Digital transformation has given rise to a number of significant trends in information management.
We spoke with Mike Palmer, Veritas chief product officer executive vice president, and Janet Docherty, Veritas ANZ director of channel sales, to get an idea of what the main trends are and how the channel can capitalise on them.
According to Palmer, the number one message they have inside of their enterprise customers and one that resonates with cloud service providers, is that as we extend workflows and move data tiers to cloud, customers want to treat the public side of the cloud as an extension of their current data centres.
“That's obviously some form of the hybrid cloud, but the trend there is really 'how do I track and manage data, with the same level of compliance and the same level of cost management and performance management as I would have done on-premise, even if I'm using a cloud service provider tier,” Palmer says.
Palmer says the second trend is regulatory, as there are big shifts going on requiring enterprises to fundamentally rethink the way they store data – with Europe as a harbinger of what will come elsewhere.
“Today enterprises, more or less, store everything they acquire or create. And then they create policies to delete data,” Palmer says.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is due to implement a significant shift in Europe.
“GDPR is actually asking them to think about that from a 180-degree different angle, where they're asking them to have retention policies and to delete everything else,” Palmer says.
And last (but Palmer asserts definitely not least), is that data and the information economy are really the lifeblood, the primary assets that most companies own, and probably the least understood, as more than half of the data that companies store is ‘Dark Data’, or completely unclassified.
“As such, it's not monetised, it's not leveraged for better productivity, it's not shared and it does create risk because it's available for discovery and can be exposed to security breaches,” Palmer says.
“We think that concept of finding a better return on the investment of data and creating classification of dark data is really the third most important trend.”
So, how can the channel capitalise on these trends?
“The challenge for our channel partners globally has been a world of public cloud adoption. How do they establish relevance? Many of the public cloud providers (and foremost among them, Amazon) did not create a channel program,” Palmer says.
“They prided themselves on what is really a GUI interface on the Internet, as opposed to a partner-led, advisory approach to cloud adoption.”
Palmer affirms that as customers adopt public cloud, there has been risk for the channel to be disrupted in the process.
“What we are helping our channel realise is that hybrid cloud is really just an extension of the current architecture,” Palmer says.
“We advise our customers on the best ways to migrate and manage workloads across public and private clouds as we allow them to make public cloud really just another tier of data management inside of their current strategy.”
And, Palmer says Veritas are a number of different things to help the channel in this area.
“Microsoft has one of the most robust and productive channel programs in the industry, which dates back decades. Veritas does as well. We send upwards of 85 percent of our revenue through to the channel,” Palmer says.
“Through collaborating with companies like Microsoft we're giving them offers to allow, for example, our partners to work with end customers to move our data to private cloud running on Azure.”
Following the release of Veritas’ new software-defined information management solution in September last year, Docherty says the A/NZ growth strategy is humming along well.
“They're looking at the platform that they can actually build services around the solutions that we're bringing to market, and it's actually giving the customers the outcomes that they're looking for,” Docherty says.
“Partners are able to create offerings to market, which helps them to differentiate against other architectures.”
Docherty says they’ve got key partners locked and loaded for the year ahead, and that is just the beginning.
“Veritas has forged key partnerships with Amazon and Microsoft, and you can expect to see announcements from some other providers because we view ourselves as the best positioned company to allow our customers to adopt the technology that they want to,” Docherty concludes.