Druva Turns To Channel To Boost Secure Mobile Backup Sales

Steve McChesney

Facing increased pressure from competitors, secure backup and data protection vendor Druva is transitioning away from its direct sales model and will count more on the channel to boost sales of its platform.

Druva executives have pledged to invest heavily in channel development, providing training, deal registration and marketing materials to support an indirect sales model, said Steve McChesney, vice president of business development at Druva. The first phase is the launch this week of its two-tiered partner program, which consists of an authorized level for resellers and a certified level for service providers that receive training and certification. The company currently has eight regional channel managers to support the program, McChesney told CRN.

"We are making an all-in investment in the channel," McChesney said. "We'll allow partners to register a deal they bring to us to get protection, and any deal we bring to them they'll get protection. It's an all-in strategy."

[Related: Cloud Concerns: Today, Data Security Should Trump Worker Productivity ]

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Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Druva launched its inSync product in 2010, combining endpoint backup secure file sharing and data loss prevention capabilities. Druva has seen growth among midsize businesses eager to address the proliferation of mobile devices among employees and the need to support secure file sharing and backup without impacting productivity, according to the company.

Druva was the first vendor to combine secure endpoint backup and file sync into a unified platform. Other vendors added the capability in 2013. Mozy, Code 42 Software and CommVault extended their platforms with file sync, making it more difficult for Druva to differentiate itself among a packed field of competitors, according to research firm Gartner.

The bring-your-own-device trend and more workers depending on mobility to get work done have increased interest in secure backup and file sync, said Shawn Giordano, vice president of sales and marketing at TechXtend, a Shrewsbury, N.J.-based solution provider. The company added Druva's product line to its business intelligence and information management and storage and infrastructure management practices last year.

"This is an add-on for those that have a mobile workforce," Giordano said. "There are some other companies out there taking stabs at doing this, but it's not a true device backup."

Druva's new PartnerSync program provides deal protection, presales and consulting support. A graduated pricing structure increases with sales volume. An authorized partner could get up to 45 percent off list price depending on the size of the deal, McChesney said. Unregistered partners get a flat 5 percent off list price.

Druva's approach is to have a subset of high-touch partners that are technologists and "sticky to their clients," said McChesney, a channel veteran who spent nine years at F5 Networks, most recently as the networking company's regional vice president of channel sales in the Americas.

"When you talk about new technologies like Druva you need partners that have the competency and capability to truly bring a new solution to the customer," McChesney said. "Technical competency is key. There are a lot of partners that have the capability to talk in both storage and security ways. That is ideal but not required."

Druva also has created a special performance incentive fund for partners who commit to getting a proof-of-concept in front of their clients. In addition to co-marketing engagements, the vendor has co-funds available to certified partners for co-branded marketing. The vendor has dedicated more resources for training so new partners can ramp up quickly, McChesney said.

"This is a new opportunity for partners to expand their line cards and get into a space that they're probably not into today," McChesney said. "They can make money not just on product, but on services as well."

The Druva platform provides endpoint backup, data loss prevention capabilities and managed file sharing combined with analytics and reporting capabilities for compliance mandates. A mobile component can address mobile device backup and file syncing, regardless of operating system. Deployment includes on-premise, public cloud and private cloud with support for managed service providers.