SimpliVity to boost Canadian business with new Cisco-related distribution deal

SimpliVity is about to announce a new distribution deal which will strengthen its developing Canadian business, and make their joint solution with Cisco available as a single SKU.

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George Hope, SimpliVity’s VP, Global Channel Sales

Hyperconverged infrastructure solutions vendor SimpliVity is about to expand its operations in Canada. The company is several weeks away from announcing a distribution deal which will see its software and Cisco hardware available to resellers as a single solution.

The startup is coming off a year of solid growth, with its sales booking growing by nearly 250 per cent year-over-year. Even allowing for the fact that the whole hyperconverged space is hot, and that it’s a lot easier for a startup to post high growth numbers because they are beginning from a lower point, the numbers are still impressive.

‘Nobody will ever be completely satisfied, but we are very satisfied with how we are doing,” said George Hope, SimpliVity’s VP, Global Channel Sales. “When you look at all of the things, we can potentially replace, the opportunity is enormous.”

Hope said that the versatility of their OmniCube product is a chief way that SimpliVity differentiates itself against its hyperconverged competitors.

“We carve the space into three buckets,” he said. “You started with the reference architectures and integrated systems – the Vblocks and FlexPods – that’s 1.0. “2.0 is the hyperconverged newcomers who converge servers and storage. We think we are alone in the 3.0 category, because we add server, storage, backup, WAN optimization, replication, deduplication, caching, and cloud gateway to hyperconverged, and so we lead the market from a completeness standpoint.”

Simplivity remains strongest in the SMB space, with about 550 of their more than 2000 customers being large and mid-sized enterprises.

“About two thirds of our customers run SimpliVity for all their infrastructure, and you can’t do that in the enterprise,” Hope said. “But we are having an increasing amount of success in the midmarket because we can offer that broader value proposition. In addition, five of the Fortune 100 have now adopted our technology. Some of the bigger value propositions in the enterprise are around data protection and data mobility, and organizations with ROBO situations and multiple sites see huge value in our differentiators.”

While SimpliVity originally just sold their own integrated hardware appliance, their joint solution with Cisco, which combines their OmniStack software with Cisco UCS rack-mount servers, is also picking up momentum.

“The Cisco partnering is relatively new, and we have been seeing a ton of momentum at the beginning of this year,” Hope said.

The Cisco part of the business, which is presently around 20 per cent, is expected to continue to rise.

“It’s likely to go up significantly, but we are also growing the other part of the business,” Hope noted.

“Our model has changed with Cisco however, and it’s a ‘meet in the channel’ model. Our partners can buy Cisco and our OmiStack technology, and it’s our partners who make the solution happen because they have access to both technologies. Neither Cisco nor us sell each other’s product.”

While this allows the partner to perform the basic integration work, other partners prefer the option of being able to get a fully integrated product through distribution. At this point in time, that’s not an available option in North America. It is, however an option in Europe.

“In Europe Comstor sells an integrated product, which the partner can buy with one SKU,” Hood said.

“We are doing something similar to the Comstor model in Canada, although it is with a distributor who cannot be named at this point,” he said, indicating that it will not be Comstor in Canada. “It will be available in the next three to four weeks.”

Hope said Canada is an emerging market for them.

“We have put a handful of sales teams in eastern and western Canada,” he said. “We have signed a little under 20 partners and are working on that distribution strategy. These will drive a stronger go-to-market in Canada.”

Hope indicated however, that even with their strong growth, they are not seeking a massive increase in their channel.

“We have a little over 700 partners globally, but not all are active,” he said. “The standard 80-20 rule applies with us. “We need to place our bets, because at the end of the day, when you send your channel team out to work with partners you want to be relevant to them, and you can’t spread the peanut butter across hundreds and hundreds of partners and be successful.”

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