Zenoss Launches Channel Program

Zenoss, developer of a popular IT monitoring and analytics solution built from open-sourced technologies, has never been much of a channel company.

That's all changing with the launch of a new partner program, said Patrick Emerson, the company's new vice president of business development and channels.

The Austin, Texas-based vendor has recognized that a vibrant channel is the most effective way to meet the growing demand for a product used by enterprises and managed services providers alike to monitor dynamic IT environments, from on-premises data centers, to virtualized cloud and converged IT infrastructures.

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Emerson spent the last eight years at EMC, where he held the position of vice president of channels. He has been tasked with building out the Zenoss Partner Network and fostering a global partner ecosystem that drives revenue opportunities for solution providers offering converged infrastructure, data center migrations and cloud implementation solutions.

"We have customer demand all over the world, and the partner program needed to grow," Emerson said of Zenoss.

Solution providers that join the nascent program will gain access to product development, testing and training resources, will receive reseller discounts, and marketing and management support.

"If you think about what's going on in the industry as organizations build out their infrastructure to support public, private and converged infrastructure, they're creating a fair amount of complexity," Emerson said, adding Zenoss is designed to manage that degree of complexity.

Early partners include global IT consultant Wipro, which will incorporate the Zenoss technology into their cloud infrastructure reference architecture. Solution providers OnX and CloudFX are also on board the partner program.

As an OEM vendor for Cisco UCS, Zenoss has a thriving relationship with the networking giant. One vector for channel growth is recruitment of Cisco's channel partners, Emerson said.

But beyond that Cisco relationship, Emerson told CRN, "I’m building the rest of the channel program right now from scratch. These recent partners have materialized over the last 100 days."

Emerson said the company is looking to grow its channel robustly and "we're certainly going to be out aggressively recruiting folks."

"The function for channels and business development is meant to be complementary and a significant strategic vector. We're taking this seriously," Emerson told CRN.

Zenoss' channel revenue currently represents less than 10 percent of all sales. Emerson expects that ratio to possibly triple over the next year, and to eventually level off at the 70 percent or 80 percent mark.

Zenoss open-sourced its core product soon after its founding in 2005, but offers an enterprise version replete with service, support and customization. A community of developers have built plug-ins around the product.

Emerson said the enterprise offering is roughly 70 percent product and 30 percent service.

The Zenoss solution provides a unified, single-pane view of everything from the operating system, applications and network devices, to compute, storage and virtualized components. It's used in small data centers and at scale by large cloud providers.

Rackspace, Verizon, Telstra, Accenture and Cisco all use Zenoss in their managed environments for operating and optimizing the services they provide their customers, according to Emerson.

More than 35,000 organizations use the open-source product and about 250 are enterprise customers. But convergence in the industry is creating demand for more comprehensive solutions, he said.

The company's next-generation enterprise version will be released early next year, adding functionality around end-user application management in both bare metal and virtualized environments, Emerson told CRN.