CommVault looks to learn from past channel mistakes with Simpana 8

CommVault (NASDAQ: CVLT) today announced the availability of its Simpana 8 data management software and has made it clear that it’s committed to enabling its channel community right from the start.

Mark Conley, director of North American channels for CommVault, a data management and protection vendor, says Simpana 8 targets existing and new enterprise data management users. The company, he said, has sought to improve its channel relationship by connecting with partners before the release of Simpana 8.

Conley, who joined the CommVault team last fall, said when Simpana 7 was released in 2007, the company did a “poor job” of tying the release it to the channel.

“The hearsay I’ve been getting is that we did a poor job (getting Simpana 7) out to the channel because it was 90 days after the announcement,” Conley said. “But with this announcement (Simpana 8), we’re introducing this to the channel even before it’s announced to the general public.”

Before today’s announcement, Conley said partners were pre-briefed on the solution and were also shown webcasts and given access to solution brochures, videos, and whitepapers.

The goal this time, Conley said, is to empower the company’s channel community by preparing partners before the product’s release date, in the hope of having more business eventually flow through the channel.

“We’ve probably added 40 to 50 partners to our roster in the last six months,” he said. “We haven’t announced our December financial results yet, but the quarter before that, we had about 72 per cent of our revenue in North America flowing through the channel. We have a goal now to increase that to about 85 per cent by 2010.”

Customer-wise, Conley said, the goal with Simpana 8 is to attract existing Simpana users in addition to new ones.

“Most of the clients we talk to see flat or slightly reduced budgets this year, so this (solution) will look more attractive to them because it’ll help save them money,” said Conley.

Simpana 8 offers users a better data management, backup, recovery, and data deduplication experience. The company claims this is the first solution of its kind to feature embedded global data deduplication capabilities too.

Conley said Simpana 8 is designed to help businesses simplify their recovery management practices, to eliminate redundant data, and to provide better management and protection for virtual environments, along with better content organization.

Businesses that use this software will see a return on investment in the form of reduced administrative costs, as well as less risk associated with having to move information back and forth between workstations, he said.

“We’ve enabled a workstation backup that’s fully integrated into the backup console so that information on the laptop or desktop is snapped and put as an image on the recovery device,” Conley explains. “All of this is also indexed so users can later sort through them to bring whatever’s necessary back to the console.”

With today’s economic climate and many vendors and partners feeling the pressure, Conley says CommVault is continuing its business as usual.

“It’s a tough economic climate, but we’re moving forward and investing because in a down time, if we keep doing this, when things start turning around, we’ll have a lead in the market,” Conley said.

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Maxine Cheung
Maxine Cheung
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