Commvault has appointed Praveen Sahai as vice president of Channels, Alliances and Service Provider across Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ), recruited from Dell Technologies to drive partner engagement amid a rise in software-as-a-service (SaaS) market adoption.
Effective immediately, Sahai is tasked with leading regional channel ecosystem growth with a focus on “strengthening and optimising” partner engagement specific to execution and profitability. The Singapore-based executive replaces Dino Soepono in the regional role following his recent departure to join Veeam as senior director of Strategic Alliances across APJ.
“At Commvault, the health of our partner ecosystem is an integral part of our success as we build on our partnership momentum to meet our customers’ demand and changing business environments,” said Rachel Ler, vice president and general manager of APJ at Commvault.
“I am confident that Praveen will help us build a strong channel and alliance ecosystem with focus on driving execution excellence while ensuring we create a win-win attitude with all our partners.”
According to Ler - appointed to the regional role in early January - Sahai brings “decades of experience” to the position with a strong understanding of partner management and driving SaaS growth within an evolving channel ecosystem.
“Praveen will play a crucial role as we strive to activate segments of our partner network to meet the needs of under-penetrated commercial and small enterprises, driving growth across the region and creating long-lasting partnerships that will truly benefit our customers,” Ler added.
Drawing on more than 20 years of industry experience, Sahai has primarily operated within the data management, cloud and SaaS areas of the market following executive roles at Citrix and Sun Microsystems, in addition to over 14 years at Dell. Most recently, Sahai spearheaded Dell’s channel cloud business across the region, spanning ISV and strategic partner sales.
“Commvault has an unrivalled commitment and culture in driving innovation, and with a radically simple, and infinitely scalable portfolio to improve its customers’ data management journey, unlocking the potential of data,” Sahai said. “Its partner programs are award-winning, predictable and most important, profitable.”
The appointment of Sahai comes as Commvault presses ahead with plans to drive SaaS uptake via the channel, backed by the pursuit of new customer logos and the addition of a regionally focused distribution strategy.
The move is anchored around Metallic, a SaaS offering first unveiled in late 2019 and recently enhanced with storage, back-up and security features. With the product now set to be rolled out across key APJ markets - following a recent launch in Australia and New Zealand - the data management vendor is laying the foundations to accelerate uptake via the supply chain.
“We’re taking a very deliberate approach to the channel, especially as we roll out our SaaS product because traditional, large-scale data centre partners are not used to that route to market,” said Ler, when speaking to Channel Asia in March.
When outlining plans to Channel Asia, Ler said the vendor is seeking differentiation across the ecosystem to maximise the potential of Metallic, spanning endpoint, Office 365 and enterprise workloads.
“If you break these three areas down in silos, we expect to have different partners within each space,” she added. “For example, endpoint protection partners don’t usually operate within the data centre space meaning we have to be purposeful about how we on-board these new partners, our route to market and how we incentivise the channel.”
Central to such efforts will be the appointment of a regional distributor to capture emerging opportunities specific to SaaS and cloud, evident through the imminent launch of a request for proposal (RFP) process across APJ.
“We recognise that within the SaaS arena, we need a regional distributor who operates a marketplace which allows wider reach and the ability to manage the entire customer lifecycle,” Ler explained. “Customer success is key in a SaaS world and we want to avoid the risk of losing an end-user at the point of renewal, rather creating ongoing stickiness through our Metallic product.”