Komprise improves partner margins with launch of first channel program

Veteran channels leader Zach Edwards was brought in by Komprise to design the new program, and improve Komprise’s support to its channel, which is their entire route to market.

Krishna Subramanian, Komprise’s President and COO

Campbell CA-based data management solution provider Komprise has launched their first channel program, the Komprise Konnect Partner Program. Komprise, which goes to market entirely through partners, is looking to the channel to strengthen its support for partners willing to engage in a strong mutual commitment. The program benefits include new tools to help partners demonstrate value, and an increase in the margins compared to what Komprise was offering before.

The K’s in the names are a hallmark of the company’s founders, three entrepreneurs who are on their third company together. Kovair, which is still going long after the founders left, makes a DropBox-like SaaS solution for application lifecycle management. Kaviza made a small business-focused ‘VDI-in-a-box’ solution, and was ultimately bought by Citrix. Komprise, founded in 2013, uses deep analytics to assess what’s in the customer’s data, and then manages, moves and archives the data.

“We are formally announcing the program at VMWorld next week, because we want to draw attention to the fact that the data that we move is any file-based data, which includes virtual machine files,” said Krishna Subramanian, Komprise’s President, COO, and one of its three founders.  “A lot of customers want to bridge VMware environments that are on-prem with the cloud. Komprise helps with that path to the cloud for virtualization.”

This is Komprise’s first formal program. They had been providing support ad hoc previously, but three months ago they hired veteran channels leader Zach Edwards as Director of Channel Sales and Alliances, and he designed this program for them.

“Because we only sell through the channel, we had always planned to do this,” Subramanian said. “We did it now because our sales have been ramping up rapidly. Over 70 per cent of our deals are now coming in from the partners. A few months ago, we began to get inbound interest from EMEA. Having the program is a much better way to scale things than doing them ad hoc.”

The Komprise Konnect Partner Program is very focused on providing support to a fairly select group of partners, rather than using the program to bring in a large number of new feet on the street.

“Our goal is quality and not quantity.” Subramanian said. “As a startup, we are always conscious of how many partners we invest in, and believe that if you go too broad, you can’t invest fully in them. We are looking for partners who will also invest in us in return, rather than just make opportunistic sales.”

Zach Edwards, Komprise’s Director of Channel Sales and Alliances

“We want to develop strong ‘go-to’ partners in each region, and keep the numbers limited enough so that we can build out those relationships,” said Zach Edwards. “We have joint business plans in place, depending on the maturity of the relationship. What we want to avoid is those scenarios where companies say the things they want to do, which is easy, but then in six months nothing happened, because no one took action.”

The new program provides the ‘basics’ of what partners will expect, including deal registration, NFR licenses and appropriate training. A couple of things do stand out, however.

“We have increased the margin that partners get from what it was before,” Subramanian said. “There are also more tools available than there were before, including tools to help partners show our value to customers. Partners are under great pressure to show value. They can show customers if they put the virtual machine in, what it does, with their own data.”

“We are also building tools around our Technology Alliance Partners,” Edwards said.

Komprise designed their solution to be complementary to established storage products, and are partnered with many of them, with Dell EMC and NetApp being the largest.

“Because we are complementary, it doesn’t erode any of partners’ established Tier One vendor business,” Edwards noted. “In fact, it’s the reverse. It allows them to come in as a more consultative approach.

“Partners also like the fact that they can sell different secondary storage along with us, like an object storage platform,” Subramian said. “Our ability to help with the path to the cloud for virtualization is another key channel angle.”