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OwnBackup SaaS data protection expansion includes ServiceNow

Following major funding rounds and acquisitions, SaaS data protection vendor OwnBackup has made its move into new territory. Further SaaS support is on the horizon.

After focusing on Salesforce data protection for several years, OwnBackup has added support for two new SaaS applications in less than a year.

Protection for ServiceNow, which specializes in IT services, operations and business management, is in beta. OwnBackup expects to launch the product to the general public in the spring.

The release follows the fourth-quarter launch of OwnBackup's data protection for Microsoft Dynamics 365, a cloud-based business applications platform that includes CRM. In August, OwnBackup secured a $240 million Series E funding round at a $3.35 billion valuation. The previous January, it closed a $167.5 million Series D investment. The funding has helped OwnBackup expand its SaaS data protection reach to the new applications, as well as increase employee and office numbers, according to CEO Sam Gutmann.

OwnBackup's data protection capabilities include backup, recovery, security, compliance and sandbox seeding. As SaaS data protection trends up, the Salesforce backup market has become competitive, with providers including Commvault's Metallic, Druva and Veeam.

OwnBackup offered protection for ServiceNow workloads several years ago but discontinued it at the time to focus on Salesforce.

OwnBackup, based in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., also made several acquisitions in the last year, including Nimmetry, a SaaS data management vendor. Nimmetry has been a technology partner of ServiceNow since 2017, and that acquisition helped OwnBackup build backup and recovery capabilities in its new product, Gutmann said.

The vendor claims about 4,400 customers. Gutmann said he hopes to get close to 7,000 customers by the end of the year.

OwnBackup continues to look at other potential acquisitions, more SaaS platforms to protect and the possibility of going public. In this Q&A, Gutmann discusses SaaS data protection trends, how the pandemic has affected the company's work and early details on the ServiceNow support.

What are SaaS data protection customers in need of most?

Sam GutmannSam Gutmann

Sam Gutmann: Security is a big piece of it, obviously top of mind with all these attacks that have been in the news constantly. Providing the same level of protection across your SaaS applications that you're used to having in on-premises applications is hugely important. The ability to manage data, understand where it's going and normalize it across your SaaS applications is the next big one where we're going with the security product suite.

How has the pandemic affected the process of making acquisitions, securing funding rounds and developing new tech?

Gutmann: There are a lot of challenges. I used to be traveling to our office in Israel seven or eight times a year and London five times a year. I haven't been able to get there in nearly two years, which is a shame.

Providing the same level of protection across your SaaS applications that you're used to having in on-premises applications is hugely important.
Sam GutmannCEO, OwnBackup

From a pure business standpoint, COVID frankly, as bad as it is personally, [created] tailwinds for the business. In a weekend, companies realized they needed to accelerate their digital transformation projects. At the same time, everyone went home and a lot of the processes, controls and security that were in place to [manage those projects] went up in smoke. You need to move much faster, [but] you've introduced a tremendous amount of additional risk into the process.

What made you choose ServiceNow as the next platform for OwnBackup protection?

Gutmann: ServiceNow is one of the largest SaaS platforms, [holding] hugely critical data to their customers. They focus on midmarket into enterprise -- and there's a lot of opportunity with our existing customer base that is also using the ServiceNow platform.

What are some details on the ServiceNow product?

Gutmann: It's similar [to other OwnBackup products]. It's our core recover product for anything built in the ServiceNow ecosystem. It's the same use case in Salesforce and Dynamics.

It's a shared responsibility model where ServiceNow is responsible for their platform and the customer is responsible for all the data they have stored on that platform. ServiceNow has made a big push. [CEO] Bill McDermott talks a lot about how it's not just an IT platform -- you can use ServiceNow for COVID vaccine tracking for your employees. They're pushing to expand their platform to be the core business platform and system of record for their customers. That data is becoming more and more critical, and we're here to help protect it.

What made you choose Dynamics as a key application to protect?

Gutmann: Dynamics is really interesting. It's a huge market. Microsoft is so big, they don't break out the Dynamics CRM revenue separately. But if they did, it would be probably the second largest pure SaaS business on the planet, behind Salesforce. And there's billions of dollars' worth of Microsoft on-premises legacy licenses that the Microsoft sales team is in the process of helping customers convert to the cloud.

You had been very focused on Salesforce for a while. How was the transition to another major platform?

Gutmann: It's going well. We have some nice customers off the bat. We've built a great relationship with some senior folks at Microsoft.

The focus around Salesforce from the beginning was my view on startups in general, that most startups fail because they fail to focus. We felt that in 2021 we had the right resources, capital, balance sheet and team size, that we could focus a new team within the Dynamics space, now the ServiceNow space, without distracting our core team that's been working in the Salesforce ecosystem that's growing 100% a year.

The product was in development for a while and we did a lot of testing before we got it into the hands of customers, and took a lot of the lessons learned from our seven years in the Salesforce ecosystem. We designed that to be a platform, so it was a tremendous reuse of code base, and new applications will be easier and quicker for us to deploy.

All the SaaS applications are different. You mentioned reusing the code base, but how difficult is it to start up SaaS data protection for an entirely new application, and what do you need to do from your end?

Gutmann: We need to understand the APIs of the next SaaS application both for getting the data out and more importantly the metadata, so that we can understand the relationships between the data. The other part is we need to understand the business rules, so as you put data back in on a restore, you're really creating a new record, so whatever triggers and workflows that you may have would be applicable to that new record.

Are you actively looking at other platforms to protect?

Gutmann: We are. The average enterprise now uses over 300 SaaS applications, which is enormous. It could be one guy on his cell phone using Evernote, but that's still company data. We're constantly talking to our customers, seeing what are the next critical workloads they'd like us to protect, and we'll start working on cloud number four soon.

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