Manoj Nair joins Commvault's Metallic as general manager

New general manager Manoj Nair's focus for Metallic is on geographic and product expansion. Nair plans to expand Metallic beyond the U.S., starting with a launch in Canada.

Commvault reached outside the company for the new leader of its Metallic SaaS-based subsidiary.

Manoj Nair said he will look to expand Metallic's platform support and take it worldwide in his role as general manager.

Metallic initially launched only in the U.S. in 2019. Alongside with Nair's appointment as the new GM, Metallic was made available in Canada last week. Nair said he is targeting Western Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region, but declined to give a timeline for rolling out Metallic in those areas.
Before taking the top post at Commvault's SaaS-based subsidiary, Nair was CEO of HyperGrid, which sells SaaS-based hyper-converged infrastructure. Nair has also worked in other areas adjacent to data protection, for Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Dell EMC and RSA Security.

Nair replaced Robert Kaloustian, who stepped down from the position for personal reasons. Kaloustian, a 20-year Commvault veteran, served as SVP of global sales engineering, service and support before taking over Metallic at its 2019 launch.

Metallic launched at the Commvault GO 2019 user conference as a division of Commvault -- minus the Commvault branding. The idea was to sell to midmarket customers by offering Commvault software's backup capabilities through a SaaS-based model hosted on Microsoft Azure. It launched with three products: Core Backup & Recovery, Office 365 Backup & Recovery and Endpoint Backup & Recovery.

Nair said Metallic is seeking good local service providers to partner with and navigating local regulations. He said each country has its own, sometimes conflicting, policies on data. In some places, language is also a consideration. Nair said he plans to approach each regional launch with a regimented process of beta and availability.

"We are getting a lot of demand globally, but we're taking our time to make sure we're compliant," Nair said.

Headshot of Manoj NairManoj Nair

Metallic most directly competes with other cloud-based SaaS backup vendors such as Druva, Clumio and Igneous Systems. Commvault competes with the broader enterprise data protection market, against vendors such as Veritas, Cohesity and Rubrik.

Nair said he is also looking to expand Metallic beyond backup and recovery, and to add a fourth product. He plans to bring Commvault Activate's analytics capabilities to the platform, and expects to add another product within the next three to six months.

Christophe Bertrand, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, sees Nair's appointment as building on the previous GM's good work. He said it is a logical move from Commvault, as Metallic was designed from the ground up to be partner-focused and is now recruiting partners to build out its channel for a geographical expansion.

"They're getting a new leader to put some gas into the engine they built," Bertrand said.

p>The COVID-19 pandemic caused a surge in Microsoft Office 365 adoption and endpoint deployments, and Nair said he's noticed a corresponding uptick in demand from Metallic customers. It's all the more reason for Metallic to make its global push now and try to meet that demand. Bertrand said the Commvault of old, before current CEO Sanjay Mirchandani joined, is unlikely to have made changes and pivoted as quickly as it has.

Another difference Bertrand noted about the "new" Commvault is that it is no longer trying to be everything all the time. He said Commvault seems keenly aware that Metallic's product lineup is fine where it is now, and so the focus should be on selling worldwide while demand is hot. Metallic will need to add workloads over time, but it will be driven by what workloads customers actually adopt.

"Commvault is much more focused and smart about choosing what not to develop now," Bertrand said.

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