Tintri makes first formal cloud certification available

Tintri is looking to increase the number of go-to cloud partners in a cloud business the company views as increasingly strategic.

Gena Phelps, Director, Global Partner Marketing at Tintri

Storage vendor Tintri has announced its Tintri Certified Cloud Expert (TCCE) certification, the company’s first cloud certification program.

Tintri has specialized in VM-aware storage aimed at virtual environments, and moved naturally from that into the cloud space. But while it has had cloud offerings, and has been positioning them aggressively over the past year, this is the first time they have had a formal certification program, even though they launched a major upgrade of their channel program about a year ago.

“We have had formal training for virtual environments, and informal training for the cloud,” said Gena Phelps, Director, Global Partner Marketing at Tintri, who oversees global partner marketing, communications and enablement.

“We did things informally while we took time to perfect the certification and launch it when it was ready,” she said. “We wanted to make sure it was meaningful, not something we just lobbed over the fence before we unveiled it at an official level.”

Tintri says the new TCCE cert complements their existing virtualization focused certifications – the Tintri Certified Sales Representatives (TCSR), Tintri Certified Solution Engineer (TCSE) and Tintri Certified Solution Expert (TCSX). It is however, somewhat different in its structure.

“It is the same kind of certification, but our other programs are for distinct roles,” Phelps said. “This is a solution set, and is more for the technical role, for those who want to be more cloud savvy. It covers things like how to apply our APIs.”

The new TCCE, like the other certifications, is delivered through the online Tintri University learning management system. It includes a mix of online training, scheduled lab time and panel reviews of automation exercises, and focuses on enterprise cloud deployment, automation, orchestration and scripting.

“The hands-on lab environment is where you roll up your sleeves and build out scripts,” Phelps said. “Students also have access to an engineering team and in-region SEs if they have questions. The certification is designed to give them access to our subject matter experts, and help partners build out their cloud bench so they don’t have to invest on their own.”

While the cloud is increasingly important to Tintri, their cloud business is coming from a limited selection of partners like San Ramon CA-headquartered Kovarus. The best practices of these partners have been incorporated within the curriculum.

“The number of partners who can truly develop enterprise cloud solutions is relatively small,” Phelps indicated. “It is growing, but it’s still a small number. That’s where the certification comes in. We want to help not just that small cloud-ready group, but a broader number of our virtualization-focused partners. We want to have a robust selection of go-to partners who really understand this. This will give our cloud business more visibility.”

While Phelps said the new certification will be priceless for partners, it won’t actually cost them anything, as the curriculum is free for them. She indicated that the major way Tintri will be controlling their own costs is to focus on training the partners they consider to be the best prospects.

“To term it invite-only is too strong though,” Phelps indicated. “If a partner is really interested in this, we are not opposed to broadening out.”

Phelps is also hoping that the new training will interest cloud-focused partners who aren’t now working with Tintri.

“Partners who haven’t given us a deeper look should. We are very similar to the public cloud with the way that our APIs work.”