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Veeam welcomes new leader for SEAK region

Veeam Software has a new leader for Southeast Asia and Korea (SEAK). Beni Sia talks to Enterprise IT News about his new role and his expectations for this market.

EITN: What does your new role entail? What are your key business segments and key relationships in the SEAK region?

Beni: My priorities will be to lead the South East Asia and Korea (SEAK) team by maintaining key partner and customer relationships, as well as continue the growth momentum and taking that success to greater heights. I’m also looking to extend market penetration in SEAK and drive market dominance in key business segments.

Beni Sia

It is an exciting time to be joining Veeam – the industry has been seeing flat growth but Veeam is growing 8-12 times faster than the market. Last year, Veeam achieved the fastest revenue growth in APJ (Asia Pacific and Japan), both sequentially (7.5 percent) and YoY (32.1 percent) in 2H’19, among the top 5 vendors and overall market average according to IDC’s 2019H2 Software Tracker. This year, our Q1’20 global results demonstrated strong growth and market share in APJ, with an annual recurring revenue (ARR) increase of 33 percent YoY for Q1’20. In fact, our projection for Q2’20 is also looking promising and we will be announcing the results soon.

We have seen many key markets experience tremendous growth in the SEAK region, specifically Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Korea. Many organizations within these markets are leaping forward when it comes to cloud application, especially in the last 2-3 years, with their keen interest on using IT as an enabler to embark on this digital transformation journey. Some of our key customers in the APJ region include Havmor Ice Cream, Hero Motocorp, Inchcape, Trustpower and Fuji Electric, and we are committed to continue to enable these organizations and provide them the necessary support needed to progress in their digital transformation journey.

EITN: What does your experience in previous roles and organisations bring to the table for your current role with Veeam?

Beni: I bring with me more than 20 years of experience in the enterprise technology industry with leadership roles in Datacraft, Juniper Networks, Brocade, Broadcom and most recently ServiceSource. My experience will help as I look forward to charting the strategic direction for the SEAK region, working together with the Veeam team to further drive growth and increase customer adoption across our markets.

EITN: There is talk of a new normal following the coronavirus, and businesses trying to stay relevant due to different consumption habits and different organisational priorities. How do you plan to turn this challenge into opportunity?

Beni: Veeam continued its hiring plans despite challenging times, including the recent appointment of our Country Manager in Indonesia. While expectations for demand of data protection and infrastructure is set to be stagnant or on a downward trend, Veeam is expecting to see high double-digit growth in APJ for Q2’20. Our business continues an upward trajectory, and we are at an advantage especially because we do not have to ship any physical products.

The pandemic has brought upon a shift in bringing out the awareness of data protection – if anything, it has only reminded us that data is critically important. Through the recent Veeam 2020 Data Protection Trends Report, we found that 39% of organizations are facing shortage of skills to implement data protection technology. More than a third of the respondents (37%) also said the ability to improve reliability of backups is the most likely reason to drive their organization to change its primary backup solution.

Today, data is everywhere and businesses will require data protection and cloud management, especially more so today. Many organizations are aware that data protection, as well as security services and cloud management tools, are crucial for their business especially those embarking on a digital transformation journey.

EITN: With so much uncertainty, still, how will Veeam decide where to place its mid-term to long-term bets?

 Beni: Veeam is a leader in the Gartner’s 2019 Magic Quadrant for Data Center Backup and Recovery for the third year, and I look forward to continuing the push and growth in SEAK. We are the only vendor in Gartner’s 2019 MQ that is heavily investing in the region, driving growth and investing in people. However, with the uncertainties and high competition in the current landscape due to the pandemic, we must manage our business in a strategic way.

The key in responding to the immediate and long-term needs of our customers, is to educate them, especially SMEs, on the importance of data protection. Based on the Veeam 2020 Data Protection Trends report, some obstacles that organizations within APJ are facing include dependency on legacy systems, limited budgets, lack of time, and lack of buy in from senior management.

It is also important to note that cyber security and data protection play a role in supporting each other. Through the study, the number one challenge that will impact organizations in APJ within the next 12 months is cyber threats. In the short term, we are looking at reaching out to all market sectors including SMEs. Our approach is to offer backup and recovery capabilities, along with tools that enable enterprises to use security technologies from different suppliers to perform specific security tasks such as penetration testing – this we believe will help us to grow our customer base for the long term.