German software-defined archiving company iTernity sees strong expansion potential in strategic HPE alliance

Georg Csajkas, iTernity’s Director Product Management and Business Development

iTernity, a German firm that is focused on archiving software that meets enterprise compliance requirements, is aggressively expanding its presence in North America. Hewlett Packard Enterprise [HPE] is a key strategic partner for them, driving a key component of iTernity’s business. ChannelBuzz recently spoke with iTernity at the HPE Discover event in Las Vegas to check out what the company is up to, and where they are going.

iTernity is based in Freiburg, in southwestern Germany, and was founded in 2005. They make iTernity Compliant Archive Software [iCAS], storage middleware that enables secure, compliant data archiving and long term retention management. It is heavily used in health care, financial services, and other regulated markets.

“At the time iTernity was founded, EMC Centera was the state of the art in this area, but it was essentially a monolithic back box,” said Georg Csajkas, iTernity’s Director Product Management and Business Development. “We came up with the idea that it could be done in a more flexible and feasible way with lower TCO through storage middleware.” iCAS is based on open industry standards, and can be implemented on virtual or physical servers.

iTernity has midmarket customers, but their sweet spot is in larger enterprises who need to meet compliance regulations.

“We sell mainly to larger companies, with a longer sales cycle, who have legally to store data in a future-proof way,” Csajkas said.

iTernity sells entirely through partners. They have their own reseller channel, which includes several global systems integrators including KPMG, but also sell through strategic vendor partners, of which HPE is the most important.

“We have worked with HP since 2007, and leverage their complete portfolio as a target for the files we create,” Csajkas said. “It is our closest and most important relationship, although we do have some others.” These include IBM, Datacore, Scality SUSE and Quantum. They are also partnered with Microsoft around the Azure cloud, and are available in the Azure marketplace.

“We work well with HPE, because they don’t have a product that does what we do, unlike IBM and Dell, which do,” Csajkas noted.

Csajkas described the HPE relationship as critical to their go-to-market.

“It has a strong impact,” he said. “We are still a pretty small company, with under 100 employees, so a huge partner like HPE has a huge affect on our business,” he said. “We are 100 per cent partner-focused and channel-focused, so the impact on us from partners in the HPE cosmos is very important for us. It’s a very big part of our go-to-market.”

Csajkas said that their partners typically are archive focused.

“The large storage partners of HPE aren’t always the best fit for us,” he said. “Resellers buy us through distribution who just want an archiving solution,  but we have key partners who buy through distribution with us on a regular basis. Many of our partners have a strong solution fit.”

iTernity has a large number of strategic ISV partners with whom they integrate. The HPE integration is different, however, because it involves their membership in the HPE Complete program, which also has a go-to-market component. iTernity joined HPE Complete in March 2017, when it was in its beta stage. The HPE Complete program validates strategic vendor partner designs and then take them to market, through both their direct sales, and through their channel partners.

“We are unique in the HPE inventory,” Casajkas said. iCAS was originally validated to work with HPE’s 3PAR storage and HPE high density Apollo servers, but is now placed on a variety of HPE platforms.

“BMW is one of our worldwide customers, using an iTernity and HPE solution that runs on HPE 3PAR,” Csajkas said. “We can run on any kind of HPE platform now though, even Nimble or SimpliVity. Our solution is very slim and runs well on virtualized infrastructure.”