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Almost 18 months ago, when I last sat down in Kuala Lumpur with US-based technology evangelist Rick Vanover, he talked of the challenges that IoT would add to the pressure for constant service availability and also noted: "The urge to change is stronger in Asia than other regions when it comes to emerging trends."
On hearing that Rick would be visiting Malaysia again this month, which will include speaking at the CIO Asia conference (30 March 2017), I invited him to take part in a Computerworld Malaysia 'rapidfire' interview and get a fresh take on the Malaysian scene and the role technology companies needed to play in a changed global environment. Naturally, he used examples from Veeam. Here is a brief bio:
Rick Vanover (pic below) (Cisco Champion, MVP, vExpert) is the Director of Technical Product Marketing & Evangelism for Veeam Software based in Columbus, Ohio. Rick's IT experience includes system administration and IT management; with virtualisation being the central theme of his career recently.
(RV) First of all- thanks for reaching out to me for my upcoming trip to Asia. I'm really excited to be back in the region and to take part in a few events in Kuala Lumpur.
On the economic front, the Malaysian growth pretty much echoes global sentiments - that of some slowed growth. The World Bank expects Malaysia's economic growth to grow only slightly faster at 4.3 percent in 2017 compared to 4.2 percent in 2016.
This outlook reflects a gradual slowdown in the growth of consumer spending and investment. The growth rate will be based on strong private consumption, but will continue to suffer from weak commodity prices and slowing private investment.
At Veeam we are still taking an aggressive approach globally for growth, and the Malaysian market will be critical. In addition, Veeam now has a large office in Kuala Lumpur - which is growing and serving many inside sales, marketing and support functions across Asia with other offices in the region - so Malaysia plays an important part in Veeam's Asian expansion strategy.
What will be your key strategy advice to CIOs in Malaysia and Asia this year?
IT leaders definitely need to keep ROI central to their practice today. One way ROI can be measured is by investing in a ransomware resiliency strategy.
Everything from end user training to re-designing things like backup infrastructure are key ways to have more resiliency against ransomware. The ROI is 'immeasurable' when compared to the risk of failure.
I like to say to CIOs "Do you want to pay now, or pay later?" when it comes to resolving a ransomware situation.
The 'Availability' expectation today for all types of organisations requires dealing with a ransomware situation. Any organisation that has been in a ransomware situation will concur that the value of a good backup is most important above all. Further, if ransomware get into an organisation - the backup solution or cognitive data loss are the only ways to resolve this issue. We have been increasingly advocating ransomware resiliency and this will continue.
And how is Veeam helping with strengthening this resiliency?
We take these situations seriously, and we are investing in new products and new resources to help organisations of all types and sizes to have a better Availability experience. Another example is Veeam's new Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365. This is a great way that organisations can have the full control of their email data, an important responsibility of an organization's data wherever it may lie.
How is Veeam planning to realise opportunities this year?
Despite current challenges, we see a big opportunity. There are organisations around the world of all sizes and types that are actively seeking to or have already invested in the public cloud. We therefore continue to see a key opportunity to take the Veeam Availability experience to the public cloud.
We've embraced that already with our recently released Veeam Agent for Linux, which provides backup for Linux workloads in the public cloud as well as on-premises workloads that are physical. The corresponding product for the Windows family of operating systems is due out this half of the year with Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows. These products are part of our recently announced Veeam Availability Platform for the Hybrid Cloud.
These two new products are one area that Veeam is banking on for big growth. New products are going to be an engine for our continued successful growth and allowing enterprises to have a better Availability experience with Veeam.
Finally, what's the main message you will be leaving with IT and business leaders in Malaysia, and indeed in the region?
My main takeaway message is that there is an opportunity today to have a better 'Availability' experience. Everything from leveraging the cloud in the best way, having backups for everything wherever it may be, and being resilient against one of the biggest threats today; we're there to help. That's also one of the central themes of our upcoming VeeamON conference this May in New Orleans: We're working diligently to give organisations the knowledge and tools they need to be successful in extending Availability to all parts of IT.
The latest edition of this article can be found on Computerworld Malaysia 17 March 2017.
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