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At the NetApp Insight conference this week in Las Vegas, storage management vendor Data Dynamics Inc. revealed enhancements to its Advantage Partner Program for channel partners selling the vendor's StorageX platform.
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The enhanced Advantage Partner Program is structured with three tiers -- Bronze, Silver and Gold -- with benefits and discounts that increase with each partnership level. New benefits include market development funds, marketing collateral and joint go-to-market campaigns, as well as free sales and technical training, with special discounts for partners who invest in training their staff on StorageX software.
"The more people they commit into those enablement programs, the larger the discount they will get and the more high level support," said Sean McCarry, vice president of worldwide sales at Data Dynamics, based in Teaneck, N.J.
McCarry said he thinks Data Dynamics is in a unique position today. While the company itself is only three years old, the StorageX software platform has a long history behind it. NuView created the software in 2002, which was then acquired by Brocade Communications Systems Inc. in 2006. Brocade continued developing the technology and had around 300 enterprise customers using the software for migration purposes, McCarry said. In 2012, Brocade decided to sell StorageX. At that time, Data Dynamics formed and then acquired the StorageX intellectual property.
"From that point, we pulled a lot of the original [StorageX] team back together, and focused on updating and continuously developing the technology," he said. "What's great about our technology is it's had enterprise-class feedback from customers globally for a long period of time."
Data Dynamics has strong relationships with EMC and NetApp, as well as a channel-oriented go-to-market strategy, with adoption of the StorageX platform spanning a variety of vertical markets, including financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, and media and entertainment.
The growth of unstructured data
With the StorageX platform, Data Dynamics is looking to address enterprise customers that are wrestling with an influx of unstructured data, which IDC estimated is growing 65% year over year in most environments.
McCarry said nearly 50% of storage projects in the enterprise space today are either hardware refreshes or capacity expansions requiring lengthy and demanding data migrations. "We are seeing that the demand for automation from a very labor-intensive environment getting more and more business critical," he said.
Sirius Computer Solutions, a large systems integrator headquartered in San Antonio, partnered with Data Dynamics about a year ago having already had experience with SystemX when Brocade owned it.
"With the advent of cloud computing and with the consolidation that's happening in the hardware manufacturing industry, we see a lot of opportunities come our way in various shapes and sizes to do heterogeneous migration off of Platform X onto Platform Y, from a file perspective," said Davin Petersen, director of storage services at Sirius.
"File migration is a tricky business," he added. "Most of the time, customers approach it from a brute-force perspective, and when we explain to them how we can help them with the services … quite frankly, they often opt out. They say, 'No, we have skills in-house. We can do it.' But what it means is that they have to go through that file migration process through a very manual process. It's error-prone, and it takes a lot of time."
Using StorageX, Sirius can install and train customers on the product, so that they can decide to either tap Sirius to do more of the migration or cover the rest of the migration by themselves, according to Petersen. "It's a great middle ground in terms of providing the customer what could be an expensive service if we did it all by ourselves or having no service at all," he said.
"The customers don't always see the value upfront," Petersen said. "You really have to know how to sell the service and software together in the solution. If you're just selling the software, you're going to lose every day."
IT channel news roundup from the week of Oct. 12
Here's a look at this week's highlights:
- Independent of Symantec, information management technology vendor Veritas Technologies LLC unveiled the Veritas Partner Force program. The redesigned program increases the cap for opportunity registration from $500,000 to $1 million while maintaining payout rates. Additional changes to the program include a revamped Growth Accelerator Rebate and simplified path to Platinum-member status.
- CDW LLC expanded its partnership with Dell, and will now offer all Dell products through CDW's catalog in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. CDW will also provide Dell products in the U.K., South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia through its recent acquisition of Kelway.
- Distributor Avnet Inc. launched FlexPod Services by Avnet (FSA) One Frameworks, a portfolio of preconfigured and packaged integrated infrastructure racks. Co-developed with Cisco and NetApp, FSA One Frameworks aims to increase the adoption of converged infrastructure technology, providing Avnet's North American partners with a sales motion for quoting and shipping a family of prevalidated, pre-integrated FlexPod configurations.
- Through a partnership with NetApp, Avnet will offer migration services to help its North American partners and their end users transition to NetApp clustered Data Ontap software, the foundation for Data Fabric. The migration program offers full installation, operational training, a swing gear option to facilitate the switch-over on operations and asset disposition. Avnet partners can also access a lower-cost option of the program to assist customers that have internal technical capabilities to execute a portion of the migration work.
- Vartopia, a channel automation company that operates a deal registration network, estimates that the resellers using its service have surpassed the $50-billion mark in estimated deal value. Vartopia also said it has added five vendors to its deal registration network, a move that the company said increases the roster of resellers using the network to more than 1,700. The new vendors are Alert Logic, Panzura, SimpliVity, Skyport Systems and Tintri. Deal registration programs have proven difficult to manage, prompting channel companies to attempt to simply the process.
- AliCloud (Aliyun), the cloud computing business unit of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, opened its second U.S. data center. AliCloud launched its first U.S. data center in March and in July unveiled a partnering initiative targeting cloud brokers, cloud consulting firms and other channel organizations. Both of AliCloud's U.S. data centers are in Silicon Valley.
- IT industry trade association CompTIA introduced the CompTIA Instructor Network, a LinkedIn community for instructors. The peer-to-peer community offers support and training for instructors of CompTIA certification courses, including a webinar series that examines various CompTIA certifications, classroom methodologies and instructional strategies, and current industry trends, issues and best practices.
- Network control company Infoblox Inc. has named Ricardo Moreno as its vice president of worldwide channels. In his new role, Moreno will oversee all aspects of Infoblox's channel partner business. Moreno comes to Infoblox from Cisco, where he worked as vice president for the U.S. and Latin America field partner organization.
Additional reporting by John Moore.