David Cantu, co-founder and COO of Redapt, a Redmond, Wash.-based solution provider and SolidFire partner, said that any company serious about channel business needs a great channel program.
"SolidFire's product is really a solution, which requires specific skill sets to recommend and deploy," Cantu said. "By having a formal channel program, they're showing partners that they value them. And it makes it easier for us to build solutions without worrying about doing all that engineering work up front and then losing it at the eleventh hour to someone for $1 less."
Redapt has been working with SolidFire for about two years, and really likes the vendor's storage quality-of-service concept, Cantu said.
"It appeals to our customers who are highly performance-driven," he said. "For example, service providers want to deliver storage to clients, and measure that performance. SolidFire allows you to do that across multiple clients."
Despite the introduction of the formal Cloud Builders program, SolidFire is not abandoning its direct sales model, said Jay Prassl, vice president of marketing for the vendor.
"We want to work with the smartest minds out there," he said. "Today, our sales are a mix of indirect and direct, and we'll evolve our model going forward."
SolidFire never had a formal channel program before, SolidFire's Cahill said.
"We have been cultivating relationships in the VMware and cloud ecosystems, and now we see it's important to invest in helping partners in those areas to be successful," he said. "We want to make sure we have the foundation in place to address this market."
However, Cahill said, that does not mean building up SolidFire's channel partner base in a haphazard fashion.
"We're not inviting everyone in," he said. "Our definition of success is saying 'no' more than saying 'yes.'"
PUBLISHED NOV. 1, 2013