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VCE is currently working with key partners to provide more "consistency" with regard to sales planning and "more repeat business with those partners as we go forward," said VCE's Martin.
One top solution provider executive, who did not want to be identified for fear of antagonizing his other converged infrastructure vendor partners, said his VCE sales are up 100 percent this year as a result of strong VCE channel engagement. He said the channel engagement has become a lot stronger under Cisco's Akkiraju.
Bob Olwig, vice president of business development and innovation for World Wide Technology, for his part, has also singled out Akkiraju for driving significant improvements in VCE's channel sales effort. "Praveen has helped make VCE overall a more channel-oriented provider," Olwig said. "We appreciate that. We knew him when he was a business unit vice president at Cisco. He is a strong leader and has carried that over to VCE."
Martin said that the VCE converged infrastructure story is resonating more with customers and partners. "Everyone seems to be buying into the concept," he said. "We are at this tipping point. I believe it is going to be the standard way to buy infrastructure for the data center. There is more customer and partner acceptance."
The VCE sales momentum comes with the company's new Vblock System 100, a remote branch office converged solution, and Vblock System 200, which is being released "shortly" into the market for general availability, said Martin. What's more, he said, VCE plans to recruit more partners to address more of the midmarket opportunity.
As the company expands its partner network, Martin said he wants to make sure that the organization continues to provide a "great partner experience."
"I think we will do it very judiciously," he said of adding partners to beef up the organization's midmarket charge. "What we find is partners that have strong applications skills as well as the networking, server and virtualization skills are really strong for us." He said SAP application environments are one of the most popular for Vblocks along with Microsoft VDI solutions.
Martin says that from the outset VCE knew it had the right converged infrastructure offering. "It has been a tremendous investment," he said. "I think the best times are still ahead of us. I couldn't be more excited about being here at the Cisco Partner Summit and what is in the future for VCE."