Veeam has announced its Q3 2018 results, marking the company’s 41st consecutive quarter of double-digit growth.
Locally, the Africa South region’s bookings grew 30%, licence and upgrade bookings are up 19% year-over-year and the region added 105 new customers during the quarter. This growth is mostly driven by SMB and commercial customers.
The quarter also saw 264 Veeam Cloud and Service Provider (VCSP) transactions up 27% year-over-year in Q3, which can be attributed to mid-market businesses adopting cloud services.
The region added 43 VCSP partners and it was a notable quarter for one of the existing partners, Silicon Sky, which achieved platinum status, the highest level for a reseller and the first to achieve it in the region of Middle East and Africa.
Kate Mollett, Regional Manager for Africa South, said, “Businesses are using the cloud as a second home for data as part of a disaster recovery plan because the expense of having a second physical site is too high in South Africa. Businesses are speaking with resellers about Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS) where they have an offsite copy of their data in the cloud that is now replacing tape, or they’re adding Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS).
“This trend is being driven by the increase in capabilities of local cloud providers. Across South Africa, organisations big and small are adopting Microsoft Office 365 at a rapid pace. It’s unsurprising; it’s a great product and can grow as the business does.
“But it doesn’t include data backup as part of the package and businesses are looking for backup solutions to secure their Outlook, Sharepoint and One Drive solutions. It’s a huge headache for businesses and one that Veeam can happily now resolve for them.”
Looking ahead to the quarter end, Mollett added, “I believe the rest of the year will see a heightened interest in the public cloud as a result of the imminent arrival of Microsoft Azure data centres which are set to launch before the end of December.
“The arrival of this proven technology from an established and well thought of brand like Microsoft is exciting and with Amazon’s AWS to open here soon too, it will entice more businesses to try the cloud, or to move more of their existing infrastructure into cloud storage or use cloud-derived software.”
With multinational cloud service providers investing in South Africa and other infrastructure providers expanding data centre operations across Africa, Mollett says the hyper-availability future is looking bright for the continent
“From entrepreneur all the way through to enterprise, the speed, cost and availability of data have become such that organisations are rethinking how they manage it more intelligently,” said Mollett.
“Already, hosted solutions are growing in adoption resulting in attention turning to availability and business continuity strategies. This entails much more than just the backup and recovery of data. Instead, the focus is on utilising the existing data in a more intelligent manner to extract meaningful insights from it faster than before.
“In Africa, one of the key drivers behind this is the ubiquity of mobile. The continent has long been labelled a mobile-first environment. Some might even say that it is mobile-only given the challenges of rolling out fixed-line infrastructure to remote and rural areas.
“Irrespective, with a mobile penetration rate of 43% and expectations that there will be more than 690 million smartphones in sub-Saharan Africa by 2025, the positioning is clear – mobility must be an essential part of any data management strategy.
The connected customer
Mollett says mobile entails how to manage shifting customer expectations when those users have embraced mobility into all facets of their lives.
“According to the GSM Association, sub-Saharan Africa has been identified as a leading market when it comes to mobile money adoption,” she said.
“This requires an enabling environment geared towards the always-on availability of services. Although mobile is the preferred channel for personal interactions, it is fast-becoming expected in a business environment as well, irrespective the industry or size of the company. And while there are several data input channels available to organisations, mobile presents them with one of the most important ones.
“Understanding what is important to customers when it comes to mobile expectations is vital to delivering products and services that fulfil those needs. Fundamentally, customers want a consistent experience. Having a single view of the customer has long been touted as the cornerstone for delivering a richer business environment.
“However, it appears that the biggest stumbling block to managing the connected customer is the unwillingness by some organisations to adapt. But thanks to the increasing popularity of innovations such as mobile money and other mobile applications and services, this will have to change.”
Even though the general mindset is still very much geared towards the traditional backup and recovery of data, the explosion of big data makes this no longer adequate.
Availability, Mollett says, is something that has become a business necessity.
“Companies can ill afford not to have access to data especially when customers expect products and services to be available to them around the clock,” she said.
“Ensuring this availability across the entire enterprise becomes both much more critical and much more challenging as does getting visibility into all the data across the various channels where it resides and the networks across which it moves.
“Hyper-availability requires a shift in mindset. Certainly, backup and recovery are important aspects, but the way that is managed requires a more intelligent approach.
“Intelligent data management and hyper-availability are two parts of the same coin. For a business to be truly effective in the mobile African environment, it must embrace both fully and drive change internally. Africa is driving mobility in ways previously unimagined. How ready an organisation will be for this growth will largely be dependent on its openness to this hyper-available environment.