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Gridstore targets midmarket VARs in new partner program

Startup's new partner program is aimed at VARs in the midmarket space that are working with virtualization in a Windows environment.

Startup Gridstore Inc., maker of a "storage building blocks" product aimed at the midmarket, has announced a formal partner program. The Gridstore Accelerate Partner Program is a single-tier program offering deal registration, lead sharing, marketing collateral and collaborative marketing programs.

The company, which emerged from stealth mode in late 2009, provides what it calls "software-defined storage." "We take the software out of the box, virtualize the controller, virtualize the network and virtualize the capacity," said Gridstore CEO Kelly Murphy. "And now you have these very simple physical devices, which are the storage nodes, which we tie together with our software. And they appear and act as a single system, but they have the flexibility to grow."

Murphy said the product is ideally suited for channel partners because midsize customers can buy a small number of nodes and increase the size of the system as their capacity needs grow. "As they start to grow and add capacity, they just add more blocks, and they order those blocks from our partners," he said.

Murphy pointed to Gridstore's recent funding round of $12.5 million and the hiring of two channel-focused executives as evidence of its readiness to build out its channel program. The company, which is based in Mountain View, Calif., aims to have 20 channel partners on board by year's end and possibly 20 or 30 more by the end of 2013, he said. Gridstore is focused on finding partners in the midmarket space that are working with virtualization technologies in a Windows environment and looking for storage to support that environment. "As much as we can, we'll scale by going through partners, as close to 100% as we can," he added.

Initially the company had focused on selling its products through managed service providers, but realized that MSPs typically sell to companies that are smaller than Gridstore's target customers. "Most of the customers that we're finding are … typically 250 to 2,500 in size of employees, which is not really the sweet spot for MSPs," he said. "So we adjusted [our partner recruitment plan]."

The Gridstore Accelerate Partner Program is available now for new partner registration. Through the end of the year, the company is offering special program incentives to its partners, including a pricing discount of as much as an additional 10% in margin for all registered-deal sales in the first quarter of 2013 for partners meeting sales criteria by the end of December.

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