Execution. On many fronts.
This is really what came to mind in the first few minutes of the Commvault FutureReady online event yesterday (7/21).
First, the event itself was excellent: length, content, delivery, use of customers, and it included primarily live sessions from what I could tell. The platform worked without a hitch. To net it out: as a participant, one benefited from both engaging content, and active engagement through the ability to interact with the speakers. Great job! Great execution.
Multiple announcements were made at the event, and it is evident that Commvault is delivering on multiple fronts at once. Strategically, the company is positioning itself as an intelligent data management vendor, something that is near and dear to my heart. In doing so, the company embraces the deep transformation that is happening in the market and the central role of data as the key asset to protect, manage, manipulate, and enrich. There are a few more critical tenets to success based on our research and opinion: cloud (read multi-cloud), ease of use, and automation are also underlying requirements to cross the data management chasm.
How do you get there? That's what the announcements were really about.
Looking at the key announcements in more detail, "true" Hedvig integration is what the market was waiting for. While the devil is always in the details, this phase 2 of integration is a perfect illustration of why Commvault bought Hedvig to extend its software platform in the first place and further penetrate cloud use cases. Containers were also front and center of this story. They have become very critical to manage and protect today, but will be essential in the next few quarters. This was the part that came as a pleasant surprise. I see the announcements in the context of the integrated platform in this area as the major if not the critical milestone for the company's future.
On the heels of the recently announced critical Azure partnership, and in combination, 2020 is quickly becoming a major milestone year for Commvault.
This integration also allows Commvault (probably soon) to go compete head to head with vendors focused on secondary storage/data (for lack of a better term) and, more importantly, offer a fully integrated storage and data management stack to the market that can be managed from a single pane of glass. While it is a software stack, it can also make for a very integrated appliance: Commvault HyperScale. It is a scale-out integrated solution for data protection for all workloads. It is important to note the completeness and integration (containers, virtual, and databases) combined with scalability. The focus is on backup today, and ransomware mitigation/remediation, but I see this platform becoming the "instrument" to get customers to intelligent data management.
The company is also "breaking up" backup/recovery and disaster recovery modules to make them available separately. Separating BC/DR from backup provides more granularity to channel partners and to end-users. It's a very interesting and competitive move which I expect will see its primary instantiation through service providers who will be able to leverage the DR capability to build into their own portfolios without having to have the whole suite. This gives Commvault the ability to sell “just” the DR piece where another incumbent vendor is in place. The company also announced Commvault Complete Data Protection, which is a “one-stop shop” for everything data protection and positions end-users to get into more capabilities in intelligent data management. An updated and simplified pricing schedule is also being rolled out.
One word on ease of use: the Command Center console integrates all the components of the portfolio, and is easy to use based on a few demos I saw. This has to be a key area of investment moving forward to further integrate the various solutions including the SaaS components (Metallic). This is one area that I will be looking at closely and what additions to Metallic we will see in terms of further integrations, new SaaS workloads, etc.
It’s an impressive pace of execution. I hate to say it this way but I think it makes my point clear: "It's not your "old" Commvault anymore."
This a very different company, and it’s been transforming very convincingly. We have reached a milestone, maybe a turning point. Execution will continue to be key.