Data Centre Mastery

Gregg Petersen, regional director, Middle East and SAARC at Veeam Software, outlines how the company is enabling the “always-on data centre” and helping partners to capitalise on opportunities in virtualisation, cloud, backup, disaster recovery and availability space.

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Data Centre Mastery
By  Manda Banda Published  March 1, 2015

As far as IT senior executives go, Veeam Software’s Gregg Petersen is as unassuming as they come. But don’t be fooled by his low-key disposition and kindly college professor demeanour. Petersen is shrewd at least when it comes to dealing with IT industry competition in the Middle East.

As it turns out, this skill is very well suited to the evolving chess game known as cloud computing, in which Veeam and its rivals are essentially starting out at square one.

Having had the opportunity to work for storage infrastructure solutions vendor EMC, Petersen has extensive experience in the storage, data, backup and disaster recovery (DR) segment of the market.

However, these days, as regional director at Veeam’s Middle East head office, Petersen is making moves and taking some calculated risks to help the company leverage its lofty position as the virtualisation software vendor moves to dominate the cloud computing and data centre space. And Petersen is stepping up his game when it comes to pushing Veeam’s products as an integrated cloud infrastructure stack comprising solutions for the modern “always-on” data centre, virtualisation backup, DR and availability.

At any rate, Veeam’s aggressive charge into the virtualisation and cloud space stands to dramatically impact the balance sheet of solution providers and resellers in the Middle East that have built huge services business around the company’s software offerings.

“From the onset in June 2011, we have had double-digit growth year on year. Now, the staff count in the Middle East office is 16 people providing support to customers and channel partners across the region,” said Petersen.

He added that the success the company has enjoyed in the short span it has been operating in the region, has to do with the role its distribution partners have played and continue to do so. “Distributors are absolutely critical to our business and we work with them on a daily basis as we expect them to be adding the value to the solutions we bring to partners and the market,” he said. “Both Ingram Micro and Redington Gulf are proper value-added distributors and we have made very good choices in that regard. We expect them to do business development, partner enablement and am confident to say that they are now even able to do end-user business development, which is exciting for us and our partners.”

On the customer front, Veeam has officially crossed the 1000 mark of clients in the Middle East alone, which is a great milestone for the company and its partner ecosystem. “It’s not just about having customers, but it’s the quality of customers we have brought on board with our partners in the banking and finance, government, education, oil and gas, and telecoms sector, that has enabled us to grow our business from strength to strength,” he explained.

Petersen pointed out that Veeam has done well in the enterprise market across the region, which is crucial because even when SMBs inquiry about our offerings, they want to know which reputable enterprise clients the company has on board.

The strategic significance Veeam solutions play when building cloud or virtualisation infrastructure can’t be underestimated. Veeam expects solution providers and value-added resellers (VARs) across the Middle East to use its offerings to help customers that want to build private clouds within their own organisations.

“The biggest challenge to cloud adoption for partners in the Middle East is being able to put together something tangible with a proper price value attached to it,” he said.

Petersen pointed out that while cloud adoption (public or private) in general is slow in the Middle East, the UAE has been warming up to cloud as far as adoption goes. “The interest in the last six months is increasing and in the next 12 to 18 months, the region can expect this to increase as more companies see the benefits of taking their IT infrastructure to the cloud,” he remarked.

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