At Tech Data Authority, we caught up with Rick Vanover, Senior Director of Product Strategy at Veeam. As he headed out for a leisurely bike ride, Rick shared his thoughts on backup strategy, the cloud, and why solving problems motivates him to act. Check it out!
Thanks for joining us, Rick. Let’s start at the beginning. Why did you choose in a career in technology?
My professional experience began in the supply chain industry. I relied on software to deploy solutions for many verticals – retail, airlines, and distribution, to name a few. What mattered most to me was how I could apply software to solve a supply chain problem. Sure, using a computer is fun, internet technology is great. But putting it all together to solve a real problem for a company – that’s what motivates me. And that’s why I work in technology today.
Your role in product strategy sounds intriguing. What’s a typical day like?
No two days are the same. Whether I’m working with product management teams, customers, the press or the analyst community, I address different challenges and opportunities on different days. The product strategy team works across internal and external matters. So, if an industry piece of news comes through and we need to write a competitive response, the responsibility for it usually falls to us. It’s an interesting role filled with variety, and we’re ready to handle almost anything that comes our way.
As a leader in the development of backup software, how is Veeam responding to the changing needs of end users?
There’s one word to answer that question: cloud. The implementation of cloud has caused a fundamental change in our business model, customer needs and the opportunity to sell to our partners. Add to that the size and scope of data management today, and you’ll find that cloud is critical. It’s now our biggest focus area. As a company, it determines how we train our sales force and market our products. We also ensure that the platforms we partner with are fully equipped to integrate cloud capabilities.
Now, more than ever, much of the workforce is remote. How can end users safeguard data that is created and shared remotely?
The control layer that most organizations have over their data has moved. Whenever a company member uses an external network – say it’s the downstairs neighbor’s Wi-Fi or a shared network at a coffee shop – the control layer is gone.
When data creation leaves the corporate walls, there’s a critical need to protect it. Organizations that didn’t prepare to do this are scrambling. They’re creating new types of remote access. What concerns me is that when they hurry, they run the risk of making mistakes. If asked “Do you want it right, or do you want it right now?” a lot of organizations choose “right now.” But organizations need to know where their data is, and protect it against leaks and breeches. The endpoint – which often is the remote worker – needs backup.
What role do endpoint backups play in data management and security?
Endpoints are basically a new type of edge device. The backup strategy in general – whether it’s to the cloud, the edge or the data center – is like an insurance policy that you never want to cash out. We don’t believe that’s the best backup strategy. What we want is for a user’s data to remain intact. Some users may not have technical expertise or understand backup, but if they have data in endpoints or in the cloud, they need access to their data. They need their systems to be available. They need backup software that is simple, flexible and reliable.
Rick, we know that Veeam recently won several awards, including a 5-Star Rating in the 2020 CRN Partner Program Guide. What accounts for your success?
Partnerships are in Veeam’s DNA. We’ve always put partnerships front and center. How we sell, go to market, distribute – it’s all centered around partnerships. The strength of our partnerships is in how we integrate with other brands and with reseller, distribution and ecosystem alliances. For us, we’re brand agnostic, so there’s no blurred interest. We believe that partnerships pave the way for more opportunity, and help us deliver more value to the customer, too. In the end, everybody wins.
Want more cloud strategy from Veeam? Check out their upcoming event, VeeamOn 2020. It’s online and free, June 17-18, 2020. And stay tuned to our blog for more one-on-one insights with members of the IT channel.
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 not writing, you can find her on the beach or riding her bike.