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Doing business with Prasanna Gulasekharam of Commvault

Doing business with Prasanna Gulasekharam of Commvault

The NZ lead for Commvault on how big data impacts the CIO role in a constantly evolving industry


Prasanna Gulasekharam: ‘The trait I admire most in people is the ability to understand the patterns and trends that are happening in the market and how to be one step ahead of those trends.’
Prasanna Gulasekharam: ‘The trait I admire most in people is the ability to understand the patterns and trends that are happening in the market and how to be one step ahead of those trends.’

Name: Prasanna Gulasekharam

Title: Country manager, New Zealand, Commvault

Twitter: @CommvaultApac

How long have you been in your current role?

I’ve been in my current role for over six months since moving from Riverbed Technologies in early March.

What business technology issue is your organisation focusing on?

Over the past six months of working at Commvault, there have been two main issues that the organisation has been focusing on.

When I started, the customers and partners were primarily discussing Commvault in terms of being a ‘backup company’. Our aim is to shift this perception of Commvault, highlighting that it is not just a data protection and information management company, but instead about access, sharing, compliance, and how we can make this all an easier process for customers.

The second issue that Commvault has focused on is the increasing use of managed service providers and cloud service providers, which is especially prominent in New Zealand. Our business is moving more and more over to this form of partnership with our customers, we do this by communicating with them about their specific needs, how a cloud integration will work best for them and how our technology can complement that.

Across all functions, organisations are beginning to realise what relevance or value they can extract out of data by search capabilities

Prasanna Gulasekharam, Commvault


Working with CIOs across sectors, what is a key trend that is profoundly impacting the role, and how are they tackling it?

Read more: Gartner to enterprises: ‘May the algorithmic force be with you’

Data is being seen in a different light than it has been seen over the past three or so years. This is because across all functions, organisations are beginning to realise what relevance or value they can extract out of data by search capabilities. Now each department and company has the solutions to do this, and see holistic data management as the key to enabling these capabilities.

From the perspective of the CIO, they are trying to manage all of that data while ensuring that data is being translated into actionable insights and information. CIOs are looking for more affordable ways to do this as data continues to grow at an escalating rate – and this will often lead to cloud adoption to solve this.

What are your interests away from work?

I am a keen golfer and try to play at least once a fortnight. My son is a very talented golfer so I enjoy playing with him. A lot of my leisure time is devoted to my family.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Do justice to what you’re doing at any moment in time and remember to take everything one step at a time.

Read more: How to avoid the ‘technology hammer’

Professionally, who do you admire most?

The trait I admire most in people is the ability to understand the patterns and trends that are happening in the market and how to be one step ahead of those trends. Steve Jobs always used to quote Wayne Gretzky and say, ‘Skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been.’ Steve did this throughout his career, always one step ahead of the trends and ensuring the customers had exactly what they wanted. One of the biggest reasons I made the move to Commvault is because I felt it was an organisation that lived by this philosophy.

How long have you been working in IT? How did you get into IT?

I’ve worked in IT for 34 years – ever since I left university. I did a double degree in New Zealand, one of which being in computer science. I always enjoyed IT and computer science was relatively new at the time so it was an exciting career path to go into. I originally got into IT as a programmer and support person, then ended up as a part owner of my own organisation and moved through the industry from there.

If you weren't working in IT, what would you be doing?

Along with being an avid golfer, I also represented New Zealand at badminton. As a young man, like many others, I wanted to play sport for a living – perhaps I could have ended up there, but as I’ve said previously, doing justice to today and not dwelling on what could have been is more important to me.

I am lucky enough to work in an industry that is constantly evolving, and as data management is increasingly viewed as a strategic part of business and government, I’m excited about what this opportunity brings and to be part of that journey.

Read more: Don't fall victim to 'siloed' thinking: Vinh Giang

Send news tips and comments to divina_paredes@idg.co.nz

Follow Divina Paredes on Twitter: @divinap

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