Q: Why is it so important to back up your data?
A: Today, ransomware attacks are everywhere. It is rampant in North America and Latin America. In fact, just three weeks ago, Microsoft and the U.S. Federal Government teamed up to block a major attack on the U.S. elections this past October. In Latin America, we observe the same type of activities happening across the board. When we get to the situation where companies must pay a ransom, it only fuels those attackers more. One of the key defenses is to ensure data is backed up. Veeam recommends a 3-2-1 strategy: three backup copies, two different types of backup mediums with one of those backups offsite. There are some new features in Veeam Software’s backup and replication, including enhanced immutability, helping to prevent against anyone at all changing the data. Attacks in some cases are internal to the organization, coming from a disgruntled employee.
Q: Apart from defense against cybercrime, what are the other benefits of backing up and replicating your data?
A: This year was the most active hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean on record in decades. The U.S. National Hurricane Center even ran out of names for hurricanes as they are continuing even as this article goes to print. The last one, Delta, ripped through the Yucatan peninsula. Apart from hurricanes, there are earthquakes in many parts of Latin America. Natural disasters are a key reason why companies must back up, as well as test the recovery of their data. Another factor that threatens data is human error. In either case, if companies are unable to recover their data, the business can be in real danger, facing financial hardships.
Q: How much data do clients back up?
A: It ranges a lot based on the size of the organization. Veeam Software has over 375,000 global customers, including the largest telecom providers in the western hemisphere, as well as SMEs. Our solution provides scalability and flexibility, which means companies will never outgrow it. On the other hand, there is no SME customer too small to use Veeam Software in its environment. A smaller account that does not have the technology infrastructure for backup and disaster recovery as a service can leverage a broad range of cloud service providers, of which we have dozens in Mexico and hundreds in Latin America.
Q: When it comes to other services beyond data backup and recovery, which are growing in importance?
A: Veeam Software is focused on the broader scope of cloud data management. Our vision is defined in five key pillars. The core is Backup and Recovery. The second is Cloud Mobility, which is about managing data workloads across all physical, virtual and cloud platforms. This allows companies to utilize different types of backup sources based on retention and recovery time lines. The third is Monitoring and Analytics, where we remediate unexpected issues in critical backup and recovery processes. The fourth is Automation and Orchestration, ensuring we are automating the strategy and developing a DevOps capability for enterprise application development. The last is Governance and Compliance, where we ensure we comply with regulations, such as privacy, before we deploy backup solutions.
Q: How important is testing in developing a company solution?
A: This is very important. At Veeam, we have Data Labs that allow companies to test solutions in a simulated environment. We can do this while migrating data to ensure that when production starts, the right solution is in place. Many of our larger customers need to do that, especially as we see a lot of our new customers moving off legacy backup solutions that had not been able to make the jump to pure cloud data management. In many cases, Veeam Software is running alongside those environments until they do the proper testing and are able to migrate from solutions that are not as hardware or platform agnostic as Veeam Software is today.
Q: In which areas is Veeam Software focusing its solution development?
A: In October 2020, Veeam announced it had acquired a company called Kasten, which will function as a separate business unit. This is going to allow Veeam to offer backup and recovery for Kubernetes-native workloads across multi-cloud environments. Kubernetes and containers are going to be more present as DevOps becomes a bigger part of enterprise application development. Veeam Software is not just aiming to maintain its leadership position in data backup and recovery but also in new and emerging technologies, such as different new data sources, containers and augmented reality.
One of our faster growing products this year is Veeam Backup for Office 365. In addition to the core Office 365 applications, use of Microsoft Teams exploded during the pandemic in both the cloud market and traditional markets as there was a rapid adoption with remote workforce users. We are also seeing growth in demand for additional backup for SaaS platforms. You need to back up devices like Apple Watch or FitBits. Soon, there will be more in-house development from Veeam Software and new functionalities through acquisitions such as Kasten.
Q: What impact did the pandemic have on Veeam Software’s sales?
A: Veeam Software has been preparing for this kind of digital transformation for quite some time. However, the impact across all industries was significant. In 2Q20, at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Veeam recorded its highest second quarter revenues in the history of the company. In Latin America, many companies were suddenly forced to figure out how to make the home-office environment work. This has definitely reduced resistance against the digital acceleration. However, regional differences in markets, between Mexico, Colombia and Brazil for example, are still significant.
Q: Is Mexico ready for Veeam Software’s cloud data management?
A: I do think the environment in Mexico is ready but the provisioning of our service has to be through the right partners and service providers. We have 5 Tier 1 Service Providers, with dedicated communication lines and infrastructure. We are working with some of the largest telecommunication companies in Mexico to bring Veeam Software across physical, virtual and cloud environments. We also have a set of regional providers, specific to Mexico City or Guadalajara. They have networks in industries like manufacturing, textiles or communications. We let these companies manage cybersecurity, including data backup and recovery. More often than not, companies have built data centers in multiple locations in Mexico and potentially outside of the country for failover purposes. Our top service providers are doing that.
Q: Is lack of bandwidth an obstacle to data backup and disaster recovery?
A. This is definitely becoming less of an issue, as bandwidth availability continues to improve across Mexico. Of course, we recommend the 3-2-1 backup and recovery strategy but companies have to start somewhere. A smaller company can have two locations within the same city. This is less intense than the required bandwidth for backups between two cities like Monterrey and Mexico City. For most of the country, however, the infrastructure is pretty strong.
Q: How do you support the development of smaller service providers?
A: For Veeam Software, it is a priority to invest in smaller partners and show them how to provide our solutions. We have a two-pronged approach. We either welcome them to team up with our Tier 1 service providers that already manage very large volumes across Latin America or we work with them through educational and training programs to provide marketing and technical expertise. We have a tiered approach where companies come in as registered partners and then move along to become silver, gold and ultimately platinum service providers. As the partnership grows, so does the support and benefits from Veeam Software because of their commitment to our brand.
Q: Which segment have you found the hardest to penetrate in Latin America?
A: Veeam does a lot of business with state and local governments and with the federal Mexican government agencies but financial services have been a challenge. We work with many healthcare initiatives from various ministries. There is a lot more we can do in the financial services area, however. Apart from that, pure manufacturing also presents an opportunity. These companies may not be thinking about data backup and recovery in the same way government agencies do. We have some initiatives to drive growth in the manufacturing area and bring management-as-a-service in-house to these companies.
Q: Why is the financial sector harder to penetrate?
A: There is a great deal of regulation and this has shaped the way companies have been doing things for some time. Some are not yet open to change and invest in this. Veeam Software helps in facilitating that change. While a lot of legacy competitors are pulling out of the market, Veeam Software is investing in human and technical resources all across Latin America. A functionality that will be launched in our next release is real-time recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO). Many financial institutions are looking for that. It will help generate a lot more success for them.
Q: What are your growth expectations for Latin America?
A: We have a tremendous growth opportunity. Latin America is still a couple of years behind in terms of cloud adoption compared to North America. For this reason, we expect to see faster growth in the region than in other parts of the world.
Veeam Software is an IT company that develops backup, disaster recovery and intelligent data management software for virtual, physical and multi-cloud infrastructures