Industry analysts bring a ton of value to the technology marketplace. With so many different vendors, Commvault included, trying to get their message to customers, analysts can be a HUGE help in navigating the noise. The key for users and evaluators is to understand the landscape of different analyst content and to view that content through the appropriate lens. Unfortunately, it's not totally clear cut – as evidenced by the fact that some of our competitors have even been confused as to the source of analyst material. In the data management and data protection market, all of the major vendors, including Commvault, Symantec, EMC, etc. leverage both sponsored analyst assets and objective analyst reports to talk about our solutions.
Sponsored analyst assets come with appropriate disclosure and look like the Evaluator Group's Commvault Simpana 9 Virtual Server Lab Validation or the ESG White Paper: Building a Strategic Archive with CommVault Simpana Software. This content is useful to many and complements the collateral created by the vendors themselves. It's just a more targeted point of view, and comes with appropriate disclaimers.
Objective analyst reports usually take the form of vendor landscape or product guides like Gartner's 2012 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Backup/Recovery Software, 451 Research's independent report on Commvault Simpana 10, and yes, DCIG's 2013 Virtual Server Backup Software Buyer's Guide. Reports in this category are not commissioned, although they are often licensed for marketing purposes, which is standard operating procedure in the industry. Again there is appropriate disclosure.
This is exactly the case with the DCIG Buyer's Guide mentioned above. To give you a little bit more detail, here's how Commvault was involved in the development of this guide:
- In the latter half of last year, CommVault, Symantec, EMC, et al, received a questionnaire from DCIG around features and functionality of our respective data protection technologies for virtualized environments.
- Commvault gave very thorough attention to our questionnaire response, and, under NDA, gave DCIG a preview of the new features and functionality of our v10 release that was due out in February.
- After this engagement, we had no further conversations with DCIG until they called us with the results and the opportunity to license the report for our use.
Further, DCIG has clearly documented the process they use for all of the many Buyer's Guides they put out and we understand this is the same process used for this Buyer's Guide as well. This same information is included in the Guide itself in the "Disclosures" section, which is very clear on the issues currently being raised by our competitors. So there is really no good reason we can think of why they are now crying foul.
We make a big effort to ensure the analyst community covering our market is always up to speed and engaged with our activities. In addition to DCIG's Buyer's Guide, we're in the leadership position in Gartner's 'Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Backup and Recovery' and we were named Champions in InfoTech's 'Email Archiving' and 'Virtual Backup Software Vendor Landscape' reports. We believe that Commvault is winning in these types of market evaluations because we continue to offer a single platform that integrates best of breed capabilities whereas others are offering point products too complicated to manage. We believe, and DCIG, other analysts, and thousands of customers agree, that we do a better job of allowing our customers to protect, manage, and access their data than anyone else. We take pride in that, but it's also humbling and we're driven to deliver on the innovation we have promised to the market and to customers who trust their data to CommVault.
When we saw that we were no. 1, or 'Best-in-Class,' on the DCIG report, we thought it made sense to license it so we could use it in our customer conversations. And to be perfectly clear, several vendors, including Commvault, EMC and Symantec, currently sponsor or have sponsored DCIG's website and licensed DCIG's content – as a matter of fact, this page shows Symantec as the #1 sponsor of DCIG's blog. That's one reason why we find Symantec's recent protests about Commvault's licensing of this particular DCIG Buyer's Guide amusing, and a little hypocritical. As to one blogger's comment about the timing of the release, DCIG was ready to release the guide a few weeks before our launch, but wanted to talk about Simpana 10 in the report. Since there are a lot of great new features in Simpana 10, we wanted it to be covered in the report, so we simply asked DCIG to honor the agreed to NDA by waiting until after our launch. So, there's really nothing to read into that, either.
We Might Do the Same Thing…Wait, No, We Probably Wouldn't!
It's only natural that our competitors would cry foul when they're outed as a 'still good, but less-than' solution. What are they supposed to do? We certainly didn't expect them to say, "Yeah, you're right. Commvault handles data management in virtual environments better than we do." As a matter of fact, if we'd been the incumbent in this market for as long as Symantec has, we'd probably be a bit incredulous, too, if we woke up from a long innovation slumber one day to find that a new company like Commvault had come in and passed us up. Here's to many more years of healthy competition!
Robbie Wright is Senior Manager of Product Marketing, focused on Server Virtualization and Cloud solutions at Commvault.