Diamanti, Already All-In On Channel, Launches Its First Partner Program

The startup behind a hyper-converged platform for running containerized apps does all its business through partners, but a new channel chief is looking to formalize and expand those alliances in a heating market.

Diamanti's hyper-converged platform geared for containerized applications has gone to market exclusively through the channel since the startup's early days, even without a formal partner program.

But now that new channel chief Bill Cordero announced the launch of the Diamanti Edge program earlier this week, with a new partner portal, the San Jose, Calif.-based company expects to build more alliances with solution providers looking to accelerate container-based digital transformations.

Cordero, who started in January as Diamanti's vice president of worldwide channels, told CRN he's been involved with 11 startups over his career but has never seen one so quickly go all-in on a channel strategy—even sans a formal program.

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The "portfolio of large partners we have at this stage is quite unique," Cordero, who previously led channels for Blue Medora, and before that UpGuard and Rubrik, told CRN.

The reason is almost every enterprise is looking to transform its IT infrastructure with containers, but it's not easy to cobble together the on-premise infrastructure necessary to make that a reality. And cloud isn't always an alternative.

Diamanti is the only company out there, Cordero said, that sells a purpose-built appliance packaged with Kubernetes, Docker Community Edition, and a control plane to manage container deployments. The container platforms run on bare-metal to optimize efficiencies and savings.

"Everybody is looking for an opportunity to get into the container space, but it's so complex and so convoluted. To deliver a solution to your end user can be prohibitive," Cordero told CRN.

Diamanti's customers tend to be Global 1,000 enterprises with large and established DevOps teams. They're looking to implement digital transformation initiatives, replacing legacy applications and databases with containerized open source solutions.

"The main use case is total refactoring for cost savings and agility," Cordero told CRN.

Partners have been a powerful force driving adoption of the Diamanti hyper-converged infrastructure. In the last quarter, the channel contributed net new pipeline that went well-beyond his expectations, Cordero said.

Diamanti will look to engage more types of partners through its new program, including smaller regional integrators, he said.

Solution providers find Diamanti an attractive partner because of large deal sizes, relatively fast sales cycles, and healthy margins, he said.

Many of its recent customers have come back after their first purchase to expand their hyper-converged footprint, even as they integrate the on-premises solution with hyper-scale public clouds for a hybrid environment, Cordero told CRN.

The startup founded in 2014 has seen early go-to-market traction with some of the industry's largest technology integrators and resellers, including CDW, SHI, Presidio and Technologent.

Brian Raposo, executive vice president for global and strategic accounts at Technologent, said the global IT solutions provider was an early proponent of deploying containers on bare-metal, which drew him to Diamanti's solution.

The hyper-converged container platform reinforces Technologent's go-to-market strategy of extending cloud-native applications beyond the physical data center, Raposo told CRN.

"Our customers have seen early success with Diamanti by reducing their Kubernetes builds to minutes. resulting in follow-on sales for both of us," he said.

The industry's rapid adoption of containers is driven by customer demand for speed and agility. But implementing technology is typically easier than culture and process.

Diamanti's solution helps Technologent ease administration and implementation of container platforms, freeing up resources to focus on those thornier issues.

Raposo told CRN he has worked with Cordero through some of his previous companies, and praises the new channel leader's "track record of removing obstacles for channel partners."

That focus resonates through the new program, he said.