24 June 2019
CommVault sees huge potential in data management business in China. Photo: Bloomberg
CommVault sees huge potential in data management business in China. Photo: Bloomberg

INTERVIEW: CommVault eyes more SOE clients to ramp up China biz

CommVault Systems Inc. (CVLT.US), a New Jersey-based data and information management software company, will step up its business in China by adding more state-owned enterprises (SOEs) to its client list in the country in the coming years, a top executive said.

“Those enterprises usually have quite a lot of subsidiaries or departments with fragmented information technology infrastructure,” CommVault’s China head Philip Xu said, pointing to the huge potential to grab new business in the country.

In an interview with the Hong Kong Economic Journal’s EJ Insight, the executive cited a recent tender floated by a Shenzhen-based and Hong Kong-listed state enterprise that is involved in food and beverage, cement and retail businesses. 

“That enterprise decided to consolidate its IT infrastructure and build a big data center in Shenzhen which will be finished by 2015. We can help it do central management of the data to allow easier access, reduce costs from infrastructure duplication and improve the operational efficiency,” Xu said. He did not wish to identify the firm.

CommVault mainly focuses on government bodies and the financial and healthcare sectors. “The financial industry is more aware of the need for data management than other industries, Xu said, adding that the sector contributes most of his firm’s revenue in China.

The US firm’s clients in China include an e-commerce giant and an entity that operates the largest social media application in the country.

As for government-linked entities, the client list includes several Chinese banks, state-owned conglomerates and universities. Among the banking sector customers is Yunnan-based Fudian Bank, whose data protection coverage is said to have improved to more than 95 percent with CommVault’s help, from 50 percent previously, while cost has been cut by half.

Data security

In other significant projects, CommVault says it provided a comprehensive cloud computing solution for state-owned China XD Group, ensuring data security and the ability to recover data in case of any accidents.

The company’s one-stop service is said to meet the requirements of entities that seek information restructuring. Beijing University, for instance, is said to have been helped in backing up its database as well as enhance the protection on operating systems including Windows and Linux, while also reducing labor cost in doing back up and data management with a higher security standard.

Besides SOEs and the financial sector, the healthcare industry is expected to see greater demand for data management as China’s health ministry has urged hospitals to retain patient data for at least seven years. “CommVault can help single or remote hospitals and healthcare companies lower their costs and easily access historical patient data,” Xu said.

Overall, the Chinese market is still in the early stage in data management as most companies are still prioritizing revenue growth over risk management, he said.

But as the government promotes information consumption and more companies get listed in Hong Kong and the US, the firms will need to step up their act in order to comply with the regulatory requirements for data security and management, Xu said.

CommVault currently has four offices in China — in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu. It plans to open an office in Taiwan next year.

Xu believes his firm can achieve 30 percent year-on-year growth in revenue annually in the coming three years, surpassing the average industry growth of about 5 to 6 percent.

– Contact the reporter at [email protected]


    Ayishah Ma is a financial reporter on Greater China issues.

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