Data protection software developer Commvault Wednesday moved to expand its reach into the MSP channel with an expansion of its channel program and new tiers aimed squarely at its MSP partners.
The focus on MSPs extends Commvault’s existing Partner Advantage program to a part of the channel it hadn’t been specifically focused on, said John Tavares, vice president of global channels and alliances at the Tinton Falls, N.J.-based company.
“Our partner base is telling us the business mix will shift to about 60 percent from managed services,” Tavares told CRN. “We have a big and growing partner base in this market.”
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The shift comes as MSPs are looking to tackle an ever-growing market for data protection-related services, Tavares said. He said that the total addressable market for Data Protection as a Service will reach about $15.3 billion this year, that Backup as a Service is slated to grow by about 19.8 percent this year and that Disaster Recovery as a Service should grow by 22.8 percent this year.
“So this is a big and fast-growing business and a shift in our customer base,” he said.
Commvault is responding with a simplification of its channel program aimed at helping MSPs get a larger part of that market, Tavares said.
This includes the introduction this year of an MSP-focused version of Commvault Metallic, the company’s first SaaS data protection technology targeting SMB customers, as opposed to Commvault’s mainstream data protection technology, which traditionally has been focused on enterprise customers.
Commvault Metallic for MSPs will be a SaaS-based MSP platform aimed at helping MSPs manage workloads whether on-premises or in public clouds, Tavares said. “We’re giving our partners tremendous flexibility in the hybrid cloud market,” he said.
Commvault introduced several other changes in its Partner Advantage program for MSPs.
The first is the introduction of a simple, two-tier program with consistent pricing, Tavares said It includes a Market Builder tier aimed primarily at MSPs and a Premier level aimed primarily the company’s aggregators. Aggregators centralize all necessary information about a service, execute the licensing and contract agreements, and sell access to licensing for these Commvault-powered services to their MSPs.
“This simplification is aimed at efficient pricing so we stay out of MSPs’ way when they go to market in either tier,” he said.
Commvault also built out a very broad technical enablement for its MSPs to provide expertise to help MSPs design offerings around the company’s products, Tavares said.
The company also has a new MSP portal, its first market development fund program for MSPs, and a new technical advisory board that includes MSPs, he said. Also new are automated billing, metering and other tools MSPs need, he said.
While Commvault Metallic already has consumption pricing, Commvault next year will also add new incentives specifically to help MSPs bring consumption pricing to customers, he said.
Commvault in February hired a new chief marketing officer, Isabelle Guis, from Salesforce, Tavares said. Guis has already put her DNA into the Commvault channel program for MSPs with a series of new customized campaigns for partners, he said.
Commvault has proven itself to be a good partner to MSPs looking to do Backup as a Service, said Craig Hurley, director of product management, managed services team, at Sirius Computer Solutions, a San Antonio-based solution provider with a growing focus on managed services.
“Commvault has a hybrid cloud message for MSPs,” Hurley said. “Customers with on-prem data are looking to leverage the cloud, and data protection is a key component to protect workloads in the cloud and to the cloud. I’m bullish on Commvault. They’re really focused on MSPs and are very much in line with what customers are looking for.”
The addition of consumption-based licenses and incentives to go with that is important for MSPs, Hurley said.
“Customers these days are looking to procure managed services with an Opex-based model,” he said. “Everything can be a service. The fact that Commvault has utility pricing and consumption-based pricing makes it easier to offer Opex to customers.”
Having a new program from Commvault that emphasizes Backup as a Service is increasingly important, Hurley said.
“With the increase in ransomware attacks, backups are increasingly customers’ last line of defense,” he said.
While Tavares was unable to say what percentage of Commvault’s revenue comes specifically from MSPs, he did say it is a “significant” number.
“This is one of the fastest-growing parts of our business,” he said.