Zadara enters into strategic partnership with Ingram Micro and restructures partner program in move to 100% channel model

Zadara also has doubled the number of internal people involved in partner support.

Joe Sacchetti, Head of Channel for Zadara

Enterprise storage-as-a-service provider Zadara, which recently added compute-as-a-service to their portfolio with their February acquisition of NeoKarm, has announced a major restructuring of their zPartner Program, a doubling of their human resources devoted to partner management, and a new strategic relationship with Ingram Micro. The changes are all part of Zadara’s pivot to a 100% channel model that began 18 months ago.

“Our move to becoming all channel is running contemporaneously with our move to establish a global federated edge,” said Joe Sacchetti, Head of Channel for Zadara. “We have 300 Zadara locations, and are growing that to 1000 for lower latency, and the only way we can do this is through partners. With a smaller company and a small reach, we could do that direct, but 18 months ago the company decided to move to a 100% channel program to accomplish this.”

The new strategic partnership with Ingram is a key part of the equation.

“Ingram Micro is a distributor but they are also an aggregator, and they are now offering us their aggregation capabilities.,” Sacchetti said. “This allows us an immediate offering with our partner community that doesn’t require piecing things together. We have a campaign with them now, around Veeam and Zadara. It all comes together on one Ingram invoice.”

While the aggregration part of the Ingram relationship is brand new, it’s not the only new element.

“With Ingram, there is now also the potential for commission advancement for VARs,” Sacchetti stated. “Opex is an annuity game but there are some VARs who are holdouts. Ingram will advance them the commission for the next year. That’s another really significant add.”

Sacchetti noted that this kind of program is possible today only because most VARs have already adapted their business models, with the exceptions tending to be ones where valued salespeople simply won’t do opex. But he also noted that none of the other distributors have yet stepped up to make this kind of offer.

“The strategic partnership with Ingram now breathes life into a much larger audience, Sacchetti stressed.

The changes to the zPartner program have also been enhanced by an increase in human resources

“We’ve supersized our program, and supersized our own team,” Sacchetti said. “We’ve doubled the amount of folks on the channel team in the last month.”

The intent of the new program is to expand the number of partners – but selectively.

“We have to have a larger network of partners that can avail themselves of our edge cloud offering,” Sacchetti said. “However, we still aren’t marketing to the masses. The main goal of the program is to recruit high value partners wherever they might be. If we have a valued partner out on the edge, we want to bring that person along.”

The program is a standard three-tier metallic, which is somewhat different from the previous program’s version.

“At one point we had one tier, and partners suggested we move to a three-tier program,” Sacchetti said. “So we did, but there wasn’t a lot to them. Now we have put more beef into it. Before there were basically three columns for tiers, but now they have a lot more meaning.”

For example, co-op marketing investment funds have been implemented through all the tiers, with the amount varying by tier.

“We had the idea before, but was just the top tier that was eligible,” Sacchetti said. “Now, it’s tiered by Silver, Gold and Platinum.”

A brand new onboarding program has been introduced.

“We now have a 30-60-90 day onboarding program that gives them the training that they need, and where we discuss co-branding and the marketing piece,” Sacchetti indicated. It is bifurcated by MSPs and VARs.

The partner portal has been upgraded.

“The portal continues to evolve,” Sacchetti said. “We have enhanced the cobranded materials in it. Partners can now also use the portal to dial into their  co-op funds.”

The core Technical Support for technical and pre-sales engineers remains unchanged, although they have added training support around the Compute as-a- Service offering that came from the NeoKarm acquisition.

“We don’t have a formal certification program yet, although we will, but we offer all the training that partners can handle,” Sacchetti said.