SimpliVity Debuts Channel Program To Scale Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Business


Simplivity, George Hope
George Hope, head of global alliances for SimpliVity

Hyper-converged infrastructure solution developer SimpliVity on Wednesday unveiled its first formal channel program as a way to more quickly scale the company's business, amid increased competition in this nascent industry.

The SimpliVity PartnerAdvantage program builds on a previous channel partner program with new benefits and streamlined processes, said George Hope, head of global alliances for the Westborough, Mass.-based vendor.

"It's the evolution of the company," Hope told CRN. "We're growing quickly, but we need to scale, so we're going early into the channel."

Related: Gartner Converged Infrastructure Magic Quadrant: Who's In, Who Didn't Make The List

Hyper-converged infrastructure refers to a software stack featuring compute, storage, networking, virtualization and sometimes other resources that runs on commodity hardware to give customers a solution that is managed as a whole rather than through separate management systems.

Hope declined to provide revenue information to back up his claim about SimpliVity's fast growth and instead said the company's employee count grew about 2.5 times in the past six months to about 300 people.

SimpliVity currently has over 150 customers and over 200 channel partners. Hope explained the large partner-to-customer ratio as being due to ongoing partner recruiting efforts.

"We're investing heavily ahead of revenue," he said.

The vendor offered deal registration like most vendors prior to the SimpliVity PartnerAdvantage program, said Steve Johnson, president and CEO of Corus360, an Atlanta-based solution provider and SimpliVity channel partner. Corus360 specializes in working with businesses like SimpliVity, which become market disrupters.

"Then they brought in a group of guys from EMC," Johnson told CRN. "Those guys understand the channel. Not just the need for discounts, but to provide hard dollars back to partners if they drive the business. Those dollars let me offset the costs of hiring extra consultants and finding additional architects to generate new business."

That "group of guys from EMC" Johnson referred to includes Hope, former director of global channels for EMC's Isilon business, and Mitch Breen, a former EMC and Oracle sales executive. Hope and Breen joined SimpliVity in January.

Building a channel presence as quickly as possible is key for SimpliVity to help it counteract much of the competitive buzz in the hyper-converged infrastructure business.

NEXT: How SimpliVity Handles The Hyper-converged Infrastructure Market Competition