Episode 5: Content Marketing and the CTO with Anthony Spiteri from Veeam Software
Welcome to the fifth episode of B2B Tech Marketing Talks, presented by Filament.
The theme of our fifth podcast episode is Content Marketing and the CTO.
Joining our host Jeremy Balius to discuss all things content marketing in the context of the CTO’s role is Anthony Spiteri, Regional CTO for APJ, Product Strategy, and Lead Cloud and Service Provider Technologist for Veeam Software.
Anthony Spiteri shares his origin story and career progression, from starting in tech support to becoming a regional CTO for Veeam. He discusses the early days of blogging and content creation, as well as the importance of authenticity in communication. Anthony also talks about the challenges of communicating complex topics and the rollout of Veeam’s V12 release. He provides insights into how B2B tech marketers can approach CTOs and build relationships. Finally, Anthony shares his future focus and big bets for 2024.
- Authenticity is key in content marketing, allowing for a more personal and relatable approach.
- Communicating complex topics requires distilling information into digestible presentations and easy-to-understand statements.
- Building relationships with CTOs involves understanding their interests and needs, and offering compelling technology solutions.
- Approaching CTOs with a sales-focused mindset is not effective; instead, focus on forming genuine connections and providing value.
About Anthony Spiteri
Anthony works in Product Strategy, the Office of the CTO at Veeam Software, leading the technical engagement with Analyst and Media in APJ as Regional CTO and official spokesperson, which extends globally. As Lead Cloud and Service Provider Technologist, Anthony focuses on customer and partner engagement on all aspects of technology relating to modern data platforms, automation, IaaS, BasS, DRaaS, Public Cloud, storage, networking and compute.
Anthony also generates content, evangelizes and participate as a keynote speaker at major industry events while also collecting product feedback and engaging with Product Management and R&D. Anthony previously held engineering and architectural lead roles at leading Cloud providers and have a Master’s Degree in Network and System Administration (Distinction) from Charles Sturt.
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Jeremy Balius: Hi, welcome to this episode of the B2B Tech Marketing Talks podcast, where we bring you insightful interviews with leading tech and channel leaders. I’m your host, Jeremy Baylis. Today’s theme is content marketing and the CTO. My guest today is Anthony Spiteri, the Regional CTO for APJ, Product Strategy, and Lead Cloud and Service Provider Technologist for Veeam Software.
If you aren’t aware, Veeam is the #1 global market leader in data protection and ransomware recovery. With offices in more than 30 countries, Veeam protects over 450,000 customers worldwide, including 73 per cent of the Global 2,000. Anthony works in product strategy, leading the technical engagement with analysts and media as APJ’s regional CTO.
He can be found blogging at anthonyspiteri.net and hosting the Great Things with Great Tech podcast. Links to these will be in the podcast description below.
Today’s conversation is at the intersection of content marketing and the CTO. It’s really fascinating to hear how much of the role of the CTO has content marketing responsibilities and how Anthony approaches this.
We also get some really great insights, how CTOs consume content.
So let’s get into the conversation.
So Anthony, really keen to hear about how you got started. You’re Regional CTO for Veeam now. What’s the origin story? What’s the pathway that got you to where you are now?
Anthony Spiteri: Yeah, I was having to think about this actually before, and I think usually how I’d start this off is my first real job.
When I say real job, it was my first job in tech when I was working for a company called URASP. Fell into that literally. The story is quite interesting, but I won’t bore the listeners with that. But effectively that was help desk for a local ISP and hosting provider here in Perth.
And it was quite a high-end Microsoft part at the time doing original STLA, original hosting of Microsoft products. So if you think about the early days of hosted exchange, SharePoint, CRM. We also had some big government contracts locally, which allowed us to do hosting based on Linux and Windows. So I started off really geeky at that sort of help desk level, but my boss saw, I guess a little bit of driving me and gave me a big project, which was out of my comfort zone.
And in that project, I really. Dived directly into some hardcore hosting, which I guess, in a sort of too long, didn’t read scenario meant that I was able to accelerate my learning, my technical prowess, and be able to then go from there to specific Microsoft hosting then hosting of virtualization platforms.
Then doing all the architecture and the management of larger platforms. It just got bigger and bigger. And as I moved into different roles I was at that first company for seven and a half years. Got as far as I could and it was a small company, only four to five people. I moved to a regional sort of MSP hosting provider called Anatel, stayed there for a couple of years, but that’s the sort of timeframe that I started to really get into the community, which I know that we’ll talk about a little bit later on and really start to get myself out there and test myself from the point of view of creating content and seeing if people wanted to read this content, which was being generated for me, just doing stuff in my day job.
And then from there went to a company called Zettagrid and that’s where I really started to, grow up in my career and learn about the value of vendor interaction playing the marketing game, playing the game of relationships and, at that stage being taken out by vendors because I was, I became a key decision maker in that platform.
Zettagrid is a great VMware and Veeam hosting partner. We had some really big infrastructure around the country, which is now for them it’s on into AOJ, but through that really got great exposure to a lot of good vendor relationships, which led me to my job at Veeam. And Veeam has now been seven years and really started at Veeam.
I guess you could call it a traditional content creator, tech marketer, evangelist. So that was really what we did at the start was basically what I was doing before. From a blogging perspective, I was now effectively getting paid to do that, which I always felt thought was really strange, right? But I enjoyed it and took it on board.
And I guess fast forward to now the CTO role is really this evolution, I think, of growing up in this industry and changing. And making a conscious decision within myself to not always want to be that technical guy that’s doing the content writing as much as I love creating content and interacting at that level and being the demo guy, I really thought to myself that as your career Progresses, what do you want to do?
And I think stepping up the conversation with a more business focused outcome, that was key to where I wanted to go. And through that, we had the opportunity to be the regional CTO of APJ under the CTO in the product strategy group at Veeam. So I guess that’s a long winded way of saying that my growth has been interesting, but I love the fact that it’s a dynamic industry and that’s what’s enabled me.
To be at this point in my career today.
Jeremy Balius: Now we’ve known each other for a while. I was trying to reflect on how long, I think it’s been eight to 10 years. Now you’ve been, you were blogging before I met you were already well down the path of your own personal blog. And I remember from very early on that that blog itself was a.
Early days platform slash springboard in how you were responding to what was happening in the community, how you were talking about topics and events that were taking place or product launches. Since then, you’ve. Founded and managed a series of podcasts, you’ve got a relentless speaking schedule with so much time spent communicating complex topics.
Has that been something that you’ve felt has been organic or have you actively been working on the communication side of it because it’s such a big part of your life?
Anthony Spiteri: Yeah, look, I’ve had no formal training. I think we’ve, I tell a lie, I think we had a one session when I started at Veeam about being official spokesperson.
You need to know the rules and what not to say and hopefully not what we call generator, a revenue generating event, right? Saying the wrong thing. But I think that’s probably the only training that I’ve had officially. I think it’s just been a natural progression in terms of body of work from the content that I created as a blogger, which I mentioned before really started.
I guess back in the Microsoft days in that community where I was just interested in how stuff worked and, then taking a platform like Exchange and Exchange server was a bit of a complex space, but we turned that and we were able to take the product and kind of make it do stuff that it wasn’t supposed to do, and that was the early days of hosting and we would host exchange and through that it was like, okay, if we’re doing certain things in the back end to make this platform do what it’s not supposed to do, maybe other people are interested in that and What’s interesting in that is that some people will go down, you go down one of two ways, either you keep that close to yourself because there’s currency in knowing what other people don’t know, and that’s your IP as such, or you can go the other way, which is basically you become a sharer of this information which helps other people learn and grow and develop.
And I think I made a conscious decision to be that other person who shared. And I think that paid off massively and especially then like you said 8 to 10 years ago, actually it’s more like 13, 14 years ago when I stepped in out of the Microsoft community. Into the VMware community, that’s when it blew up because all of a sudden that was a much larger ecosystem.
It was new. So it wasn’t as established as Microsoft and things were happening on the platform that made you able to blog about stuff that was in a day job and people were interested in that. So it just snowboard from there.
Jeremy Balius: Yeah. It’s incredible. I think you’ve always had this amazing balance of being able to find ways to write about and talk about things that were personally interesting for you, but they also had a professional impact to some degree as well.
And I remember you telling me years ago as well, that you’ve also enjoyed a certain sense of freedom from whomever you were working with to also take. Personal positions on certain topics where I know for a fact, other companies would would have gone a different pathway and shut it down from a corporate affairs perspective or needing to ensure that every personal post was in alignment with a larger brand.
But I always got the sense that you’ve had that freedom and have been able to thrive as a result. Is that fair to say?
Anthony Spiteri: I think it is and I think what’s the terminology or the saying is that, bad news is good news and, making headlines gets clicks and views and interest.
And I think that definitely was the case and I’m a bit of a challenge status quo guy by nature. It’s always been my position in life and one of my ethoses and in every aspect of what I do actually. I just don’t want to be that sheep. Just goes along with the flow. I want to challenge it and I think I did that early on especially when it came time to if it was a very specific one where VMware released a competing product to what we were doing as a hoster.
And I didn’t like that for a myriad of reasons. And I thought some things were going down that were a little bit dodgy. And I wrote some pretty powerful articles on that, which did, make it all the way up to, to to, to the VMware HQ, to the point where they were saying, you’ve got to take this stuff down.
I was like, I’m not going to take it down. Like people are reading it, it’s getting their views. People are generally interested in what I have to say. And I know that certain things that I wrote back then actually directly resulted in change in products, in features and functionality. In quality of product.
I know that there was specific instances that did actually lead to improvements. So I think it’s a good thing for the listeners to understand is to not be too afraid of challenging the status quo. I’ll say that from the point of view of where we are today in society versus maybe five or 10 years ago, because I think for better or worse, we are a little bit more cautious these days.
And I know that it depends on who you’re working for as well. Like I know at Veeam Software as an official spokesperson, it’s I’ve got to be a lot more cautious about what I say today. As the regional CTO of APJ, working under our CTO, working in that leadership team, I can’t just shoot from the hip as much as I used to even though I want to.
And sometimes I will. But to that end, if you’re in the position where you can push it a little bit, I always suggest people to push it just that little bit because I think it’s good for yourself and ultimately, it can be good for your career as well.
Jeremy Balius: Speaking of Veeam CTO, what I’m really excited about in terms of our conversation, on a podcast that’s dedicated to B2B tech marketing.
And I love how you described yourself as evangelist and content marketer as well as is. Twofold. One is as CTO, your role is really about distilling complex topics and products and outcomes into digestible presentations and easy to understand statements and web content. And I’d be really interested to hear about whether that is something that has become intuitive for you over time, or are you taking a particular methodology as someone who’s in a leadership position, who’s responsible for.
Articulating large product launches and or complex outcomes for ecosystems made up of different layers of players that Veeam operates with your reseller community and your integrators and the disties and cloud providers and Alliance partners and on how are you distilling these complex topics for?
All of your audiences and how are you doing it effectively to ensure that it’s reaching and resonating with your audiences?
Anthony Spiteri: Yeah, it’s a great question because I think what I’ve come to understand, especially since taking this change in direction of the role which is more talking about business outcomes versus the tech, as a traditional geek.
Like I love talking about the knobs and dials and I actually took pride in myself being a little bit different early days when I was doing this as an evangelist or as part of the technologist in this team, talking a real deep tech Oh, have you heard about this version 12? We’ve got this awesome new feature in there.
It’s direct object storage and it does this and at the back end, we’ve done this. I think that’s good for a certain subset of people that you talk to but I realized that the more that we move up in the world you have to change your level of conversation and I think the last year to 18 months, it’s been more about talking about the business outcome because we are talking to different people now.
So it’s definitely something that I’ve had to make a very mindful change to my system, the way that I like to approach conversation and distilling of information. Because ultimately what I’m trying to achieve and who I’m talking to is now different than what it was maybe, three or four years ago and certainly when I started.
It’s not to say that I still don’t have these deep technical geeky conversations with certain people, but when you’re sitting in a room where there’s, the finance guy, the app owner there’s the security guy these days, there’s CTO, you have to talk at a different level because, they only want to hear certain things and they don’t care about the bells and the whistles and the knobs and the dials.
That has been a challenge and something that I’m conscious of as this role kind of evolves. But overall, I think to your point about how did I get to this point, I think it’s just an evolution and getting better all the time and just making sure that I take point as if I’m going to a meeting and it hasn’t come out the way that I would have thought because I’ve said something that they don’t want to hear.
Because sometimes when you walk into a room in this industry, I’d say it’s full of egos, right? It’s huge egos, right? What do you know? What do I know? I know more than you, surely. And typically when you’re walking into a room of, from an organization. The people sitting across from you think they know more than you and maybe they do and that’s cool, but you have to still act as the professional in the cool way who knows more about them for what they want to talk about from a Veeam perspective.
So that in itself is a huge skill that I think I’m still perfecting.
Jeremy Balius: I also get the sense from watching you from afar, as well as being a rabid follower of everything that you publish I do get the sense that you’re coming from a place of humility as well, that you’re just so deeply excited about the ecosystem and the community that you’re not trying to one up an alpha executive, you’re trying to position in the context of the problem and the solution.
And I’ve seen an evolution in your content as well. Would like to take this opportunity to ask a question about a huge rollout that you guys did in the last year when you brought V12 to market. And the reason why I wanted to bring this one up is just the sheer size of that rollout. I would imagine would have been challenging to understand how to communicate the breadth of it and how to prioritize the value of this rollout and the various outcomes to whatever degree you can talk about it.
Could you talk about what that process was before it went live and how you’re trying to distill this all into something that can be published and talked about?
Anthony Spiteri: Yeah. I love the question because I think, if it’s an event or a launch or whatever, the public and your partners and customers to see the event.
I say the launch and it just looks like everything magically happens, right? And it’s all there and all the contents there and the messaging’s there and it’s all good. But there is a ton that goes behind it. And you’re right. There’s a lot that I think every company does it differently.
So I think generally speaking, how we do it is there’s a definite cycle. So we know that the 12 release, we had to, we had that out. So we know that in a certain part of the year, we’re getting. Code out where we can test the product, where we put it out there for initial feedback. And then we’re not just talking about one product here.
When we do a full data platform release, we’re typically releasing seven, eight, nine product updates in one. And just in that vein backup and replication V12 release, it was 500 plus new features and enhancements that we have. So you’re right. There’s a lot there. And so in that we have the R and D we have the technical side of it.
We have the first dissipation of information that we have to go through. And what we do in product strategy, still part of our function is to be that conduit that kind of converts it from a really technical heavy document or conversation to something that our product marketing managers can understand.
So we work very closely with certain people within product marketing. We each have an area of specialization. Me being hosting in my background, like I talked about. I work majoritarily with our VCSP and service provider in cloud product marketing managers. And then what we do is we spend months looking at features and then trying to roll that up into maybe three or four headlines, we call them pillars.
And then we put under each pillar, we put a summation of what we think people will want to hear that makes the product seem Good, useful, and also, I guess making sure that it’s a positive release. So that kind of is maybe about six months worth of work. And then from when that’s done, it needs to almost flip back and go to general marketing.
So the top level marketing, the marketing leadership team, who will typically have a top level message, which is sometimes disconnected from the actual technical capability. So a marketer the CMO the regional marketing guys will have an understanding of what they want to talk about because they’re reading the market from the outside and then knowing what the market is talking about.
So as a great example, in this 12. 1 release that we just did, there was a heavy focus on cyber resiliency, radical resiliency, and this was a top line messaging, right? So we had to shoehorn what the market was saying with what the product release was. So that’s the massive challenge as well. But at the end of all that, you’ve got a document, the document is there, that has the official messaging.
We then write the blog post, we create the content, we do launch webinars. We have internal training as well. So the majority of the technical people and the sales people within the company can be aligned with what we’re saying. Back to the point about some level of freedom, from my perspective, I’m then able and lucky enough to be able to take what I want to be able to say to market with my own spin and still be able to say blog about that or do a podcast about it, but maybe not focus specifically on The official company messaging which I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing but they let me do it so hopefully, if there’s any marketing exec at the moment who’s listening to this, I can still do it but I think it works.
It works well because I think what it means is you’re creating two different levels of content, one which is official and definitely towing the company line and it’s the body of all the work that you’ve done for the last 6 to 12 months to get it out there. But then you can also take that and if you, actually, if you think about the two personas that I’ve come from, the heavy technical guy and the regional CTO guy now, I think both of those directions actually cater to both of those audiences as well.
And then I can be as flexible as I want with the content.
Jeremy Balius: I’m really fascinated by that having that sort of duality because yes, it’s critical to be part of the engine that is ramping up to deploy messages that have been blowtorched for Half a year to a year across so many different departments within the company and needing to be participatory in the rollout of that messaging in a way that is aligned with your peers and colleagues but then at the same time to be able to take that and drill down into aspects that interest you most in the context of what is potentially not on the radar of the company that, That’s, that, that seems like it would be very fulfilling for you to be able to swap back and forth and and talk about what matters most to you in a stream that is that has more freedom to it.
Anthony Spiteri: Yeah, that level of autonomy is definitely good. Again, I, being honest about it, I don’t know how long it lasts though, because. I think we are moving more into this world of just absolute straight line correctiveness and the message and that’s, we see that a lot. And though that said you look at what’s happening with what Elon’s doing and how he’s taking a different aspect on this and really trying to, again, challenging massively.
The status quo that’s been instilled in corporate America for the last, and that’s obviously corporate America is reflective of the world effectively, because that’s kind of Australia runs that way and Europe feeds off of Asia to a certain extent, right? So here’s to him challenging that might set it on a different path, but ultimately, I can see a day where I might have to.
Stop doing that? I hope not, because I think I’d be poorer for it, but I think also if other people stop that, because I know other people do it in the same way, right? I’m not the only one. If we don’t, if we don’t allow that, then I think we’re cutting off a very important stream of content and a different type of marketing which hits differently, right?
I think that’s what it’s all about. It’s you’re hitting people in different ways and level of trust. Okay, do you want to listen to the corporate message, which is which has been worked on for six months and is, worked to an inch of itself. And then some people might go, it’s corporate. Do I really believe it?
Or do you want to listen to a message, which is a little bit more authentic? And I think that’s the level that I’ve tried to work on at that sort of blogging content. It’s, can I be authentic while still towing as much of the corporate as I can? It’s a challenge.
Jeremy Balius: Yeah, it is. And I think what would be beneficial for marketing organizations within multinationals is looking to understand how can that freedom be enabled and potentially supported in such a way that the corporate messaging https: otter.
ai personable, community led type support. It’s hard because you’re starting to, you’re starting to jettison different marketing metrics that have been around for a very long time. And you’re looking to be more relationship based and, there’s some companies that are leading the charge on that they’re taking a blind.
Not a blind a vision that they’re going to invest in relationships and they’re letting go of the click metrics as a result and whatever lead cycles that they had within their qualification pipeline. And they’re moving more towards if we build community, we know good things will happen.
And those companies are experiencing hypergrowth.
Anthony Spiteri: Yep. And if you look at Veeam as well, Veeam’s got a very strong community. We made, we’ve made a very big, Ratmir Timashev, our original founder, he was huge on making sure that the technical decision maker was a focus. And that’s where programs like the Vanguard program started, which was a very specialized project, hitting out our core champions in our partners and our customers to make sure that we, if we do well by them, they do well by us.
And it’s self-fulfilling. But what they do is they create the noise. They’re an extended part of our marketing team because, they love us. They we look after them, but to that end, the product is still good enough that they don’t have to, they don’t have to sell themselves and tell lies to, to get what they get from the benefits of that particular program as an example.
And then on the flip side, what we get from that. The companies, and VMware, again, going back to my origins, VMware nailed that in the early 20 late 20 noughties and 2010s, when they knew that they had this enthusiast community that they could tap into and therefore created the vExpert, which is still running now as a Broadcom entity.
They, in fact, I was very surprised Broadcom for all that’s been happening with that situation, they kept the community side of it. They kept the vExpert component, which I thought was. So I think in itself, you’ve got Broadcom, which is this huge, engine of just, let’s just print money and let’s cut down and whatnot, but they saw value in that community.
So that in itself is really interesting, right?
Jeremy Balius: It is. It is. I would like to flip the script. We’ve been talking about communications and content marketing from your lens, from your point of view as CTO and how you are disseminating information and reaching the right audiences and in compelling ways, you also represent a role that is one of the most common.
Targeted prospects by most B2B tech companies, right? They the high prize is reaching the CTO of a company and and converting them to put it simply. Yeah. Because we are coming from the point of view of B2B tech marketing, could we talk about this in your experience? In what ways have you been, let’s put it bluntly, marketed to?
Or in what ways have you experienced a relationship forming and business outcomes happening as a result of those relationships? From. Third party B to B businesses in order for the audiences who are made up of B to B marketers, whether their product, whether their channel whether they’re more general to give them insights and how they might craft their strategies and the way that they structure their messaging.
Anthony Spiteri: The one thing that I realized was that as soon as I changed on LinkedIn the title from technical technologist to CTO, I started to get all sorts of direct messages and, yeah, hey, I’m your friend. I want to try and sell you this. Absolutely, when, to your point when CTO, even though it’s regional CTO, even though it’s not the, I say fake CTO, right?
Again, back to that humility thing, it’s like fake CTO. People don’t know that, right? They will send me all sorts of facts. I’ll probably get about 10 a day, I reckon, just direct messages or emails now saying, Hey, I’m from company XYZ. I see that you’re the, and then they basically quote the whole LinkedIn thing, which is, regional CTO, APJ and lead cloud and service writer, technologist, the same software.
We’ve got some sort of software, which will be beneficial to your business. So we’re trying to sell things. What do you want to list? And so the target becomes it almost feels like a shotgun in terms of a lot of these companies going after me because I’ve now got this title. But being honest with you, I can see it a mile away, there’s not probably, there’s not one in the, what are we, nearly 12 months now that I’ve had, that I’ve responded to because I can tell straight away that it’s a shotgun type of cell, they’re trying to cast the net and see what comes back.
And I think my point to and then actually the persistency is quite interesting. So some of them will go one and whatnot, but what I’m saying is a lot of emails come through three or four times over going, Hey, I just want to follow up again. I know that you’re a busy guy. I wonder if you’ve read this and then.
Hey, I noticed that you haven’t read that last email, but could we organize some time to chat, and so the persistence is interesting and I kind of wonder sometimes, is it real or is it a bot doing it? Is it now AI doing that, which potentially it could be, but I think it’s just really persistent people doing it.
But it has no impact or effect on me and I definitely don’t respond to them. So to your point about, methodology. I think companies and people that are hired on, I guess it’s the old, it’s like modern day cold calling, isn’t it? If you think about it and I remember we, in my first role we would hire those, these cold callers who would just, literally have a number of everyone knows what a cold call is and I just always used to think that was really rude and abrasive and, it’s and no wonder you get like people hanging up and getting angry at you.
So I think it’s just human nature to do that, cast the net wide. If you get one response, then you’re doing pretty well. But as a person who has that title, it does get quite annoying. And I don’t know what the answer is to make it better, right? Because I haven’t got the power to bring on a new ERP system, as an example.
I’m not in that that’s our CIO at Veeam Corporate HQ. Because they look after internal systems. So I think it’s actually more to the point of you have to understand exactly what this role is and what I’m doing in this role. And it’s not making decisions on what ERP or what CRM system we’re going to run with in the next 12 months.
Jeremy Balius: Yeah, simply the scraping that happens too for this shotgun blast, as you called it, just go out to whomever it might have certain keywords and certain roles means that you’re just inundated in what ways as you reflect on how something could transpire to start a conversation, what would that look like?
How would someone who has a relevant offer that can solve a. And actually, let’s say there’s an actual problem that is within your tech stack. How would that person get on your radar that the cold messaging doesn’t work? That you’re already getting pounded by emails. Nobody re there’s a bit of cold calling, but I would imagine you’re not getting cold, what, what would that look like?
Anthony Spiteri: That actually, yeah, that’s, that’d be fair. That actually does happen. I’ve got my phone and yeah, there was a few of that. So the cold calling still happens. I think from my perspective. Where we see the product strategy, we’re all about the partnerships and I’m always looking at new technologies, right?
And from that point of view, it’s like what, how can Veeam’s an ecosystem player? We’re a software driven company that has a ton of ecosystem play through our resellers and through our key partners. Where I would be interested in is if a company comes through with some compelling new technology, which is in the space of, data, ai, modern platforms, something that’s gonna tweak my interest.
And then from a personal perspective, it’s twofold, right? Because I go, if they interest me from a Veeam perspective, from ecosystem play, then maybe I could have them on the podcast. I could have them on great things with great tech, because that would make a really cool story as well. So yeah, it has to be a very specific sort of.
niche approach for me to even take a slight interest in it because everything else, I’d write off. So yeah, it’s a tough question. But again, I don’t think I’m in that traditional CTO role in a company either. It’s a different type of CTO, right? It’s, yeah. And I think that’s what they obviously don’t know at the other end.
So if people understand what a CTO that’s regional. Working under a product strategy office of the CTO at a vendor does. It’s very different to what a CTO would do in a organization that’s a more traditional sort of non vendor based org.
Jeremy Balius: I think your experience is still valuable to hear about because let’s be real, Danny Allen, global CTO of Veeam’s not going to pick up the phone to take these calls either, but I think what you’re reflecting here that I’m Interested in articulating is that coming in from a sale perspective is not the right move that there’s no there’s no buying intent you’re not out looking for these types of things.
And so really what you’re describing is some form of relationship with the product forming. By way of being introduced to the tech or how compelling it is or how differentiated its value proposition might be that it rises above what else. And somehow gets on your radar in that sense. And then they in the way that you were just talking about it, it’s not a, okay, we’re going into a sales cycle now.
It’s a, let’s get you comfortable with what we’re doing. Let’s. Get let’s understand the needs that you have as a result. And you then in turn dictate how we’re going to go about it by saying, Hey, this is awesome tech. Let’s get you on the podcast. That doesn’t mean some phase of a sales cycle is achieved.
It just means that. It’s more on your radar as a result and you’re thinking about that brand even more and so it becomes less attributional, not to nerd out on metrics language, but it’s more around getting deepening into the relationship as
Anthony Spiteri: a result. I think so. And if I think about what I talked about my evolution from full geek tech to outcome based.
Conversation and how to speak to these C-Suites and the decision makers. I think that’s almost the same thing that needs to happen here, right? Because they need to understand what I’m interested in. So if they’re trying to sell me something straight away, I don’t want to, I don’t want to buy anything, but have you got something compelling for technological perspective?
That’s going to interest me because that’s why I exist. I love all that stuff. I’m so passionate about all sorts of technology as it comes. I lap it up, right? I love talking about it with people. Yeah, I guess that is a better way to do and you’re right, Danny at the top would get bombarded. If I get bombarded as much as I do, he’s going to be getting it a thousand times more like maybe even more than that, right?
So he has to deal with all that kind of stuff. He’s got a PA. I don’t have a PA so PA can deal with that, right? I haven’t quite got to that point yet but yeah, I think ultimately that relationship is what becomes important because and I think it becomes important on a number of different levels because if they can build a relationship with a vendor that They can then have this person, okay, hey, we’ve got this new feature coming out, maybe now we can talk to each other about partnering and then I can feed it through to our R& D, I can feed it through to our product management.
Now, that’s an interesting proposition, which has happened in the past, by the way, without naming names certain interactions that I’ve had on the podcast has led to some discussions, right? It does happen and then vice versa. On the flip side, it creates another interesting component to that about the case of are people using me to get to a certain outcome as well, right?
There’s a sense of lobbying that could be argued here by certain individuals coming and saying, hey, can we be on the podcast? I’Ve heard that’s a pretty good podcast, right? Can we talk about our tech? And then I’ll try and work out, okay, what do you really, is it, number one, I’ll work out is it cool enough, is it good enough and interesting enough to be on the podcast?
So then I go, okay how come have you’ve approached me? And is there some ulterior motive? Am I connecting the right dots here? So it doesn’t happen often, but that’s another side of it as well, which I think is actually quite interesting. It’s that let’s use Anthony’s role and status within the company to be able to get in and have a different sort of conversation with someone else.
Yeah, very interesting.
Jeremy Balius: We are closing out the year. We’re both on a mad sprint to get a whole bunch of stuff done before Christmas, but looking forward, what do you see coming your way in 2024? What are some of the big bets and big plays that you’re focused on?
Anthony Spiteri: Yeah, I think I’ll answer that in two ways.
I think from a Veeam perspective it’s going to be a year of, I think, still growth and consolidation and a new way of messaging that we’ve gone to market. We just did this in the last quarter where we flipped over to the concept of radical resiliency a lot more focused on cyber security and being an ecosystem partner within that world without being a security company ourselves.
And there’s a huge balance in that. And how to market that. I had a question actually a couple of days ago. I was talking to media in Hong Kong and he asked, one of them asked me a question like, how do you talk about, ’cause we’re talking about ransomware being more prevalent and education with users and whatnot, and he said, you’ve talked about educating the users and how they’re the weakest point of entry.
But how do you, as a security company and in the industry, security companies. How can we hold them accountable and how can we hold you, how can we hold you accountable for stuff that you guys don’t do or let through? And I had to correct him, understanding that our messaging is that we’re not a security company, we’re an ecosystem player.
And I had to answer that question in a way that was still answering the question while trying to say Veeam isn’t a security company, but I’ll ask, answer the question from the point of view of the partners that we work with. So I think that’s going to be a lot of what 2024 is about, making sure that we continue to grow and take our lead as a backup company, as the leading backup company in the world by market share, by MQ, leader quadrant and whatnot, and build on that.
Because now all of a sudden, we’re not the ones that are chasing, we’re being chased, and there’s a certain challenge in that. So I think from a Veeam perspective, the technology will always do its thing. It’s just about making sure that we protect our market play. And that’s what we’ve talked about before early on, being able to toe the corporate line, talk to our messaging, make sure that we help create the right messaging and market.
That’s the big part about 2024. And then from a personal perspective. I feel like just taking and still talking to really cool technology companies, which is what I love doing, right? Because I get such a kick out of talking to founders, especially about the origins of their companies. And there’s always some cool stories that come up there, the naming of the company, how they started.
There’s always some weird pivots that they, cause every company pivots at one point and some pivots are more exciting than others. And, but my aim for next year is to get some bigger vendors. I’m looking to target some real tier one vendors. So that’s a challenge, but that’s why I I’m putting myself down for 2024.
Jeremy Balius: Awesome, Anthony. It’s been such a pleasure. Thank you so much for coming on the show, talking about your experiences both in the way that you are communicating as well as how one could potentially communicate with CTOs in general. Thanks for coming on.
Anthony Spiteri: No worries. Thanks.