CRN Exclusive: Turbonomic Doubles Down On Channel Commitment With Overhauled, Hybrid-Cloud Focused Program


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Turbonomic is launching a completely overhauled channel program designed to help partners capitalize on a hybrid cloud market that is increasingly confusing for customers.

The overhaul eliminates weaknesses in the program's previous iteration and helps position Turbonomic more prominently as the go-to vendor for customers looking to get the most out of their cloud dollar. The company has about 300 partners today.

"The new program validates why we've been partnering with [Turbonomic] more heavily," said Jack Kaiser, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Aqueduct Technologies, a Waltham, Mass., solution provider that works with Turbonomic. "When we introduce Turbonomic to our customers, they have that 'a ha' moment, and the new program will make it easier for us to work with them."

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Customers are moving toward hybrid and multi-cloud strategies as they realize the public cloud can be unreasonably expensive if not utilized properly, and Boston-based Turbonomic is at the center of that movement, Kaiser said.

"IT departments are being told they need to go to the cloud, and there's a perceived view that it saves money, but in a lot of cases it doesn't," Kaiser said. "With Turbonomic, you know what workloads should go to the cloud. Many customers have been burned by putting everything in the cloud. You're not getting the performance, you're not getting the savings. Turbonomic is in a hot market, and this is a new commitment to the channel. We've done well with Turbonomic in the past, but our organization in the last six to eight months has had more of a focus on Turbonomic and it's starting to pay off."

Turbonomic's software can, within as little as 30 minutes, assess customers' workloads and how efficiently they're provisioned on-premises or in the cloud. Customers can use Turbonomic to right-size on-premises workloads before moving them to the public cloud to ensure they're not overpaying. Once in the cloud, Turbonomic can continually optimize those workloads.

The new program is the brainchild of Chris Sullivan, the former Cisco Systems, VCE and Hortonworks channel leader who was hired by Turbonomic in mid-February. Sullivan built the program to give partners the necessary tools to offer full life-cycle services around Turbonomic's workload automation software.

Sullivan said the program primarily brings together a stronger set of training and enablement capabilities designed to give partners a clear path to profitability. "We have to have a predictable, profitable structure in order for partners to be able to be motivated to make an investment, to rotate their go-to-market to include us, and the company is 100 percent supportive."

The new program includes an online-based curriculum for accreditation and training on Turbonomic's technology, how it can be positioned, architected, implemented and supported. "We're focused on ensuring partners can own the entire life cycle of the customer experience," Sullivan said. "That's really, really important to us, and it really motivates partners to come into the program. They can holistically drive a relationship where they can really own the entire customer experience."

The program also includes a new MDF element that allows partners to co-brand and create their own initiatives to sell Turbonomic technology. Sullivan said a number of Turbonomic partners are developing managed services offerings and said the hybrid cloud environment demands that customers are able to use Turbonomic's software across multiple avenues of deployment.

Sullivan joined Turbonomic about 90 days ago, less than a year after the company signed former Microsoft sales leader Jennifer Heard as channel chief. Her role has since changed to focus exclusively on the company's partnerships with public cloud giants Microsoft and Amazon Web Services as senior vice president of cloud partnerships.

The company also recently hired VMware veteran Chris Gorecki as vice president of global channels. Sullivan said the team, and the program, are focused on rapid growth.

"The credibility those people provide our partners and the confidence they provide when they say, 'Hey, I'm at Turbonomic now', is a huge resource and a huge asset to us, but we need to deliver value from a programmatic perspective right away. That's why we've spent the last 90 days building a world-class team and restructuring the program," Sullivan said.

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