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Nexsan Revs Up $7.5M Channel Push

Nexsan Technologies has picked up $7.5 million in venture funding with an aim toward helping push its Assureon product line through the channel.

The company next week also plans to start the first of a series of regional road shows aimed at bringing its solution providers and potential customers together.

The funding came from Solidarity Fund QFL, also known as Fonds de solidarite FTQ, a Montreal-based company that invests in companies based in Quebec.

Nexsan, which sells its storage appliances exclusively through the channel, is based in Woodland Hills, Calif. However, in mid-2005 it acquired Montreal-based Evertrust, a company that had been in stealth mode since 2000 developing software aimed at storage vendors looking to add compliance capabilities to their arrays.

Nexsan eventually used the Evertrust software to develop the Assureon line of appliances with content-addressable storage technology to store fixed content files, images, recordings and other content as objects, allowing searches of documents by date; by fields such as title, location, size and author; by keywords; and by metadata or XML data.

In addition to Assureon, Nexsan also recently introduced Assureon SA, a low-cost version from which some advanced features such as encryption and network security were removed, and the Assureon NX, a version for storing data objects for compliance purposes aimed at integrating with third-party archiving platforms.

Brendan Kinkade, vice president of marketing for Nexsan, said the $7.5 million is a strategic investment in Nexsan primarily aimed at development and go-to-market programs related to the Assureon line.

Nexsan's main product line before it acquired Evertrust was its SATABoy and SATABeast line of low-cost storage arrays.

Bill Allen, president of Enterprise Storage Solutions, a West Lake Village, Calif.-based Nexsan solution provider, said that while he loves the vendor's Assureon product line, the company has definitely needed to do more in terms of marketing the line to the channel.

Allen said Nexsan has not been as aggressive with its Assureon line as he and his peers expected.

"For example, we have some of the top premier accounts for Nexsan for Assureon, but I haven't received any phone calls or e-mails from Nexsan for months," Allen said. "They certainly need to do more. There's been no continuing education or tech updates on Assureon for some time. If they got the investment to promote the product, it will be very good for them."

That help may be coming shortly. Kinkade said Nexsan will run a series of five or six regional channel/customer get-togethers as part of a program called "Covering Your Assets." The first will be held in Los Angeles next week, with others to follow in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Atlanta, and perhaps in Denver, he said.

"We will focus on digital archiving and related topics with users and VARs in the morning," Kinkade said. "The afternoon will be dedicated to VARs."

The Covering Your Assets road show will take the place of an annual VAR conference, Kinkade said. "Instead of meeting two or three people from each VAR at a big conference, we can bring in all their sales people to a local conference," he said. "We can bring in all the people we need."

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