EXCLUSIVE: Maxta to offer pre-configured HCI appliances through Arrow

In a related announcement, Maxta announces a new relationship with large account reseller Connection, which will be able to leverage these new pre-configured appliances.

Andrew Perry, Maxta’s Senior VP of Worldwide Sales

Hyper-converged [HCI] software vendor Maxta has announced a pair of related announcements designed to significantly expand their go-to-market mechanism. They have signed on distributor Arrow to offer pre-configured systems which combine Maxta’s HCI software with industry standard servers. The Arrow relationship is for North America at the moment, but the plan is to extend it globally. Maxta has also signed on Large Account Reseller Connection to leverage their large sales force. Connection will have access to these new products from Arrow.

“The software-defined data centre is the future, and I believe that our software-defined storage model is the right business model for it,” said Andrew Perry, Maxta’s Senior VP of Worldwide Sales, who heads up their channel. “HCI in particular provides a great opportunity for a software-defined model. There is, however, a big challenge in taking it to market, in that having the software separate leaves the reseller to piece together the solution.”

The new relationship with Arrow is designed to address this issue. Maxta has previously provided reference architectures for the major industry standard server OEMs, but they have never previously engaged a distributor to provide this kind of service.

“We have used distribution on a very limited basis in the past, for fulfilment to large national VARs that we wouldn’t write paper on directly,” Perry said. “Using them for the kind of leverage we are doing here is a net-new.”

So why hasn’t Maxta done this before, given the logicality of this approach for a software-defined vendor?

“We have been working on developing this for some time, but it really required the maturity of the company to reach a certain point,” said Barry Phillips, Maxta’s Chief Marketing Officer. “It is expensive in terms of both time and resources to do this kind of development. However, the company has become successful globally and is growing at a fast pace. So it became time for us to inject this into our model.”

The Maxta software will be bundled with servers from either Dell, Intel, Lenovo, or Supermicro.

In addition to validating the pre-configured solutions, Arrow will provide financing through  Arrow Capital Solutions, and make the systems available through ArrowLink, Arrow’s e-commerce web portal solution.

“We chose Arrow for this because we really liked their offering,” Perry said. “They were the most flexible in building the range of preconfigured appliances we wanted. We needed the bundling capabilities that they offer and the Accounts Receivable that they provide, to give us the breadth and coverage that we require.”

“These preconfigured systems are important, but Arrow will also sell the software alone, so we can offer both business models together,” Phillips said.

Perry described the Arrow deal and the new relationship with Connection as being joined at the hip, because these new bundles will be critical

“Connection does three billion in sales a year, and a lot of that is mass market,” he explained. “They do do a lot of data centre work as well though, and have been great at getting customers who want to replace their traditional infrastructure with HCI to bring us in. They want to be able to sell these kinds of bundles, and can use the help from Arrow to piece the stuff together easily.”

Maxta has high expectations of what Connection will be able to do for their mid-market business.

“They do a very large business in the midmarket across North America,” Perry said. “Although Maxta can benefit any company of any size, we do see a lot of traction with midmarket customers. They will accelerate our presence there tremendously with their massive inside sales teams. We have seen them be very successful there with other products.”

Perry said that Maxta has multiple positive differentiating factors that encourage a reseller to sell them, as well as a customer to buy them.

“We sell at a very attractive price point, that allows for high reseller margin,” he said. “Our perpetual one-time license, which can run on VMware or Red Hat KVM, allows you to move workloads around without penalty. A lot of customers are interested in moving to KVM to avoid the “VM tax,” and Red Hat is well positioned for the next generation of VMs and containers. That’s a great thing for both customers and resellers.”

Perry also stressed that Maxta’s architecture is different from other HCI products.

“Most HCI solutions are ‘one size fits all,’ which makes it easy, but the challenge in most virtualized environments is you don’t just have one application type, but a mix of many,” he said. “That approach means that you can run into performance challenges from the applications, and also doesn’t recognize that some apps are more important than others. Our architecture is focused on applications down to the VM, allowing for different parameters and different service levels. We are very good at mixed workloads. You don’t have to build separate clusters for VDI, SQL and Exchange.”

Both the new bundles and the Connection presence should help Maxta attain its goals for the Canadian market

“We are definitely expanding in Canada this year,” Perry said.”