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Dez Talk With Martha Delehanty, Chief People Officer, Commvault

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I got this great chance to talk with Martha Delehanty, Chief People Officer, Commvault. We discussed her fantastic journey, her career path, roles, and responsibilities. She also shared, what she and the company have had through in the year 2020, and how thrilling it is to begin the exciting new role with a fantastic company like Commvault when the #COVID19 global pandemic captured the world and brought a wide range of difficulties that arrived with such an extraordinary event.

When I joined Commvault just before COVID19 hit North America, the company was already undergoing significant changes – a new CEO and other leadership changes, the acquisition of Hedvig, a startup inside the company known as Metallic, driving continued innovation and plenty more. She shared what the path was like bearing in mind she came in to assist people in transforming while praising 20-year heritage.

She describes how, upon joining the company, she was focused on progressing the company’s Inclusion & Diversity initiatives, but within days of joining the company, everyone was given the task of addressing the pandemic and giving importance to key fundamentals like patient care. She told how she managed new challenges while working remotely, stress, childcare/education, self-care reinforcement, flexibility, while staying attentive to and balancing consumer needs, empowered my team to deliver, and more.

We discuss broadly the emergence of the COVID19 pandemic & the challenges it brought with it, in light of the fact that Commvault is a global company, and as such, they noticed COVID19 rise from day one as it appeared in China, made its way through South East Asia,  EMEA, A/NZ, the UK, and into the Americas, and how that played out in their world as they addressed the primary challenges to hold people safe, ensure they could run the company as well as help their global ecosystem of partners,  integrators, resellers, and consumers.

In addition, we discuss the varying degrees of status quo as a Global company, Commvault continues to operate its business while dealing with COVID19. The fact that the company is keeping its own servers operational and offers training and support to its customers, partners, resellers, integrators. She shared what she thinks are the key success factors that not only saw the business “get through it” as it were but do so very successfully for both Commvault and the global ecosystem of businesses they invest in beyond their own company.

In conclusion, we discussed the vital question of where to go from here and how the ideal world will seem post-2020. We now enter the third quarter of 2020; as we approach the impending Christmas season, organisations of all kinds, shapes, and sizes are now facing the challenge of another potentially catastrophic event associated with people and operations. – I ask Martha 

“What does an ideal world look like post 2020 and what steps can organisations take to achieve such a state operationally?”.

The episode concludes with a little Crystal Ball gazing as I question Martha if she were to offer any piece of guidance to peers in parallel markets or industries as they look ahead to the 12 to 18 months through 2021 and beyond, what would she say?

It was a very nice discussion, and certainly, it is one not to be forgotten.

Check out now for the details of all such topics and more.


To get to know more about Commvault please visit:

Commvault homepage: http://j.mp/commvaulthomepage
Metallic homepage: http://j.mp/metallic-io
Metallic offering via Azure Marketplace: https://bit.ly/metallic-on-azure-marketplace

Business Continuity

Commvault’s Martha Delehanty Discusses joining the company

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Martha Delehanty joining Commvault

Imagine stepping into a new video game where you know nothing of the rules or the genre, much less have a strategy. You are paired with a random team of assorted players and you are responsible for their survival. As you press start, you feel tremors beneath your feet in the real world.

 It’s an earthquake!

 And your survival in the real world is dependent on you somehow learning the game well enough to survive in it within the next thirty minutes.

The story of Martha Delehanty joining Commvault

Martha Delehanty’s story of joining Commvault in the week just before the company went into global remote is much more dramatic. This is a story of grit, perseverance, and keeping not just your wits, but also your empathy around because the numerous people depending on you at work and at home really need it. This is the story of Martha’s amazing start with Commvault as Chief People Officer, and the journey the twain have been on throughout the rocky ride that’s been the year 2020.

Why people?

This is one of the first questions I posed to Martha and her answer was atypical. She found her passion in working with people and large organisations through her experience of restructuring at a psychiatric institute where she was interning as an art therapist. She never got to like art therapy but found her calling in the disruption and sweeping organisational changes going on around her as the institute shifted from being federal to state-run. That experience provoked her interest in harnessing the capacity of people into making money and she went on to pursue an MBA to learn P&L for business transactions.  

Martha spent nearly three decades working at Verizon and joined Commvault at what should have been an auspicious moment – the company had just successfully acquired Hedvig, had a very successful launch of SaaS-based data protection and data backup product called Metallic and were set to go full-swing into 2020. And then came the pandemic.

Perfect organisation, perfect role, great acquisition, fantastic launch of a startup into a legacy company – and the pandemic 

What should have been a dream start to a new inning in her career turned into a quagmire of uncertainty as Commvault went into global remote within a few days of Martha coming on-board. Imagine being responsible for taking care of people and continuity of a business (that went remote overnight) in a global organisation without really having access to the ecosystem of people and relationships you would have available to you in any job. You probably don’t even know your executive team yet.

Martha was forced to make big, bold decisions quite literally in the dark as the pandemic situation unfolded with its own Pandora’s Box of uncertainties – knowing full well that her decisions might have second or third orders of impact that she simply could not gauge at this point.

Martha’s experience, put quite simply, was probably once-in-a-generation.

Martha herself takes a different approach. She reiterates that in a crisis situation, a lot of bureaucracy simply goes out of the window and decisions and people come together much faster than normal as they band together to survive. This included making tough calls such as voluntary reduction and global salary reduction while ensuring transparency in communicating with employees and supporting them in every manner possible.

Working with the wrinkles and remembering to smile

Once the remote paradigm of work settled in, it was time to deal with the fallouts. As Martha puts it, there was no longer the scope to put away the noisy dog or hide the misbehaving child on your lap during work in the new normal. People were dealing with anxiety, exhaustion, and burnout, trying to get adjusted to the new regime of work where the ‘off switch’ had all but disappeared. 

In Martha’s case, it wasn’t just about finding the balance between the professional and personal (home-schooling and taking care of three children plus other responsibilities) that all of us struggled with, but also helping her team and the larger ecosystem of partners, integrators, resellers and customers find that balance and ray of sanity. 

Shaping the future by not holding tight to the past

Martha is introspective and insightful when it comes to defining the future. She believes in helping people thrive during and going forward from the crisis rather than holding tight and praying for the storm to pass. After all, the past ‘normal’ we can’t help but hanker for at times – had its fair share of problems too. The pandemic has forced us not only into changes in jobs and relationships, but also into setting different priorities altogether. As Martha puts it quite profoundly, “A good day looks different now.” 

Commvault has tried walking the path by enabling people to collaborate better not just at work, but in sharing home and social responsibilities, better channels of communication and resources through podcasts, having non-scripted courageous conversations around difficult topics (generally cast aside in professional environments as ‘too personal’), engaging communities in dialogue and participation, partnering more with mid-tier companies and the UN, coding challenges for young students, and something as seemingly basic as ‘story-time’ for kids of employees or keeping empty office canteens open for frontline workers and first responders at a local hospital and residents of a domestic violence shelter. In the process, hopefully, they are becoming more comfortable with being vulnerable and better partners to each other throughout the crisis. 

Changing for the better and building value and relevance

Martha says we could all do with being a bit ‘less comfortable in our glass houses’ and accepting the reality we live in rather than living in a veneer of Instagram-like unreality. She is quick to recognise that even in the pre-Corona times, we were at a breaking point with an epidemic of stress, suicides, domestic violence, exhaustion, depletion and more.

She believes people officers right now have ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity window of influencing organisational processes for the better and creating an environment where people create value by thriving, not just surviving. Simple steps like assuming positive intention, partner mentality and community-enriching mindsets can go a long way for businesses to stay relevant and create sustainable value in a world that’s (hopefully!) long since passed the grasp of the pandemic. 

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Business Continuity

Penny Gralewski, head of Solutions Marketing Commvault on Cloud Survey

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I caught up with Penny Gralewski, Penny Gralewski, head of Solutions Marketing at Commvault in Denver Colorado, to talk about the Commvault GO 2019 event, the Commvault “Cloud Survey” and in particular the 2019 edition of it, the key highlights and insights they have gleaned from the data and folk participating, the journey thus far after having run it for 3x years so far, what the initial rational was for it, what types of data they have been getting thus far, how they are leveraging the data they have compiled to date and it’s use in-house and with partners / integrators / customers et al, where to form here regarding the Cloud Survey, and of course her takeaways from Commvault GO 2019, and much more. For more info visit http://j.mp/commvaultgo2019

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Business Continuity

Discussion with Al Bunte, Commvault’s Co-Founder & Former COO

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I recently had the opportunity to catch up in person on camera with the legend that is Mr Al Bunte, Commvault’s Co-Founder & Former COO, while in Denver, Colorado, at the 2019 edition of the annual Commvault GO event, as a guest of Commvault.

In this interview, we discussed an incredible life journey to date, and we delved into the fantastic multi-decade Commvault story so far and some wonderful anecdotes of the key phases the business has gone through over the years.

Al went on to share with me what it felt like for him to see their Commvault Go 2019 event’s enormous success ( Commvault GO is the “crown jewel” of the Commvault brand’s annual events ).

Al also shared a spellbinding anecdote of his journey from Co-Founder to Commvault go event 2019, his ideas around “where to from here,” for his future vision, and more.

Be sure to push play, and tune into this wonderful conversation with one of the most inspiring thought leaders I’ve had the pleasure to interview in person on camera.

To find more details about Commvault’s story and solutions, please visit: http://j.mp/commvaulthomepage

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