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Virident Systems launches formal channel partner program

Lynn Haber

Server-side flash storage vendor Virident Systems Inc., which recently announced plans to be acquired by Western Digital Corp., got the go-ahead to continue with

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plans to implement a new worldwide channel program called the Virident Impact Program.

Six-year-old Virident Systems -- which announced on Sept. 9 that it signed a definitive merger agreement under which it will be acquired by Hitachi GST (HGST), a wholly owned subsidiary of Western Digital -- today said that through the new Virident Impact Program (VIP), channel partners can sell the company's FlashMAX II hardware and FlashMAX Connect Software Suite to customers.

According to Dawn Marie Ruszel, senior director of worldwide channels at Virident since June, the company has worked with partners in a more opportunistic way in the past. The new VIP formalizes the company's go-to-market strategy with the channel.

"We're heavily investing in the channel and we're committed to supporting our partners through joint efforts, co-branding and support," she said.

Later this year, Virident will offer a certification program, called Virident Validated, with three tracks: sales, presales and support.

There's no partner fee to join VIP, which will have two tiers: a Member tier and an Elite tier. The tiers will be defined by the number of deals per quarter and revenue. Program levels will be defined in the new fiscal year, according to Ruszel. Until then, all partners will enter the program as Members.

A partner portal is up and running, and with a single sign-on, partners will find deal registration, training materials, and sales and marketing collateral and support.

VIP partners will typically be focused on the enterprise and on selling hardware and software systems, according to Ruszel. "They sell end-to-end. They have expertise to sell the servers, server-side flash, application solutions and database solutions," she said. Virident Systems is looking for both regional and national partners.

The company has direct account managers who are incented to work on new accounts and work with the channel, she added.

With the upcoming HGST acquisition, it's unclear what will happen with Virident's and HGST's channel programs, but according to Ruszel the programs are complementary: VIP is more focused on the enterprise and commercial partners, while HGST's channel program focuses more on SMB partners.

"As far as on-boarding partners for VIP, we're moving forward. For now, the two programs will be independent. In the future … we'll see," she said.


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