CommVault to undertake channel review

News Christine Horton Feb 27, 2013

CommVault gets tough: CEO lays down ground rules for channel following investment

CommVault (NASDAQ: CVLT) CEO Bob Hammer has today sent a message to its channel partners: commit or you’re out.

The chief exec (pictured) was in London today for the launch of the latest version of its data management software platform, Simpana 10.

In a channel exclusive, Hammer said the vendor would be undertaking a review of its indirect sales force to establish which partners are fully committed to the firm.

“There’s a hard edge to the message to the distributor or the reseller; we need to be more selective than we have been in the past,” he told Channel Pro. “We’re stepping up our investments, but only with partners who are willing to make a commitment to the partnership and execute.”

“It’s not numbers; we want partners that are committed to CommVault and will make investments in the products. The odds are we will have less partners, but will put much higher investment into those partnerships.”

Hammer adds: “We’re not trying to make it easy to be CommVault partner; we want to make it easy for companies that make the commitment.”

The move follows recent investment by the firm into its channel organisation. It promises improved partner resources such as go-to-market collateral, online training, workshops, as well as more focus on internal support roles in order to “support our partners globally and more consistently,” says Hammer.

“There’s a lot more visible investment by us in the channel, which is going down extremely well,” says Fiona Moon, marketing director for EMEA. “We’re halfway through delivering a very aggressive set of events for partners across EMEA [based on Simpana 10] – the biggest undertaking we’ve taken on.”

In addition, CommVault would be clearer on what’s expected from partners: “We are going to establish some very clear criteria of what’s required at different levels of these partnerships and what’s expected in terms of execution,” he comments.

“It’s a big investment on our side to make sure we’re going to be more effective at training our partners, so our certification is going to be a lot tougher,” he warns.

The vendor is also in the process of establishing a separate organisation just to support its MSPs globally – which Hammer describes as a “significant part of our growth.”

He says: “We want to get more focused on helping our MSP partners succeed. At its core is a team that’s been extremely successful at building MSP partnerships.” The organisation – which should be up and running “sometime by summer” will focus on MSP-tailored go-to-market campaigns and product requirements.

At the other end of the market, Hammer says CommVault is trying to provide simpler bundled solutions for its midsized and larger SMB partners. “We understand that a lot of our partners have some limitations in their knowledge and skills, and we want to do a better job of transferring knowledge to them,” he comments.

“It’s an aggressive market out there and we’re not the only player,” says Moon. “But we do have a very compelling story, and now with Simpana 10 we are a game changer.”

Currently a $1/2bn company, growing at 25 percent year on year on the top line, Hammer has stated publicly that he wants CommVault to be $1bn dollar revenue company, and he wants to accomplish this organically – for now.

“If we start to look at getting into analytics and some other areas downstream – it opens up possibility to do other things that are non-organic, but at the present we time no plans to acquire. We also want to be careful that we stay very focused.”

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