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What's true innovation? Providing features that have never been seen before

Thu 1 Oct 2015
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Being first holds an enormous amount of prestige in the marketplace. The first company to have the newest tech gadget, the first vendor to support a new platform, the first new social medium. Being a pioneer or innovator draws the attention of the media and also attracts new customers.

Let’s take a look at some of the 'firsts' and determine their importance in technology leadership.

New platform support

Being the first vendor to support a new technology platform is always a great marketing opportunity. As customers look to upgrade a platform, they’re on the hunt for vendors that can support the latest and greatest. Vendors also can use this as an opportunity to demonstrate their position over competitors who can appear slow or unprepared.

While the marketing opportunity might be great, there are challenges:

  • New platforms typically introduce a lot of changes. Some vendors will claim support, but not for all of the new features.
  • New platform features introduce new possibilities for bugs. Testing may go just fine on the beta version of a platform, but new bugs may be introduced in the final, generally available code. If the “first” vendor runs into issues, the vendors that follow can work around these issues before they declare support.


Being the first with new, innovative technology is the 'first' that really matters. You can be first in other categories, but if you’re not driving innovation to the market you won’t be holding the top position for long.

I measure innovation by looking at features that I have never been seen before; ones that are truly new.

Often times, customers aren’t asking for these innovative features because they either don’t think it’s possible or they just haven’t thought of doing things a certain way.

Maintaining a 'first in innovation' reputation can be difficult; it requires constant research and development into new technologies and new ways of doing things. Vendors who say “that’s how it’s always been done” are definitely not innovators.

Veeam has positioned itself as an innovative company - our solutions remove obstacles to common cloud technology solutions.

Perhaps it is an advanced data migration tool that handles changes within a file at the block or region level rather than transferring the entire file again to optimise bandwidth. Or another example is a tool that can deliver a federated model across public cloud providers to provide seamless failover for an application or computer platforms to accommodate the loss of public cloud.

These examples aren't novel ideas, but they give you an idea of what I think makes a solution relevant for the everyday New Zealand business environment to allow cloud technologies to become a realistic alternative to the modus operandi.

Innovation also leads into Proof of Concept or POC. It’s a term often banded around, but manifests itself at a customer’s site as a lightweight footprint/install with minimal setup and management overhead - extending ROI. POC is extremely powerful; in fact the ANZ Veeam team recently dropped the ‘C’ and convert 97% of POCs into POs.

Article by Don Williams, Veeam ANZ vice president

Don Williams is Veeam Software’s VP for ANZ. His focus is on enterprise software sales, with the past 16 years spanning individual contributor roles to leadership of sales teams and technical support staff selling solutions to both large and small enterprises in the ANZ region.

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