Pillar Data Eyes Channel With New Program, Storage Array


Pillar Data was funded by Tako Ventures, the venture arm of Larry Ellison, the CEO of Oracle, Redwood Shores, Calif.

Pillar Data is adding a new "Emerald" tier to its partner program to accommodate those solution providers who are able to provide services related to the company's Axiom line, said David Zimmer, vice president of worldwide channel sales for the San Jose, Calif.-based vendor.

The company, which unveiled its first channel program about six months ago, is asking its partners to commit to a minimum revenue target of $1 million per year or $250,000 per quarter, Zimmer said. It also wants them to get a minimum of 3 sales people certified via a self-paced on-line training program, and at least one engineer to be certified via a 5-day technical training program. Emerald-level partners will also need to take part in a minimum of two "shadow installs" where they accompany Pillar Data engineers at customer installations.

In return, Pillar Data is offering its Emerald-level partners a deal registration discount of 20 percent, compared to 10 percent for its non-Emerald partners, Zimmer said. Those partners will also get new services opportunities, he said.

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"We want partners to deliver their own services, and especially do their own installs," Zimmer said. "Historically, Pillar Data has done all the installs, and have asked partners to buy our install services."

Steve Kaplan, CEO of Access Flow, a Sacramento, Calif.-based solution provider which has for the last nine month focused its sales efforts on Pillar Data storage combined with server virtualization from VMware, of Palo Alto, Calif., said that Pillar Data has turned out to be a first-class vendor partner.

"They treat us very well," Kaplan said. "They're very easy to work with."

Kaplan, who has been involved in virtualization technology for years, said that Pillar Data's products do well in virtualized environments. "VMware technology commoditizes storage," he said. "Pillar plays well in that environment."

About 68 percent of Pillar Data's total revenue comes from indirect sales, compared to about 30 percent last year, Zimmer said.

On Tuesday, Pillar Data plans to make available its Pillar Axiom 500-MC, a lower-cost modular version of its enterprise-class Axiom family of storage systems which provide five nines (99.999 percent) availability and non-disruptive data protection, Zimmer said.

The Pillar Axiom 500-MC includes an internal cache of up to 192 Gbytes, and can be configured with up to 1.6 petabytes of a combination of SATA and Fibre Channel drives.