Nexsan enhances partner program, including new support for Transporter appliances

Imation, Nexsan’s parent company, has recently undergone a major reorganization, designed to give it greater focus and make it competitive in a tough storage market. A key part of that is integrating the core Nexsan portfolio with Transporter Sync and Share technology. Access to that technology is one element of the enhanced partner program.


Geraldine Osman, VP of International Marketing at Nexsan

Storage vendor Nexsan is announcing a restructuring of its global partner program. In addition to significant enhancements – including the first-ever tiers in a Nexsan program – the new program also offers support for the Transporter private cloud Sync and Share appliances obtained with last fall’s acquisition of Connected Data.

The Transporter technology is important to Nexsan’s future, although it has not yet been fully realized through complete integration with the Nexsan solutions. The Transporter appliances provide similar sync and share benefits as solutions like the corporate versions of Dropbox and Box which use the public cloud. However, Transporter appliances keep the data in an organization’s data centre, behind its firewall.

“Today, Transporter is just another line item on our price list,” said Bob Fernander, the interim CEO of both Nexsan and Imation, Nexsan’s parent company. “However, the R&D effort we have underway is focused on assets from our NST unified hybrid storage systems and our Assureon archive product, to create a platform that allows for sync and share across a corporate infrastructure. What we have done is create a road map with enterprise features that will integrate what Transporter does with our NST, to make this part of a native and highly differentiated storage product. There is real value in bonding these things together because almost everyone has a use case where access to storage from a mobile device is a valued service.”

The new Nexsan strategy comes at the end of a chaotic year that saw its corporate parent, Imation, bid farewell to its old leadership and board, and sell off most of its long-time assets, to reverse a declining financial situation.

“The primary revenue streams that Imation had other than Nexsan were in consumer products and accessories, including flash drives and thumb drives, Bluetooth speakers, headphones, and other consumer accessories,” Fernander said. “Memorex was a brand, and there was also an optical media business. This was a business with a very large revenue stream and it was very unprofitable, so we exited these businesses, wound them down and sold the inventory.” The last of these, the IronKey secure flash drives which had been acquired by the former CEO, were sold in February. Now Imation is pretty much a holding, company, and Nexsan and its offerings, including Transporter, are the company’s going concern.

“A big piece of our strategy is the integration of Transporter into the Nexsan channel,” said Geraldine Osman, VP of International Marketing at Nexsan, who had held the same position at Connected Data. Connected Data’s route to market was impaired as a separate company because it was paired in that company with Drobo SMB products, which were to be the appliances’ primary channel, on the original assumption that their markets were similar. That turned out not to be the case, as Connected Data’s products sold better in the midmarket and above.

“We relied on the Drobo channel to take those products to market for us, but this is a much better fit, because Nexsan is firmly in the midmarket,” Osman said. “We saw our pipeline change quite dramatically with Nexsan. It’s early days, but even early this quarter we have seen some big deals come in.”

In addition to providing access to and support for the Transporter products, Nexsan has made some key improvements to the partner program. Nexsan has always sold entirely through channel partners, but one change is the introduction of tiering for the first time, with the familiar metallics – in this case Bronze, Silver and Gold.

“Historically it was always one flat tier,” Osman said. “They were working on tiering it before the businesses merged, but it had never happened before.”

The additions to program benefits include a Campaign Creator to easily create and execute partner-branded campaigns.

“The Campaign Creator tool is pretty sophisticated, and provide easy-to-use tools to create their own campaigns, which will be linked to MDF funding,” Osman said. “We are also expanding training on technical and sales resources, as well as extending the training to the three tier model.

“We are also improving some of the other existing benefits, and we will bring in a second phase around April which will include the introduction of a new Partner Portal.”