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Scale Computing Attacking 'Over Distributed' VMware With New Ingram Micro Partnership

"Everybody sells VMware. You could say it's over represented, over distributed, which brings down prices and brings down margins for partners," said Scale Computing's Chief Revenue Officer Dave Hallmen.

Scale Computing is aiming to take market share from VMware through its new distribution partnership with Ingram Micro in the United States with a plan to on-board new solution providers and target U.S. metropolitan business areas previously untapped by Scale.

"Everybody sells VMware. You could say it's over represented, over distributed, which brings down prices and brings down margins for partners," said Dave Hallmen, chief revenue officer at Scale, in an interview with CRN. "We offer partners an alternative which is just as capable, even more capably in certain use cases, that would not only allow them to have something unique to offer when everyone else is selling VMware, but also drive a better economic value proposition and more profitability."

The Indianapolis-based hyper-converged infrastructure specialist is currently working with technical consultants within Ingram as well as with the distributor's cloud service division to find new partners to on-board.

[Related: Software-Defined Data Center 50]

Scale is also investing channel dollars in dedicated Ingram field consultants who will work on behalf of Scale to introduce managed service providers to the vendor's flagship HC3 offering. The company previously has a distribution partnership with Ingram although it was limited to only Canada.

"We feel we're underrepresented in terms of coverage. We're working with Ingram to look at the primary metropolitan business areas to ensure we have adequate coverage to compete for business with the other hyper-converged solutions to make sure we're getting access to opportunities and evaluations that we would qualify into as a strong alternative to the standard solutions partners are selling," said Hallmen.

VMware declined to comment.

James Aldridge, vice president of technology for Matrix Integration, a Jasper, Ind.-based Scale and VMware partner, said Scale has the ability to take share from VMware on the hypervisor front in non-enterprise environments due to HC3 ease of use and pricing advantages.

"The biggest differentiator with Scale is not having to pay for the VMware tax. … When you purchase VMware, you have to pay your support fees every year to keep running it and those subscription cost, depending on how big your environment is, can get pretty costly," said Aldridge.

Aldridge said midmarket and SMB customers favor Scale's simplicity and total cost of ownership compared to VMware's hypervisor.

"VMware can be expensive, but it is also a very good product. It has its space in the enterprise. There's obviously a place for it. It's just that there's nothing that's been on the market that's played in the space that Scale is playing in at this point," said Aldridge. "Scale has a huge opportunity to grow inside the U.S. with the help of Ingram."

Scale was named a 'Niche Player' in research firm Gartner's 2018 Magic Quadrant For Hyper-Converged Infrastructure. Gartner said Scale's more than 2,500 customers praised HC3's ease of installation, management and support. VMware was named a 'Leader' in Gartner's HCI report. The research firm said VMware offers the broadest set of hyper-converged solutions either as a turnkey software application, a rack-scale software defined data center solution or as HCI-as-a-Service.

Scott Mann, director of Scale's North America Channel, said his company is now doubling down on attacking U.S.-based MSP's through new field marketing investments and working on promotions with Ingram's marketing team. Scale will be attending Ingram's Trust X Alliance Invitational in May in Colorado with hopes to expand its channel base.

"The MSP business is the new world that's we're just tapping into and Ingram Micro probably has tens-of-thousands of MSP's they sell to on a daily basis," said Mann. "We're very excited about our future."

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