Storage Cloud Provider Egnyte Launches Channel Program, Gets $10M Investment

Cloud file server solution developer Egnyte this month launched its first formal channel program as a way to make it easier for solution providers serving the small and midsize enterprise market to build storage clouds that work with any customer device.

The company also unveiled a new $10 million round of financing from existing and new venture capital investors, as well as the ability to provide secure access to and management of files via an Apple iPad 2 app. The new Series B financing is aimed at helping Egnyte expand into international markets and increase U.S.-based engineering, sales, and marketing capabilities.

Egnyte's hybrid cloud technology combines the accessibility and flexibility of cloud storage with the performance and data protection of a local storage solutions. It automatically detects and synchronizes changes to files on both local drives and in the cloud.

The Egnyte hybrid cloud solution utilizes Netgear's ReadyNAS appliances to build a local storage cloud for high-performance data protection together with any VMware-enabled public storage cloud for further protection, said Filip Kesler, vice president of business development and channels for the Mountain View, Calif.-based vendor.

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Egnyte and Netgear have been working together on the solution since October of 2010. Vineet Jain, Egnyte CEO, said the company is still deciding whether to add another NAS manufacturer to its product line.

The Egnyte hybrid cloud works with nearly any end user device, including Android and iPhone platforms and the iPad 2, Kesler said.

The company's new channel program offers solution providers and service providers three main benefits, he said.

First, Kesler said, the program is simple and straight forward. "It provides resellers with recurring revenue and tiered commissions, a simple sign-up process, free demo accounts, training, deployment assistance, marketing exposure, co-marketing opportunities, and a lead generation program where we pass leads to partners," he said.

Second, Egnyte has made changes to its product to make them more channel friendly. Kesler said the changes include increasing the number of branding and support options that make it easy to provide a customized look and feel, making it easier to integrate with customers' existing solutions, and offering the ability for partners to differentiate their storage cloud offerings.

Egnyte is also including a new portal to help solution provider manage their Egnyte business with the ability to add or change customers and modify customer deployments, he said.

Egnyte is recruiting solution providers who target the small and midsize enterprise market, especially those with customers who have multiple offices and between 10 and 50 users, Kesler said. It is also looking for partners with experience working with customers dealing with regulatory requirements, he said.