Former senior executive at Veritas Technologies LLC (Veritas Software)
- Overview of Veritas Technologies and its solutions
- Industry update, focusing on competitive landscape
- 1-3-year outlook – operational and financial opportunities and risks
Could you describe Veritas, its history, and the services it provides? The company was acquired a long time ago by Symantec.
Veritas was acquired by Symantec in 2005, so it’s obviously a company and technology that’s been around for a long time. 2020 was unprecedented for a number of reasons, with many companies increasingly focusing on cloud transitions and digital transformation. How do you think Veritas fits into that set of priorities, given your comments around its past leadership role, its stored software and the primacy of the data in a world where people are increasingly moving to the cloud?
Veritas primarily has products in three categories – availability, protection and insights. All of these concern data, which seems to be at the core of what the company does. Can you estimate the revenue contributions from each of those categories? The protection category seems to be the most important category for sales, containing I think NetBackup and Enterprise Vault.
NetBackup seems to be Veritas’s primary revenue and performance driver. What are your thoughts on the release of NetBackup 9 in January 2021? Do you think this was a significant release? Are there features and functionality that people inside the company may have been particularly excited about? Were there things included that were being asked for by clients, end users and partners?
When was NetBackup 8 in the marketplace and what did it entail?
Veritas experienced some revenue declines in 2020. To what extent could customers potentially waiting on NetBackup 9 have contributed to this? What do you think of that product’s growth prospects? You mentioned Veritas had to address challenges around being identified as a legacy technology and software provider, in part due to its longevity. To what extent do you think NetBackup 9 could lead to overall growth for the company as a whole in 2021?
To what extent do you think NetBackup 9 is differentiated enough? You mentioned the approach to cloud and working in multi-cloud environments, as well as different platforms and virtual environments. How can that change the company’s growth trajectory across 2021 and beyond? It seems that the company has had a hard time retaining the totality of its market share and its revenue base. To what extent could NetBackup 9 help it gain some share and increase revenues?
Who you would characterise as Veritas’s primary competitors?
Were you listing the four primary competitors in order of competitive strength vs Veritas, with Cohesity first and Veeam last? Veeam has probably been around longer than the other three companies. You mentioned that there is interest in [Veeam] moving from the mid-market up to more enterprise-level customers. Could you describe the current competitive threat to Veritas and how that might evolve over the next three years?
You highlighted the importance of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Veritas obviously, but also Cohesity, Rubrik, Commvault and Veeam, along with Dell and IBM. What can or should Veritas do to stem the tide? It seems to be a recurring theme that Veritas has always been a leader in technology and the quality of its solutions. It has just released an update with a lot of features and functionality that customers want. It seems, however, that you have been highlighting the importance of messaging and sales as much as the product itself. Do you think sales and messaging is an area where the company needs to think and act differently? How should it do so?
What do you think happened to the sales engineers that the company let go? Veritas seems to have been very focused on costs and expenses over the last few years, perhaps in part due to the growth challenges we discussed. Have these people been restructured out of the company? Have they tried to join competitors such as Cohesity, where you mentioned poaching was an issue?
To what extent do you think the company recognises that it needs to invest both in sales engineers and also in talent across the company? To what extent do you think it is prepared to invest to address this issue?
It sounds like Veritas is actually making the adequate investments in at least some of its key offerings. We discussed NetBackup 9, so it doesn’t seem that investment in the products is perhaps the primary issue. Instead, it seems to be around communicating the value proposition of those products in a way that resonates with potential and existing customers. To what extent do you think the continuation of this issue is a reflection not just of the leadership, but also the new people the company has hired in sales roles? In H1 2020 I believe it installed a new SVP of Sales for the Americas. It also hired a new EVP of Worldwide Field Operations. Are you saying that these issues aren’t being resolved, despite new people coming in?
You referenced opportunities in the insights segment, highlighting Aptare and eDiscovery, which was previously Clearwell. Do you think there are similar issues around sales and messaging in this area as well as across some of the opportunities in availability? Is this an issue that is centred on a majority of the company and its revenues?
Hypothetically, if you were made the CEO of Veritas what three decisions would you make to influence the future of the company?
It seems that integrating all of its solutions is probably something that Veritas has been thinking about for around a decade. Investment in people would require a cultural commitment. To what extent do you think what is going on at Veritas is a product of the ownership structure and management vs technical execution issues? That might be a loaded question.
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