Fast-growing hyper-converged virtualization appliance maker Scale Computing is rolling out its first multi-tier channel program as part of a massive mid-market offensive.
Scale Computing CEO Jeff Ready said the channel expansion will boost the company's fervent following among small- and mid-size business customers anxious to avoid what he calls exorbitant VMware licensing fees.
Scale shipped 1,600 appliances in 2016, saving customers an estimated $32 million in VMware licensing costs, he said. "VMware just doesn't understand the mid-market segment," he said. "There is a disconnect."
[Scale Computing CEO: 'VMware Alternative' Saves $32 Million In Licensing Fees]
Scale's channel partners are saving customers money and finding opportunities to add services into their Scale-based hyper-converged solutions, Ready said. "The partners actually make more money because they are providing services in addition to straight-up infrastructure, and we steal a customer from VMware," he said. "Ultimately that is what we have been doing for the last four and a half years with our product - taking customers from VMware."
CRN reached out to VMware for comment and will update if we hear back.
Now Scale is aiming to increase its partner base from 200 partners to 1,000 partners over the course of this year, said Kevin Greenwood, senior director of global channels at the Indianapolis-based company.
"The product is there," said Greenwood, referring to the rave reviews the company's HC3 appliance is getting from midmarket customers who say they are seeing on average 50 percent to 68 percent savings by switching to Scale and cutting or eliminating VMware licensing costs. "We are now ready to take our message to the market. We're ready to bring on a significant number of partners, invest in them, and be successful with them."
The new program, which includes a Silver and Gold level as well as an invitation-only Platinum level, comes after the 10-year-old company added a dozen new features to its mainstay product in 2016 and doubled its sales over the last year through a channel force made up primarily of large national solution providers.
The Scale Computing Channel program provides the highest-level status based on certifications, dealer registration, field sales engagement and cluster sales
The minimum requirement for a Gold partner is two certified presales engineers, two certified sales reps, two deal registrations a quarter and four cluster sales.
A cluster, in Scale Computing's terms, can be as small as a single node, although a minimum of three nodes is typically sold to provide high availability, Greenwood said. "A three-node cluster starts at under $25,000 MSRP," he said. "We don't want to tie partner tiers to dollars. We want to tie the tiers to bringing in customers and engaging with new prospects."