Altaro unveils MSP backup offering, aims to grow North American channel

Altaro released a version of its VM backup product for managed services providers; other channel news from the week.

Altaro Software, a virtual machine backup vendor that targets small and midsize businesses, has expanded its portfolio to include an MSP backup offering.

Through a newly launched managed services provider (MSP) partner program, channel firms can now use Altaro VM Backup software on a monthly subscription basis. Altaro, headquartered in San Gwann, Malta, introduced a beta version of its MSP backup software in September 2016. The software lets channel firms manage virtual backups of their customers using a cloud-based management console. The vendor has seen a strong uptake, with about 300 MSPs signing up and paying for the MSP subscription program.

"Our target is to be No. 1 in backup solutions for small and midmarket businesses," said Stephen Chetcuti Bonavita, Altaro's co-founder and vice president of sales and marketing.

He said Altaro was built with the channel in mind. In Europe, the company is "100% channel" and doesn't accept any direct orders; in the Americas, he noted, the company is at about a 70% channel model. "In the Americas, it is a slightly different model, but over the months, we have been working hard on moving up to a 100% channel model. That has been our strategy all along."

"Our goal is to be 100% channel in the next 12 months," added Eric Krauss, vice president of sales for the Americas at Altaro.

In addition to the MSP program, Altaro has a partner program it launched last year for selling its backup technology on a perpetual licensing basis. Altaro's channel has grown to more than 6,000 partners worldwide, the company said. "Every month, we get more and more partners signing up. In North America, we hit about 1,500 partners on June 1," Bonavita said.

Altaro has seen partnerships grow in the direct market reseller space, Krauss added. "We are getting much more mature partners, and it is not just those smaller SMB-type resellers that are looking to find a quick solution for their customers. But it's also the midsize resellers."

Altaro has partnered with several distributors, as well. Altaro's primary North American distributor is Synnex, which recently agreed to purchase Westcon-Comstor's Americas business.

Altaro is trying to differentiate itself through its support for customers and partners. "Our response time on both the sales and support side is one of the key things that our channel partners are appreciating," Krauss said. "That's probably one of the key forces behind our rapid growth in the channel."

Jessie Weems, CEO of Dynamic Networking Solutions, an IT service provider based in Huntsville, Ala., and Altaro partner for about two years, praised the vendor for the support capabilities.

"[Altaro's] support is probably one of the best I have ever seen," he said, adding that it is like "night and day," compared to Dynamic's previous backup vendor.

"We want people to remember us because the support is so great," Bonavita said.

Report: Cloud automation speeds up new workloads

Enterprises that have adopted cloud automation can roll out new applications and workloads faster and more frequently than those organizations struggling to adopt automated processes, testing and monitoring. That's the conclusion 2nd Watch, a Seattle-based managed cloud services provider, reached based on its recent survey of more than 1,000 IT professionals in the U.S.

According to 2nd Watch's research, 41% of corporate IT departments produce more than 10 new cloud workloads each year, while 56% said they have automated at least half of their artifact creation and deployment pipelines. And 66% said at least half of their quality assessments are automated.

Panasonic resellers can expect program updates

Following Panasonic's release of its CF-33 device, a 12-inch ruggedized 2-in-1 detachable notebook, the vendor said partners can expect updates to its channel resources in October.

In October 2016, Panasonic unveiled a revamped four-tier partner program. The program offers market development funds based on revenue, discounts for demo units, and sales and technical training.

Panasonic sells almost all of its Toughbooks through its about 400 reseller partners nationwide, said Dominick Passanante, senior director of sales for North America. He noted Panasonic sees a large opportunity around CF-33 Toughbooks in vertical markets, such as healthcare and law enforcement.

Other news

Here's a look at more highlights from the week:

  • Dell EMC revealed an agreement to provide its Networking X-Series products to customers and partners exclusively through its distribution partners. According to a blog post by Jim DeFoe, senior vice president of global distribution at Dell EMC, the agreement went into effect this month in the North American, EMEA and Asia-Pacific markets and will include all regions by the end of the year. Additionally, he said all Dell EMC Networking X-Series business will be available exclusively through solution providers by 2018.
  • Recorded Future, a threat intelligence vendor, unveiled its Connect partner program for value-added resellers. Through the program, partners can access deal registration; competitive margins; and sales training, tools and support. Also in the cybersecurity space, ThreatConnect Inc., a security platform vendor, has expanded its managed security services provider program with the addition of CenturyLink, a communications and IT services provider.
  • Cloud enablement company BitTitan signed a deal with distributor Arrow Electronics to offer MSPComplete, a managed services automation platform. MSPComplete is now available through Arrow's cloud marketplace, ArrowSphere.
  • IT management vendor Kaseya released AuthAnvil MSP Protect, an identity and access management product that is customized for MSPs. According to Kaseya, MSP Protect also lets MSPs develop a security-as-a-service offering.

Market Share is news roundup published every Friday.

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