With big cloud services comes big cloud responsibilities. There is a lot to consider when choosing a cloud service provider, like where to put your data, how much should be moved to the cloud and, the most important question for many, how much will it cost?
Historically, there has been a perception of cloud being a locked-in environment where data can be migrated to the cloud easily, but very difficult to get out when it’s time to move to an alternative provider.
Kate Mollett, Africa regional manager at cloud data management leader Veeam, believes that this key issue can be addressed with a multi-cloud strategy.
“Initially, the South African market was a little more guarded in how they adopted cloud solutions. We saw a more accelerated journey outside of South Africa initially, but as the cloud model became more of a trusted standard, the market is now far more willing to onboard to the cloud and there’s strong growth.”
Cloud storage providers, like Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS), have embraced the South African data market, by opening or planning proprietary data centres in the country.
“Services like AWS and Azure are real oxygen for Veeam,” says Mollett, speaking on the sidelines of the Cisco Connect conference at Sun City. “We’ve got such a strong story about how companies can move their data easily in an environment in the cloud by having a multi-cloud strategy and how you can bring your data back on-premise. All of these tasks need to be easy to do and Veeam makes it easy.”
Veeam was founded just over 10 years ago and initially focused on dominating the VMware backup market and servicing the cloud needs of small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs).
“The Veeam SME engine remains very slick,” says Mollett. “It has certainly been the sweet spot of the business for the first eight years. If you consider in Southern Africa, we have 4000 logos and many of them are in the small to medium space. We became very good at servicing that engine through the partner community.
“However, as the Veeam solution has matured from just being the protection of virtual environments to physical environments, data in the cloud as well as the introduction of Veeam solutions for Cisco, Oracle, SAP, Microsoft and other enterprise systems, the solution has evolved into a true enterprise data management solution.
“We’ve seen a lot of growth because of what’s happening in the enterprise regulatory environment. The fact that enterprise is now more open to modern solutions like cloud and innovation around digitalisation, has provided us with an easier path for us to have a meaningful conversation.”
She says Veeam relieves the pain points and concerns that businesses may have with adopting cloud technology.
“The challenge customers have always had is: when I put the data there, how do I get it back? There’s been this perception in the market. And how do you trust that it’s secure and protected in the cloud? Also, when companies change their strategy because they’ve outgrown one provider and need to go to another, how do they move their data to the next cloud service provider?
“In the Veeam Cloud & Service Provider solution, we enable our customers to put their data in one provider’s cloud, and with the ease of a few clicks, have the ability to point the data connection to another provider’s cloud. Another move could be bringing the data back on premise. We provide the ease of data mobility and this follows our own defined mission statement of being the leading cloud data management company.
“A lot of companies don’t want to play Hotel California with their data. This solution is giving customers the confidence that they’re not locked in. We’ve made it easier for customers to move that data around.”
Veeam’s set of Availability Solutions has matured to cater to the enterprise space, while remaining personalised enough for various enterprise requirements.
“There’s a definite education element to these new technologies,” says Mollett. “Most organisations that you talk to now have either got a defined strategy around AWS or Azure, sometimes both, or they’re considering other cloud service providers in the country. There tends to be a multi-cloud strategy in most of the large enterprises.
“There are many enterprise features and functionality to the solution and that talks directly to a different customer set. The organisation has been transitioning quite successfully into that enterprise market. When you start to build a sales campaign around the financial services industry versus SMEs, it’s a different engagement, the requirements are different and the stakes are higher.”