Meet the data management firm who are on course for $1bn turnover

Company Profile | Growth | International | Interview | Technology
Mark Adams, Veeam
Mark Adams, Veeam

Data and cyber security has risen to the forefront of board room discussions in recent years, and one of the company’s leading the way in intelligent data management, is Veeam.

The company’s various platforms help customers on the journey to automating data management and ensuring the ‘Hyper-Availability’ of data when they need it.

The company offers a range of products and services that focus on back up and replication of data, whether on-site, off-site or using the cloud.

Veeam has more than 325,000 customers worldwide, including 82% of the Fortune 500 and 66% of the Global 2000 – highlighting their dominance in an incredibly crowded marketplace.

It is not just their presence within the industry that is making major brands sit up and notice them as a data juggernaut – Veeam has backed up their industry support, by achieving 41 successive quarters of double-digit growth.

Veeam is currently on target to hit $1bn turnover after announcing they achieved an impressive $827m turnover in 2017 – just 12 years after the company was founded.

Humble beginnings

Mark Adams, the regional vice president of UK & Ireland at Veeam explains how the company’s first few years were wildly different to what the company is today.

He said: “When Veeam started in 2006, we didn’t sell anything or provide a service. We just wrote code for the back-up and virtualisation space for the first couple of years. We began as a commercial entity, where we sold something, in 2008. Since then it has been a very fast-moving company and we have now set an impressive yardstick in this industry.”

However, once Veeam were on the road to success, their growth happened immediately – despite not being one of the legacy data providers that had been in the industry for decades.

Adams continued: “We were originally focused at the mid-market and SME businesses, but we now have over 325,000 customers. We came at this from a virtualised world, with a modern approach, into cloud and virtualised severs.

“As opposed to the rest of our industry which has a lot of legacy vendors who have come from 20-30 years of working with mainframes and big servers. We came at it from a distributed computing and more modern wave – that has been why we have grown so strong.”

EMEA vs Americas

One of the more surprising statistics around the exponential growth is that, unlike the majority of the elite names within the data industry, the majority of Veeam’s turnover comes from EMEA, rather than the Americas.

This success came from the initial focus around building a customer base around the mid-market businesses.

Adams explained: “We began looking at SMEs and in EMEA, especially Germany, there is a very strong number of companies at that level. EMEA has a very rich market in that middle tier, SME market, and that is what has set this region ahead of the Americas in sales.”

Giving global brands the confidence they are digitally safe

One of the main drivers of growth within Veeam, and the sector as a whole, has been a strong focus on customers and innovating in a fast-moving industry.

Veeam’s ‘maniacal’ focus of customer service has led them to have a Net Promoter Score alongside the likes of Apple and Amazon, while the majority of those within data and cyber security are far behind. Veeam’s current rating is 73, while their immediate competition are all sub-50.

Adams commented: “What we aspire to do, is give people confidence that their virtual lives are always on and safe – particularly at an enterprise level. We talk about the ‘always on enterprise’ – we work on the premise that downtime will happen, but there is no such this as good downtime – whether planned, scheduled or incidental. Our range of products are out there to provide that level of insurance policy.”

It is not just the present target of hitting $1bn turnover that has driven this growth. Veeam are looking at how the industry is likely to change and what they will need to do to remain the go-to data management company throughout the world.

Adams continued: “We have a killer product, and a lot of customers that rate us highly compared to the rest in the industry. We have got great alliances with Cisco, HPE, Lenovo and NetApp – companies that are interacting with the big enterprises. We have managed to sell to about 82% of the Fortune 500 – all without pushing hard. This is where our continued growth will come from.”

Growing faster than our reputation

In any business, in any sector, there are growing pains and challenges that are needed to be overcome. Some businesses succeed – some fail.

However, Veeam’s main challenge in growing to a $1bn company in just 12 years has been that the business has grown faster than their reputation. However, with the company aiming to double that turnover, Adams believes the company have some work to do in changing potential customer’s views on data management.

He said: “From a management point of view, we have grown faster than our reputation. When you move into enterprise and Fortune 500 customers, we are growing really fast. We are ahead of the brand, as some c-suite level employees at these businesses are more likely to identify with the legacy vendors in our industry, because that is where they have come from.

“That is something we really need to work on. It is a challenge but not an insurmountable challenge – we have outstripped our own brand. The vision and the market have both evolved.”

With only around 18% of the Fortune 500 left for the business to work with, Veeam has established itself as the leaders within the industry.

Just as it is within the wider tech sector, advancements are moving at such a rate, that if a business or individual does not advance and innovate – they will be left behind. This can also be said for those that use services like Veaam.

Adams explained: “The reality of our world is just like any other IT world. We need to educate the market on these changes. Then using our expertise, we then guide them in terms of how to break down the challenge into something that is manageable and implemented into the business – and that it can be expanded in the future.”

The future

Veeam’s mentality for change is to be the company driving that change. With GDPR, data regulations and new tech being constantly introduced, the company is preparing themselves for a future of automation.

With aspiration to be a $2bn company within a very complex market, that is evolving fast around data compliance, Veeam are planning on doing a lot more around cloud technology in the future as they believe that is the way the industry is going.

The way people use and consume data is changing dramatically. Also, traditional businesses that just sold products and now wanting to sell a service as well. The industry is starting to shift.

Adams summarised: “Whilst we are pushing hard, everything is changing around us in the sector. This means that our plans are changing at a much greater frequency than before, as the whole sector continues to evolve. We are going to be flexible and focused in our approach to our future plans. The legacy providers are currently struggling to do that at the speed that the market is evolving. That is how we plan on growing from a $1bn to £2bn company.”

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