constantly changing, Commvault is well positioned to adapt and respond to market demand and changes. The vendor thinks about the customer of the future and creates products for five years from now, says Probert.

This has been recognised by the market, with new customers keen to talk Commvault, says Probert.

“New customers have started saying, ‘We spoke to you guys in 2008 and now recognise that we’re probably number one in our market.’

“'You’re probably the most installed, well-received, have a wide base of partners, big team, and I feel very comfortable talking to you’,” says Probert.

“We are agile and nimble - we can service everyone from the largest customers to the smallest customers, from Cape Reinga to Bluff,” says Gulasekharam.

Commvault is distributed by NextGen Distribution in New Zealand. Contact Simon Probert, NextGen sales director, for more information via email or call 09 972 3128.

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