ZeroStack, Hyper-Converged OpenStack Startup, Launches Channel Program

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ZeroStack, a startup looking to simplify OpenStack deployment through a hyper-converged appliance, on Tuesday launched a formal channel program as part of its effort to start recruiting a wider base of partners.

Roughly two months after the general release of its first product, the company out of Mountain View, Calif., introduced a formal program structure, as well as training and financial incentives for potential partners, Sean Cardenas, ZeroStack's vice president of sales and operations, told CRN.

"Bringing new technology to the channel has always been a challenge at this stage," Cardenas, who spent years at NetApp and built up the sales organization at Nutanix, told CRN. For partners, "there's always been a hesitancy and reluctance to embrace new technology for fear that it's not fully vetted or the right fit for the customer."

[Related: ZeroStack Emerges From Stealth With Hyper-Converged OpenStack Appliance]

But the ease of use of ZeroStack's solution, and its uniqueness in the market, is breaking down that traditional barrier to recruiting a channel, he said.

ZeroStack makes it possible for partners to drop into a customer data center a scale-out appliance, connect to a Software-as-a-Service portal, and have their customers running an OpenStack cloud in about an hour, Cardenas said.

"On a daily basis, they're being asked about the maturity of OpenStack," Cardenas said of inquiries from enterprise customers to partners. Those customers want to know what hybrid options are available to them, and any way they can get away from pricier models.

ZeroStack, in the two months since the product's release, has designed a couple of programs and started training partners, treating its channel as an extension of its sales organization, he said.

"We're basically just wrapping details around what we had envisioned from the start," Cardenas said.

The company is also offering financial incentives to partners under a program with the politically topical heading: Make Cloud Great Again.

"We're working very close to partners to make sure there's significant margin in these deals for them," he said.

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