Exablox also is offering a 50-percent discount to solution providers who wish to purchase a unit on a not-for-resale basis, and can actually get a not-for-resale system at no charge after selling 10 of the appliances.
The company also is spending heavily on market and demand generation, and providing partners with a $300 SPIF for bringing in qualified leads regardless of whether a deal is closed or not. That SPIF is offered on top of the deal-registration bonus, Hookano said.
Solution providers also get recurring revenue opportunities from Exablox, Hookano said.
Maintenance contracts are important for customers, given all the software offered with Exablox's cloud management system, he said. "Even if a customer accidently renews directly with Exablox, we will provide a rebate to partners, less a 3-percent handling fee," he said.
Exablox has done well in designing a solution for midrange customers, said Dean Cohen, a sales representative at Virtual Graffiti, an Irvine, Calif.-based solution provider and Exablox partner.
"It's a beautiful box," Cohen said. "It provides object storage, but customers don't have to be worrying about having the right APIs. It's very SMB-oriented. Customers can mix-and-match hard drives. There's no RAID, but uses nodes instead to protect the data. It's as easy to set up as an appliance from Drobo, but has a lot of powerful features Drobo doesn't offer."
Cohen said Virtual Graffiti expects to see a big marketing push now that Hookano has taken the channel reins at Exablox, based on his experience with Barracuda when Hookano was there.
"They're really on the right track," he said. "I just hope and pray they get the marketing right. If they do, they could be as big as EqualLogic."
PUBLISHED MARCH 25, 2014