Veritas wants more revenue out of APAC

With slow growth in Europe, the software vendor is looking to Asia, which now accounts for just below 20 percent of its total revenue, says CEO Bill Coleman, who acknowledges the need to offer more localisation to better serve customers in the region.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor

LAS VEGAS, USA--Veritas Technologies is looking to Asia-Pacific to drive the company's growth, but acknowledges the need to first offer more localisation and increase its investment in the region.

With economic expansion sluggish in Europe, although the software vendor still was growing "slightly" in the region, Asia offered the most potential in driving future growth for the company, said Veritas CEO Bill Coleman.

"The world's fast-growing markets are there and future largest global markets are there," he said, noting that China and India together already accounted for 35 percent of the world's population.

Speaking to ZDNet at the software vendor's annual Vision conference here this week, Coleman noted that China already was Veritas' largest market outside the US, the latter of which was growing at mid-single digits. "I would want Asia-Pacific to grow at least double that," he said.

The region currently contributed just under 20 percent of the company's overall revenue, but with Asian economies growing much faster, this was expected to increase to 30 percent in early 2020s, the CEO said. He added that this figure would be equal to Europe's current revenue contribution of about a third.

To get there, however, Veritas would have to better focus on meeting the needs of Asian countries, he said. "Frankly, we've under-invested in some markets including Japan and Malaysia," Coleman admitted, noting that a new Japanese business lead recently was appointed to plug this gap.

He added that the vendor had made good progress in other markets such as Australia, which was half the size of its Chinese business, and South Korea, as well as moderate progress in Singapore and Taiwan.

"We've got to be better and faster in coming out with localised products for the region. For one, we need simultaneous releases instead of [making customers in Asia] wait a quarter or two," he said. "We're working on that."

Veritas also would be looking to build "better and stronger" cloud partnerships with the likes of Alibaba and Softbank in the region, similar to deals it inked with Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and IBM.

It currently had "a small partnership" with Alibaba, but this was not at the scale of its Microsoft agreement, Coleman said. "We obviously want to improve our partners [in this region]," he said, adding that Veritas now was working to establish cloud service deals in Japan and China.

The vendor also would need to pay closer attention to developments in the region, specifically, policies and regulators around data privacy and management, he noted.

This was essential in the company's goal to reestablish itself as more than a data storage company, and as an information management services provider. This move came after its split from Symantec in January last year following the buyout from asset management firm, Carlyle Group.

Veritas spent the past year introducing products to help businesses visualise, categorise, secure, and analyse their data. It integrated these into a software-defined storage framework with RESTful API, Coleman said, adding that the company spent an additional US$100 million this year on research and development to support the creation of next-generation products.

This was part of efforts to rectify public perception, under Symantec, that it offered mostly legacy products, he noted.

"What we're really trying to do is re-position ourselves not as a legacy player, but one that can solve your problems moving forward, particularly in [data] governance and digital transformation," he said, adding that its corporate culture also underwent a transition to re-engage its customers. "The systems and processes we inherited from Symantec weren't optimal for our company."

Based in Singapore, Eileen Yu reported for ZDNet from Vision 2017 in Las Vegas, USA, on the invitation of Veritas Technologies.

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