[Disclosure: I was invited by Commvault as a Media person and Social Ambassador to their Commvault GO 2019 Conference and also a Tech Field Day eXtra delegate from Oct 13-17, 2019 in the Denver CO, USA. My expenses, travel, accommodation and conference fees were covered by Commvault, the organizer and I was not obligated to blog or promote their technologies presented at this event. The content of this blog is of my own opinions and views]
This trip to the Commvault GO conference was pretty much a mission to find answers to their Hedvig acquisition just a month ago. It was an unprecedented move for Commvault and I, as an industry observer and pundit, took the news positively. I wrote in my blog about Commvault’s big bet and I liked their boldness in their approach.
But the news did not bode well back here in Malaysia. The local technology news portal, Data Storage Asean picked up the news in a rather unconvinced way. 2 long time Commvault partners I spoke to were obviously unhappy because the acquisition made little sense to them on the back of closing of the Commvault Malaysia office just weeks before this with more unsettling rumours of the Commvault team in Asia Pacific. The broken trust and the fear of what the future held for the Commvault customers in Malaysia and in the region were riding along with me on this trip.
But I have seen the beginning of the Commvault transformation from the Commvault GO conferences I have attended since 2017. This is my 3rd Commvault GO and I ended Day 1 with good vibes.
Here were some of my highlights in the first day. Metallic
Hours before our Day 1 morning started, this wonderful news came out. It was probably 5am when I was reading the Metallic announcement and I latched on to it with a strong ounce of brewing excitement. The first words in my mind was “Nice one!“.
Again, I liked this bold new Commvault. I have been a storage and data management guy for more than 25 years but in the past 3-4 years, I have been serving the small medium enterprises (SME) segment as well. This experience gave me a whole new perspective about thinking in a small but potent ways to engage with these small medium businesses (SMB). And the Metallic SaaS (software-as-a-service) fit into the SME/SMB very nicely.
First impression of Metallic was the simplicity of Commvault service offering. Many SMEs/SMBs do not want all the fancy, smancy tech gibberish of the enterprise sale process. The pre-sales SE would go on rambling about how great this technology is throwing in big words like NVMe, all-Flash, synthetic backup (I remember this one when it was first pitched decades ago), blah, blah, blah and more blah, blah, blah.
Customers in the small medium segment are very much focused in business and operations outcomes, and most of the times, uninterested in the technical mumbo jumbo. The simplicity of Metallic would reel them in. I was at first surprised that Metallic is “A Commvault Venture”, but later on, it totally made sense why Commvault did that.
Metallic is offered 3 ways.
- Core Backup and Recovery
- Office 365
- Endpoint Backup and Recovery
And I was again delighted with their friendly price tag. Good move! Perfect for the Asians! 🙂
Another item on my agenda was analytics. My appetite was already whetted when Commvault came out with the Activate solution last year.
- File Storage Optimization
- Sensitive Data Governance
- Compliance Search and eDiscovery
It is more polished now and I want to find out more in the next 2 days.
There was not much of Hedvig on Day 1. Commvault is definitely saving the best for last. But judging from the machine gun fires aimed at Don Foster, VP of Storage Solutions at the opening of Commvault GO delegates meeting by the Tech Field Day eXtra delegates, maneuvering this Hedvig assimilation will not be an easy thing. Don was very adept in piquing the interests of all, progressing the Commvault-Hedvig strategy with confidence and technically competent when one of the delegates asked about deduplication block sizes. Well done indeed!
My question circled around the clarity of their strategy. What does Commvault want to be in front of their technology partners, their resellers and their customers? This is not something trivial but Commvault has to be extremely sensitive to all without stepping too much on their toes. I can understand the ambiguity in their strategy, at least from my perspective and I pretty sure I will know more as we move on to Day 2 and 3.
Data Storage Asean interviewed Don weeks after the acquisition announcement.
Day 1 ended with good vibes
Yes, I enjoyed the affable engagements dished out by Commvault. Jason Knadler, Senior Manager Worldwide Influencer Relationship and Patrick McGrath, Director of Product Management for Search & Analytics have been so welcoming the past few years and I absolutely loved their engagements with me.
But a more resounding YES goes to the great strides made by Commvault in the past 2 years. The technology strategy of their solutions are all coming together quite nicely.
Equally things are also looking very rosy for Commvault as well. In both recent analyst reports of Gartner and Forrester respectively, Commvault is the leader of the Backup & Recovery and Data Resiliency solutions.