By Charndré Emma Kippie
Commvault, a recognised global enterprise software leader in the management of data across cloud and on-premises environments, has announced the appointment of Kate Mollett as its Regional Director for a newly expanded Commvault Africa organisation.
Mollett will oversee Commvault’s Africa region with a focus on extending the company’s market share and leveraging Commvault’s expanding portfolio, including its market leading BaaS Metallic offering, into new markets across the continent. A priority focus will be leveraging Commvault’s well established partner network across the region, while looking for new partnerships to realise the huge market opportunity in many African markets for SaaS based solutions and utility pricing options.
Congratulations on your recent appointment as the Regional Director For the ever-expanding Commvault Africa! How are you feeling about this new path?
I am really excited to join Commvault, I think this represents a significant opportunity for me from a professional and personal growth perspective and I think that Commvault can equally benefit from my experience and track record in SA and Africa.
What are your main objectives as you take on this new role? How do you hope to make a difference?
My short-term objectives are to listen and learn. Observe the people, the way we do business and the business itself. I don’t want to make any unnecessary changes to what is already a very successful and highly regarded business. I want to find the gaps where I can bring value, identify the areas where we can grow the business locally and build a winning strategy for Africa. Ultimately my goal is to increase our market share, amplify our brand awareness and secure Commvault as an employee of choice.
Please could you tell us a bit about your background – how did you get to this point?
Not by design. I left school and started working immediately. Once I was working, had secured an income and learnt a little more about myself and my aspirations, I started to study a business diploma part time. I really enjoyed the corporate space and I still do. My first role in IT was just about as junior as you can be, and I steadily built my career from there. I have worked over the past 25 years in both the vendor and reseller space and this has given me good perspective on what is required on both sides.
We’d love to know more about Commvault Africa. What excites you the most about the organisation?
They have a great track record in the SA & African market and the recent launch of Metallic in the region is a real game changer. I think I have joined the organisation at an exciting time, and I am pleased to be part of this new journey with them. Intelligent Data Management is extremely key right now and Commvault talks about “Being Ready”; the future belonging to the “Data Ready” and helping customers to “Be Ready to do amazing things”. I love the simplicity of “Be Ready” it’s only 2 words but they mean an awful lot.
What 3 tips do you have when it comes to implementing SaaS-based solutions?
SaaS-based applications and solutions have taken the world by storm and they really are the future of data management and protection. If you’re looking at adopting a SaaS solution for your company’s backup and recovery, my best piece of advice would be to make sure you don’t compromise. There are plenty of options around, and your SaaS backup checklist should cover all the capabilities of your other solutions. Essentially, your SaaS backup solution should offer breadth, depth and flexibility.
Breadth: Can the solution backup and recover various types of data? You should be able to back up and recover critical data from a wide variety of on-premises servers, cloud platforms, and endpoints.
Depth: Does the solution offer you the desired security and other capabilities you need? You should ensure your solution provides you with deep levels of functionality, ranging from multiple levels of security to granular recovery of data at the individual file level.
Flexibility: You should make sure that the solution is flexible enough to scale to protect both the data you have today and the data you will have tomorrow. Flexibility should also extend to choice – allowing you to choose the pricing plan and backup storage infrastructure that makes sense for you.
Have you read any books or listened to any podcasts that have inspired you and your career thus far?
I loved reading Becoming by Michele Obama – that book really resonated for me. There is one quote that stands out: “Failure is a feeling long before it becomes an actual result”. I think many women in business, specifically IT can connect with that quote.
I also read a very poignant and seemingly simple book called The Boy, the mole, the fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackey, and I read it in June 2020, at the height of our first global lockdown. It is a story about life and vulnerability, it’s more of a collection of conversations than a story. It reminded me to care of myself in these strange times, have empathy for others and to be hopeful.
I love to read. Especially true stories about bold and brave women – this is where I find the inspiration and courage to be the mother I am, the wife that I am, the daughter that I am and the leader I aspire to be.
You have seasoned experience in Enterprise Leadership roles. What has kept you motivated?
Always the people – be it the people in my team or organisation, the people in our ecosystem or our customers, it’s always been the people that keeps me motivated. “Tech for Good” I find fascinating and I feel we have yet to truly understand and exploit the power of tech for good. It’s important for me to be part an organization that wants to solve real world issues
Outside of work, are you involved in any extracurricular activities and/or community outreach projects?
I am labouring through a Diploma with the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET). I have only achieved 2 levels out of 5 due to work commitments. The objective is not to be a wine snob as such, but to truly understand the world of wine, the origins, the varietals, the history behind it. I find it extremely interesting. I also practise yoga which is very good for mind and body.
Who or what inspires you on a daily basis?
To be honest, it’s hard to be inspired on a daily basis, sometimes work is work but it needs to be done. I have a very good work ethic but I crave human and social interaction hence lockdown was and is quite tough for me but I find I am being inspired by simpler things. As the world has slowed down, I find I am appreciating some of the things I had once taken for granted and I find being appreciative and feeling gratitude on a daily basis is helping me to feel inspired and energised.
As a woman in IT, who has worked her way up the ranks, what advice do you have for young female entrepreneurs who aspire to work in your industry?
Back Yourself. If I only took roles that I was qualified for or had experience in, I would not be where I am today. Be confident in your ability to step up, lean in and adapt.
Network in a meaningful way. Try to establish meaningful connections. I am a keen networker and most of my roles and opportunities – in both my personal and corporate life – have come from people within my network.
Remember “smooth seas don’t make great sailors”. When it’s tough, you are learning and developing. Don’t shy away from hard tasks, challenging roles, difficult conversations – they all represent some form of a growth opportunity.
Take care of yourself. It’s important to find a work-life balance that works for you and that enables you to grow as an individual.
*Interested in discovering more inspiring stores about Top Women? Check out the 16th edition of the Standard Bank Top Women Leaders publication on Issuu – Digital Publishing Platform – here.