A Higher Gear: OpenStack Startup Platform9 Launches Channel Program


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Platform9, an OpenStack startup that's looking to simplify deployment and management of the open-source cloud operating system, launched a formal channel program Monday.

Sirish Raghuram, the company's co-founder and CEO, told CRN that sales and marketing efforts are kicking into another gear as Platform9 sees greater traction with enterprise customers, and a formal channel structure will help build on that momentum.

The startup, co-founded by former VMware engineers in Sunnyvale, Calif., sells a cloud-based management platform that helps companies quickly deploy self-service OpenStack private clouds within their existing data center environments.

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Platform9 has been piloting the channel program for four months and is launching with more than a couple of dozen partners.

"We've already seen them bring in customers and source customers and close customers by themselves," Raghuram said, adding that "all the business we get inbound gets closed by the channel."

Platform9 takes a Software-as-a-Service approach to deploying OpenStack, offering a dashboard that enables visibility into infrastructure across compute, storage, network and existing workloads, said Raghuram. The service is agnostic to both hardware and the virtualization platform that underlies it.

"Our customers can use OpenStack and leverage it without having to deal with the complexity of deploying, monitoring, troubleshooting and managing OpenStack," he said.

Many of the inaugural partners already have hardware practices focused around Cisco Systems, NetApp and VCE. "They can continue to do all of that and just lay an OpenStack overlay on top of that," Raghuram told CRN.

The new channel program allows partners to sign up for formal financial and training incentives, collaborate with Platform9 engineers and request on-site visits from them. The program defines financial incentives for business Platform9 brings to its channel, and for business that partners generate.

The advance of OpenStack in the enterprise market is striking, Raghuram told CRN.

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