Authority recently talked with Simon Jelley, GM and VP of Product Management at Veritas. Simon shared his thoughts on what it means to be customer-centric, the importance of collaboration, and how the Veritas data protection portfolio is designed to address evolving threats and challenges. Read more for Simon’s distinct input!
Hi Simon. Thanks for joining us today! Tell us how you embarked on a career in technology.
Thanks for the opportunity to connect. My background and what I bring to my current role at Veritas is two-fold: I help to serve customer needs and enable organizations to minimize data threats, while also maximizing data visibility to drive an organization’s profitability.
Early in my career, I was lucky enough to have two formative experiences that drove my focus on customer outcomes and data. First, as part of my computer science degree, I completed a one-year internship at Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), where I worked on reproducing and resolving customer issues. My internship taught me how to work with customers and handle pressure situations with purpose and professionalism, but it also [painfully] taught me the cost of misunderstanding and under-delivering on customer needs. Moreover, it highlighted the necessity to focus on customer outcomes.
Second, when I graduated from university, I began my full-time career at a startup called KVS, where Veritas’s Enterprise Vault solution launched. Our solution, then focused on email archiving and discovery, became an acquisition target for Veritas. Cases like Enron, in which email played a major role in well-publicized litigation, brought email archiving into the spotlight. Such cases led to new legislation and prompted IT and Legal departments to work closely together on managing data. My work at KVS began my journey of understanding how powerful data can be for organizations, so long as it is properly protected and managed!
Your role as GM and VP of Product Management at Veritas Technologies sounds intriguing. What’s a typical day like for you?
Every day for me is like another day at school. I am learning all day, every day.
My role is all about enabling people – at Veritas, our partners and our customers – to excel. As such, I am constantly meeting with stakeholders to achieve shared success. I approach each engagement by asking stakeholders “How can I help?” Yet, the reality is that I am constantly learning from them, and collaborating to put their great ideas, product requests, process improvements and more in motion.
I believe that team is more than a word. It stands for Together Everyone Achieves More (T.E.A.M). Our team is comprised of all stakeholders across my direct organization, our Veritas organization, our customers and our partners.
Let’s segue to the partnership between Tech Data and Veritas. Why do you think it’s so productive?
Tech Data is a great Veritas partner, particularly in driving our solutions to a massive community of resellers who work with customers in the SMB and mid-market segment. We are successful together because of trust, expertise and open, honest, collaboration.
Moreover, because of Tech Data’s technical and market expertise, they are a highly valuable partner to the reseller community. These resellers trust Tech Data to provide them with proven solutions. We work well with Tech Data because, at any scale, our data management solutions are validated. Together, we have a very open and honest relationship. It enables us to adapt to our customers’ data management needs, especially as they meet new challenges like increased remote working, a rise in ransomware threats and move to cloud and SaaS environments.
Tell us about key areas of specialization at Veritas – specifically, your data protection portfolio.
Veritas is focused on how we help customers ensure that their data is available, protected and can be used to drive insights, no matter where it is located. For SMB and mid-market customers, Veritas Backup Exec enables organizations to protect and recover their data across virtual, physical, cloud and SaaS environments, from a single platform and a single console. This solution makes a significant difference in time and cost, especially when you consider that, on average, most SMB and mid-market organizations are using four different data protections solutions. We can help them reduce their usage to just one!
How does Veritas help to address challenges related to ransomware attacks? What is unique about your company’s approach?
Today, it is no longer if you’re organization is going to experience a ransomware attacked, it’s when. With Veritas, we have already helped organizations like United Way of Pierce County (a nonprofit organization in Tacoma, WA) fully recover from an attack.
We provide the ability for organizations to easily implement a 3-2-1 backup strategy: three copies of your data protected for recovery when needed; and two backup copies on different storage media, with one of them located offsite. Unique to Veritas is our ransomware resiliency, which ensures that backup processes and storage locations cannot be used as points of attack.
Simon, what type of data management changes are your customers experiencing – changes that Veritas can address?
Right now, many of them are experiencing several changes including storage provider strategy; evaluating whether to leverage cloud storage and compute on AWS, Azure or Google; or moving to a SaaS application like Office 365, G-Suite, Dynamics 365 or SalesForce.
As a partner, if you are helping them manage this change, you need to make sure you are considering the data management and protection implications of those changes. Over the last twenty plus years, I’ve seen that customers need support whenever and wherever change is happening. They need to modernize their data management and protection approach – and that is where, together, Veritas and Tech Data can help.
About the Author
Dena Koklanaris joined Tech Data in 2018 and leads the company’s in-house team of copywriters and content strategists. She’s proud to hone her craft for one of Fortune Magazine’s “World’s Most Admired Companies.” When she’s not writing, you can find her on the beach or riding her bike.