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Businesses have to use data to thrive; we help to protect that data: Commvault CEO

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Sanjay Mirchandani, Commvault CEO joins the Yahoo Finance Live panel to discuss what Biden’t infrastructure plan will do for tech and the U.S. Pipeline cyberattack.

Video Transcript

ZACK GUZMAN: Welcome back into Yahoo Finance Live. We're continuing to learn more about this hack on one of America's largest pipelines, one of the 5,500 miles on the East Coast there in Colonial Pipelines attack. The FBI confirming the suspected group behind it is indeed Dark Side, as we brought you earlier on. But the attack goes to show a lot of these attacks are popping up in sectors that previously may not have had to think about being targets. Of course, it all comes as President Biden continues his push for his infrastructure bill, which focuses not only on roads and bridges, but also upping America's digital infrastructure. It's worth asking what might need improving the most here.

And here to chat with us on that is Sanjay Mirchandani, CEO at data management and recovery company Commvault. And Sanjay, appreciate you hopping here-- hopping on here today to chat with us. I mean, when we talk about this latest attack, it's just one kind of a trend of people moving data and other things online that previously had never had to deal with this issue. So what have you seen maybe recently as it becomes top of mind for more and more people out there?

SANJAY MIRCHANDANI: I mean, defenses from an infrastructure point of view the frontier is now digital. And what folks want, what the bad guys want, if you would, if I oversimplify it, is not necessarily the infrastructure, but the data. The value lies in the data. And we're now asking companies, small and big around the world, to shore up defenses almost Pentagon level to be able to protect what they do every day. And that's hard. And that's-- you know, and that's where companies like ourselves at Commvault come in to really help our customers as they bridge into this new digital world, so to be able to manage and protect their data in ways that are easier and more valuable.

AKIKO FUJITA: So to what extent do you see some big opportunities there? I mean, it feels like we talked so much about data protection and cybersecurity. And yet here we are, every week, really, we talk about increasingly ransomware attacks. And you have to wonder how many of these companies are actually really positioned to be able to beef up their defenses.

SANJAY MIRCHANDANI: I mean, it's a great question, Akiko, because, you know, if you ask a midsize accounting company, who have all your tax information, have your accounting information, have all the personal information, how solid are you, how well protected are you, it's a tough question to answer for them because what they really specialize is in the business they're in. So companies like us come in and help them protect their data from things like ransomware. It's a continuously changing vector. Today, it's ransomware. Tomorrow it'll be something else.

And what we have to do is really find ways that system in really making sure they can focus on their business while we give them another level of protection on the data that is the most valuable thing. And that's what we do. I mean, at Commvault, we build in ransomware protection for our customers in our data protection suite. And so, whether they're doing it in SaaS or they're doing it on premise, whether they're a small customer or a large customer, we help them sort of get better. You're never 100% safe in this world, but we help you get better protected.

ZACK GUZMAN: Yeah, when we talk about who is going to be accessing this, I mean, you guys just reported earnings not too long ago. You showed a 16% year over year growth rate in terms of your top line. It hit $191.3 million in the fourth quarter. When we talk about that, though, is most of that growth coming from those people who maybe may be a small business out there who's never really dealt with data management before, or is more of the growth in terms of your addressable market more on the side of everyone who has had to deal with these issues before, but just looking to do it in a better way right now?

SANJAY MIRCHANDANI: I think it's a little both. It's come into the-- it's just come to the fore, right? So when you think about the world we were living 12 months ago, we looked very different. Data protection 12 months ago looked very, very different than it does today. And our growth has come across good execution both in the large business, where we've always had-- we sort of had good success. And now with our newer technologies in the medium-sized business and the smaller business is through our SaaS offering. So it's really simple for businesses of all sizes to get up and running and protect themselves.

So it's not just about backing up your data and making sure you're better protected against ransomware, but making sure all your remote workers are better protected on their endpoints, their computers, their laptops, making sure that your data center is more remotely supportive. So all of these sort of things have allowed us to have better growth. We've been taking share. We've sort of up assisted customers through a difficult period, where they've been, really, propelled into transforming and shrinking their timelines.

We took-- as an example, we took one of our best products right now, Metallic, which is our SaaS product, and we made it-- we just opened it up to businesses in the United States when the pandemic set upon us. Customers were struggling to just make their employees remote. And we gave them data protection at the endpoint for six months for free. It's a different world. And it needs different [INAUDIBLE].

AKIKO FUJITA: Sanjay, I wonder if you can elaborate on that transformation a bit more. Because, to your point, it feels like every company has had to become essentially a tech company during the pandemic. So much more data moving online, everything moving online. To what extent has that expanded the playing field, if you will-- I don't know if that's the right term-- but for those cyber attackers and the opportunities they see with so much more data online?

SANJAY MIRCHANDANI: It's a world in transition. Customers use the word digital transformation, cloud, public cloud, sort of synonymously. Those are important facets of that evolution, of this transformation the businesses are going through. But really what matters is the data. And what matters and what the bad guys want is the data. And as customers transform, we have to make sure that we help them-- we and the industry help them stay secure in that journey.

And, you know, at the end of the day, pandemic, no pandemic, economic issues, no economic issues, the bad folks are well-armed and are-- you know, are working to get what they want. And the rest of us-- that's the world-- has to sort of make sure we're protecting what's important to us. It's a continuous thing. And what we focused on and the industry is to make it easier for customers to get what they do done and let us worry about the things that it takes to really protect.

And more importantly, you can't always be in defense mode. You also got-- you know, you've got to use the data to thrive, to get your business into this new realm. So if I had to sort of oversimplify how I see the past 12-ish months, the first phase of the structural shift was really, oh my gosh, we got to work remotely. So we scrambled to help customers work-- we were in the same way. We had to do the same.

The second phase that came up really quickly was saying, OK, now we understand this, we've got to be remote and we've got to optimize in the remote way of working. So we've been in that phase, I'd say, for the past six, eight months. And now we're sort of entering the structural shift three, where you're saying, OK, I think we've got this kind of sort of figured out. And now we've got to really take the data and thrive. Otherwise, it's, you're treading water. And what you want to do is really get past it and use the data to really succeed. And I think that businesses that are using data implicitly in how they do things in their digital transformation are the ones that are going to be successful and sustainable in the long haul.