At this year’s GITEX, Telecom Review sat down with Claude Schuck, Regional Manager of the Middle East region at Veeam, to discuss the cloud, its utilization in the Middle East, the challenges that come with it and the key pillars of digital transformation for the region’s enterprises.
What is Veeam showcasing at GITEX this year?
Mainly Cloud Data Management; you’ll find that many of our taglines are based around that. We talk a great deal about Veeam and Act 1. For the first 9 years, Veeam Act 1 was based around virtual and then the company slowly started getting involved in physical. We have recently become a billion dollar company.
As is the case with other organizations, after 10 years, you must reevaluate and look at what you are going to do and where you’re going to move to next. When we talk about Veeam Act 2, it is all about Hybrid Cloud Data Management and it involves planning out how we are going to manage those workloads for customers ensuring that they have the flexibility to use that because if we look at the industry, people aren’t really buying that much hardware. If we look into the future of hardware, if I was a big hardware vendor and I had to plot what my sales would look like between three to five years from now, the curve would probably be going downhill as people begin moving workloads off into the Cloud, both public and private entities, that is where business is going.
So with Veeam Act 2, our big bet is all around Cloud. Everything we do and everything we have is around that and that is what we are showcasing at GITEX this year.
Where are we right now in the cloud back up story? Has it reached its peak in terms of popularity in the MENA region or do you think it is not used widely enough yet?
In my opinion, it is not used widely enough yet.
There are a couple of service partners that were the early adopters and have been able to sell back up as a service to smaller enterprises rather than big ones. This is primarily due to smaller companies being a lot more risk averse, more agile and more flexible.
Has cloud taken off? Not yet. Microsoft Azure has just launched here in the UAE and Amazon in Bahrain. However, people still need to gain trust and believe in the technology. They need to trust that their data is under the same sky that they wake up to.
When Cloud starts to ramp and enterprises get involved, the ramp is massive and you can measure that. Right now, if you look at the market, there are lots of little ones and it has not penetrated yet because we are right at the beginning stages. I think by GITEX next year, the market will be a totally different place.
How has the cloud evolved here in the Middle East? How quick has the Middle East moved towards the cloud compared to other regions?
Slowly. We spoke about not having bricks and mortar in country; that’s the main reason. The security of having their data in country is very important. The technology is there, they believe in it and they understand the scale, breadth and agility that it could bring. Now that it’s here, the conversations I have been having with customers have been around that- almost every single one.
I had a presentation the other day in Saudi and one of the slides that I started with read ‘change is the only constant’. If you think about it a little differently, disruption is the only constant because now if you don’t adopt these new technologies, such as using Cloud in your business, you will be disrupted.
What are some of the challenges that come with digital transformation that are specific to this region? And how can Veeam help tackle these issues?
I don’t think that it is specific to the region, I think it is specific to certain customers. Self-evaluation is key.
A business must be thinking of the next four superpowers: mobility, cloud, AI, and IoT. All these things generate data. As a business, you must think about how you are addressing these four pillars. If they are not being addressed, then you should think about harnessing and utilizing them because they are out there. If not, think about moving your processes into those fields. Business must make sure that these four pillars are covered.
That’s the thing about digital transformation, some businesses just don’t know what to do or where to start. I believe that they need to think of these things. You can start to put tangible things in place to address them because that’s what put you on that journey towards the next step.