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Veritas executives on channel conflict, the competition, and the EMC deal

Channel StrategySoftwareVeritas

ORLANDO, FL – Veritas‘ inaugural partner conference has wrapped up in Orlando, but many may be asking themselves, what now?

For those in the channel who are still unsure where they fit in the road map of this new entity that is this information management software vendor, its EVP of worldwide sales, Brett Shirk, offered some concrete insights.

On potential new partners

As mentioned in our piece detailing the program, while Veritas’ partner program may be out of the bag, the company will not be going to great lengths to recruit new partners.

“On a local or country level, in terms of partners, we’re pretty set,” Shirk told CDN.  “With the right partners we can lower the cost to market, so we want to leverage those partners to help us grow the business.”

This is also reflected in the distribution side, where Veritas has consolidated (at least in Canada) the number that it is working with, from four down to three.

Instead, Shirk sees the company focusing more on strategic alliances with companies such as Amazon, Google, or IBM.

On its immediate and future priorities

One of the highest priorities, according to Shirk, is avoiding conflict with partners.  Veritas has implemented a new opportunity registration program as well as rules of engagement in how to work with partners.

“Before  … we lacked consistency in how we went to market,” Shirk said. “We want consistency. If you violate these standards in how we engage with partners, it’s a potential termination. It is very high priority that we engage with partners while avoiding conflict.”

This also carries over to Veritas’ services business, which Shirk said the company chose to exit several years ago and currently makes up only 3 per cent of the company’s revenue.

“If you look at other companies, we are significantly less in this area,” he said. “We want to be extremely careful that we don’t introduce conflict with our partners. A lot of our customers are larger customers that want to engage with Veritas directly.  [Services enablement] is something we want to have a multi-year plan behind and work with partners on this.”

On the company’s biggest competitor and challenges

EMC is probably our biggest challenge with the most overlap,” said Shirk, when asked, with little hesitation.

The (software company) recently bought by Dell for $67 billion, produces solutions in areas including data storage, information security, analytics, and cloud computing.

“We’re obviously going to need to have an answer to that merger in the long term,” he said. “We’ve done a great job of competing with them, especially now that we have appliance capabilities, and we have the capacity and performance now to compete with them in the data centre. So I think we’re in really good shape to take share.  As far as our information intelligence business, as in data insight, archive capability, data discovery, we don’t see a lot of overlap with EMC even though they have technology there.”

Shirk added finally that he would like to see the channel focus more on the storage management solutions under Veritas.

“We struggled there due to the shift in the marketplace with Unix tapering off and the adoption of Windows. Our partners have not focused in the area of storage management and availability. There’s a lack of focus.”