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Wasabi Partner Network To ‘Disrupt Storage’ Market: Exclusive

The cloud storage startup, founded by former Carbonite CEO David Friend, unveils its Wasabi Partner Network program exclusively to CRN in a move to disrupt public cloud storage leaders via channel partners.

With the goal of disrupting the cloud storage market, startup Wasabi Technologies is launching its first-ever partner program to arm the channel with a margin-rich, differentiated storage offering to displace public cloud giants AWS, Google and Azure.

The Wasabi Partner Network is a volume-based incentive program created to boost partner profitability when selling its cloud storage solution that Wasabi says is one-fifth the cost and six times the performance of Amazon S3.

“We already have disruptive pricing. It’s already lower than everybody else’s. Then on top of that, partners are now going to get the volume incentives and they’re going to get cumulative growth,” said Laurie Mitchell, senior director of Partner Marketing for Wasabi in an interview with CRN. “We purposely made the program to be as simple as possible so a partner can get up and running almost immediately. There’s no minimum commitments. There’s no big hurdles you have to leap. There’s no, ‘You have to have ‘X’ number of people certified.’ There’s no program fees. It’s super simple.”

[Related: Wasabi On ‘Weaponizing’ Partners To Defeat AWS, Google and Azure]

The Boston-based cloud storage-as-a-service startup was founded in 2015 by CEO David Friend and CTO Jeff Flowers, who together co-founded the highly successful data protection company Carbonite in 2005. Wasabi’s solution, which is Amazon S3 compatible, is highly differentiated from cloud storage providers like AWS and Google in that it does not include data egress charges or API fees.

Wasabi’s new two-tier partner program includes a partner portal, sales and technical training, marketing resources and volume-based incentives.

“So starting off, you have to have some minimum amount of volume to get the first tier of discount, which will be 100-terabytes. From there, the next level is 5-petabytes of data and you’ll get the next tier of discounts,” said Mitchell. “We have a pay-as-you-go model. So every month you’re going to get a bill for what you actually stored with Wasabi. … If a partner puts 100-terabytes in every month – so then the next month it’s 200-terabytes, next month it’s 300 terabytes – the discount you get is cumulative. So you get paid in perpetuity for as long as that data remains in there and as it is growing, you get more monthly recurring revenue as a partner.”

Wasabi’s unique storage solution has already caught the attention of over 600 channel partners who have been selling Wasabi even before the vendor had any type of channel incentives, partner portal or training. Partners can white-label the Wasabi product and create their own price tag, opening up large margin opportunities.

Gary Kirk, CTO of Contour Data Solutions, a Philadelphia-based Wasabi partner, said Wasabi’s technology and go-to-market approach will “eventually disrupt the storage market.”

“The main issues that our customers suffer from when they make the choice to go with either Azure or AWS is the fact that their final invoice is never what they expect,” said Kirk. “The prices from these vendors are just represented as ‘storage costs’ when this realistically only makes up a max of 50 percent of the final bill. The rest is comprised of different fees, the majority of which is the dreaded egress fees. So what’s the use of using a storage medium where you are heavily penalized for using the data you stored? Contour follows the same philosophy as Wasabi and does not charge for egress fees from our network.”

The Wasabi Partner Network program also includes a partner API created by Wasabi that can integrate into a solution provider’s own provisioning and billing system.

Wasabi channel training and enablement will focus on driving sales around backup and recovery, archiving, data analytics, application development, content delivery, surveillance and the Internet of Things use cases.

The startup has already formed more than 200 technology partnerships with the likes of Actifio, Cohesity, Commvault, Rubrik and Veeam. Wasabi has two data centers in the U.S. and one in Amsterdam with hopes to open a new facility in Asia by the end of 2019.

Mitchell and her team have been building the Wasabi Partner Network for the past six months with the goal of making it “so simple that partners can’t lose interest.”

“It’s the best product ever for the channel because it’s so simple,” Mitchell said. “I’ve worked at other companies where the product and the value prop is so technical and such a difficult sale that it required teams of sales engineers to get trained and certified and all of that. This is the opposite of that. This is an almost no-brainer. Come in, learn about our product, it’s simple to price and it’s simple to sell.”

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