Carbonite launches first channel-only product

David Maffei, vice president of global channel sales at Carbonite

David Maffei, vice president of global channel sales at Carbonite

Backup vendor Carbonite is best known for its consumer products. The company has, however, been making a push into the SMB commercial market, and is looking to the channel to achieve that objective. To that end, the company has unveiled its first product that will be sold only through partners. The Carbonite Appliance HT10 is a hybrid backup solution for small businesses. It is also the first of a line of appliances Carbonite will roll out to its channel over the next year.

“Carbonite is a  100 million dollar company which started in the home market and was 100% B2C,” said Dave Maffei, Carbonite’s Vice President of Global Channel Sales. “Two and a half years ago, we decided to shift emphasis  from consumer to B2B. While we are not jettisoning the consumer business, our strategic focus is on the SMB world.”

Maffei said that they will cover the whole of the SOHO and SMB space – from companies of 3 to 500 employees. Their sweet spot is companies of 75 employees and under that aren’t doing cutting edge technology things for themselves.

Maffei said that to tackle this market, Carbonite also has had to change its go-to-market focus from direct to indirect, and build a channel of partners with access to this market. It’s a broad channel of VARs, MSPs, LARs, and DMRs.

“As part of this shift, we had to come out with products partners could build a practice around, and products that could only be offered through the channel,” he said. “This product is 100% available through partners only, and can’t be bought directly from Carbonite. It’s one aspect of the commitment we are making to partners. Another is a channel program launch that is coming in July at Microsoft WPC.”

This first channel appliance from Carbonite is aimed at the lower part of its target market,

“We determined that it needed to be easy to use, super intuitive, and needs to be really cheap,” Maffei said.

The HT10 Hybrid appliance provides 1 TB of local backup storage on the user’s own network, and 500 GB of cloud storage as a backup. There are no hardware fees, upfront costs or per-server license fees, only a flat monthly fee. It provides a bare metal recovery that lets a business get back up and running quickly by restoring the full system, including operating systems, applications, databases and files to new or existing hardware. Data is transferred using SSL encryption and stored with AES-256 encryption server-side.

The HT10 dashboard is accessible only by the reseller, which allows them to oversee every interaction with clients, empowering them to strengthen existing relationships and manage the backup and restore processes.

The HT 10’s technology is relatively modest, as price is its primary sell feature. It does not support virtualization, for example. But Maffei said that Carbonite will be introducing other channel-only appliances that have more advanced capabilities.

“This is the first of what will be an entire lineup of appliances over the next 9-12 months, and which will see more onboard storage, faster upload speeds and virtual machine failover,” he said.  “This first box does not support virtualization, but the next box that goes out the door will support virtualization on the box itself and from the cloud.”

Maffei thinks that the channel will find Carbonite’s commercial offerings attractive, even though they, like other backup solutions in the small business space, are not big revenue items.

“Where companies get in trouble in the channel is when they are not self-aware,” he said. “We don’t think our partners will get rich selling our backup, but we are not their point of margin. We are a margin enhancer. We are the cheese on the hamburger. Our really successful partners are tagging into service offerings that deal with the entire stack of Microsoft products. We lay so nicely into channel partners’ ecosystems. They can’t mark me up by up to 1000% if they sell me alone. But they certainly can if it’s part of a part of a package. Tiger Direct is one of our biggest partners, but they do big volume, and the partner who doesn’t, and who just wants to move a box, isn’t that attractive.”

This article first appeared on eChannelLine.