StorONE announces first channel chief and partner program as it looks to build out channel

Channel veteran Bill Cordero takes over channel leadership at StorONE, as the company looks to expand its new channel with the aid of a newly-designed channel program.

Bill Cordero, vice president of worldwide channels, StorONE

Storage software vendor StorONE has announced the appointment of Bill Cordero as their vice president of worldwide channels, while simultaneously announcing the launch of their PartnerONE Program. The moves are designed to drive market penetration of the company’s S1 Enterprise Storage Platform, which has been shipping for about a year.

StorONE launched in late 2017. Gal Naor, their CEO and co-founder, founded dedupe vendor StorWIZE in 2004, and sold it to IBM in 2010 for $140 million.

The StorONE software-defined S1 Enterprise Storage Platform dramatically reduces costs with a simplified storage infrastructure that is protocol independent including fibre, iSCSI, NFS, SMB and S3. All protocols are supported in the same locations, in a seamless layer.

Cordero, who has managed channels at a large number of companies, including Yellowbrick Data, Diamanti, Blue Medora, Rubrik, Tegile Systems, StorSimple, Data Domain – and StorWIZE  – has been brought on board because while the company has always had a 100% channel strategy, the time has become optimal to build that channel out.

“StorONE has been shipping since mid-year last year,” Cordero stated. “Before that, they were an engineering company. This is typically the time when I come into a company, once they have figured out the swimlanes, and it’s time to build a channel to develop scale, to get it in front of the end user.”

That involves making some changes in how StorONE works with partners.

“Our channel strategy until now has been piecemeal and opportunistic,” Cordero said. “I inherited about a dozen VARs, with whom we had been working direct. We are shifting away from that to a sole source model where partners will work through distribution. That will be Climb Solutions, which used to be Lifeboat. They are very good at bringing new brands to market. I worked with them when I was at Data Domain and Rubrik.”

StorONE has had a distribution relationship with Tech Data since 2019, and that continues, but Cordero said it hasn’t really expanded their partner base.

“Tech Data didn’t play a big role in reseller recruitment for us,” he noted. “They have been more of an integration partner.”

While some ad hoc arrangements existed before, the PartnerONE Program is StoreONE’s first.

“There were bits and pieces before, but it was not a formal program,” Cordero noted. “There were some reseller agreements, but nothing was formalized.

The new program is still being built out, although some core components are in place.

“The portal is up and running, and deal registration is up as part of that,” Cordero said. “Our web developer developed it, and did a very nice job of it. We are also quite close to having a sales and technical curriculum ready.” The plan does not include certification, at least at this stage.”

Cordero has used both select and broad channel strategies in the past.

‘With Tegile and Data Doman, the channel was limited, but with Rubrik it was wide open,” he said. “The choice is really ‘do you have a direct and clear competitor?’ Rubrik had one with Cohesity and we wanted to land and expand as quickly as we could. Nobody is doing what we do at StorONE the way that we do it. Limited distribution will give us a higher yield per partner.

In addition to the 12 partners when Cordero arrived three months ago, another 12 have been recruited since.

“We are looking to have 50-75 partners worldwide at the end of this year,” he said. “Then we will assess and determine whether we add more or hold steady.”

StorONE has a global presence, in Asia, EMEA and LatAm as well as North America.

“We are definitely looking at Canada,” Cordero indicated. “Climb has a significant presence in Canada.”