Earlier this week, our CEO Bill Largent reminded me with a kind note and certificate that I'm celebrating one year at Kasten by Veeam. What a ride it has been!
When I decided in summer of 2020 that it was time to move to the next phase in my career, I had no idea how this would work out. Being a remote worker, with no way to travel and meet folks, was I even going to find an opportunity? The economy wasn't all that stable either, so how would this affect companies' hiring? It turned out to be the perfect time to make a move!
In my search, I was fortunate to meet Niraj Tolia, Kasten’s co-founder. He was looking to build a marketing team for what was then “just” a Kubernetes backup and recovery startup. A young venture with innovative technology for an emerging market: that was exactly what I was looking for! Niraj and I spoke a couple of times, and we immediately felt there was a good vibe. The Kasten acquisition by Veeam delayed the interview/hiring process a few weeks, but it turned out to be the best thing that could have happened. Suddenly, the job became much bigger and a lot more interesting.
The most exciting part of the past year was building an amazing marketing team. The original plan was to hire four people, but given how fast the market is growing, we will be getting close to 12 team members by the end of the year.
I couldn't be more proud of the marketing team and what we've accomplished over the past 12 months. Here are a few highlights:
- We managed three product launches: Kasten K10 V3.5, 4.0 and 4.5. In version 4.0, we added the industry's first Kubernetes native ransomware protection capabilities, providing much-needed immutability against ransomware attacks. The most recent product release added new improved out-of-the-box capabilities with enhanced workflow extensibility, extended Kubernetes application backup and mobility to the edge, and ecosystem innovations including Veeam Backup & Replication integration.
- The partner ecosystem is continuing to grow, and we are making it easier than ever for Kubernetes users to backup and protect their mission-critical data.
- We built a new website, growing our web visits 50% QoQ for four quarters straight. Our blog articles are very popular. People find us through organic search, through partners, through social media and via our public relations efforts.
- We became the #1 Kubernetes Backup brand in search engines and increased organic monthly traffic over 400%.
- Our lead generation, one measure of how we attract and engage with new users, grew astronomically. We dramatically increased the number of subscribers, and we are continuously engaging with new and existing users on topics from Kubernetes data management to backup and more. We have presented several webinars, such as the "Practitioner’s Guide to Kubernetes & Cloud Native Data Management" and "Enhancing Data Protection, DRaaS, & Disaster Recovery", we've been featured on TechWorld with Nana as the DevOps Tool of the Month, and we're getting face-to-face with our community in person or virtually at lunch and learn events.
- We took part in three KubeCon + CloudNativeCon events — two virtual and one hybrid. We went from being a small startup to the biggest brand at the event. Kasten presented almost 60 ‘lightning talks’ at each event over the course of several days. Our top-tier partners also presented to these audiences, underscoring our collaboration efforts and making it easier for users to use best-of-breed solutions. Sponsored by the Linux Foundation and Cloud Native Computing Foundation, KubeCon + CloudNativeCon attracts more than 60% new attendees at each event, and we learned that these new users needed (wanted) Kubernetes training. Our CTO Vaibhav Kamra presented a keynote titled “Welcome to Cloud Native; We're Here to Help,” discussing some of the challenges (e.g., complexity, lack of training) and opportunities for the Cloud Native community. His blog post summarizes the presentation quite well. People are eager to get involved, whether it be through Special Interest Groups, contributing to open source projects like Kanister or creating content to help others learn more about Kubernetes in a practical manner.
- We launched a full-on Kubernetes learning platform. This may be our crowning achievement for this quarter. Learning.kasten.io is different from other learning sites because it offers hands-on labs designed by subject matter experts to help users of all abilities learn and polish their Kubernetes skills. Registration skyrocketed to almost 5000 users in just a few weeks, with nearly 2000 users completing labs in the first month. The initiative was even covered by Forbes in an article titled “Software’s Big Skill Up”.
- We grew Cloud Native Data Management (CNDM) Day from a small event to an active community with a full website, blogs, videos, web streams, webinars, plus a growing community of speakers and visitors. The most recent event, held in Los Angeles at the GRAMMY® Museum, was a hybrid event with 300+ people participating in person and online. Kasten was one of several sponsors, including cloud native leaders like MinIo, VMware, NetApp, Nutanix, Scality, Ondat and Portworks by Pure Storage.
I can't wait for what 2022 will bring, and I am eager to see where the Kasten by Veeam team will take us next. We’ve got more blogs, more insight, more learning, more community engagement and more Kasten K10 customer success stories to tell.
Tom Leyden is the VP of Marketing for Kasten by Veeam. As a marketing professional with networks in the USA, Europe and Israel, he has over the past 15 years built a track record with market-disrupting start-up companies in Cloud Computing, Storage, and Artificial Intelligence. His start-up successes include dedupe pioneer DCT (Symantec), early cloud innovator Q-layer (Sun/Oracle), Amplidata (HGST), and Elastic NVMe innovator Excelero. Belgium is home; the world is his workspace.