Datos IO Intros Rebellion Channel Program, Looks To Take Advantage Of Investment From Cisco And NetApp To Grow

Datos IO, an application-centric data management technology startup in which Cisco Systems and NetApp have an equity stake, Tuesday unveiled its first formal channel program to help recruit partners interested in working with customers' next-generation cloud applications.

Datos IO, founded in 2014, came to market in 2016 with a technology that manages multiple thousands of copies of data across multi-cloud and hybrid cloud environments.

Datos IO, which has a 100 percent channel focus, introduced its Rebellion channel program featuring high partner margins and deal registration benefits, recurring revenue opportunities, and co-marketing and market development funds, said Peter Smails, vice president of marketing and business development at the San Jose, Calif.-based company.

[Related: Cisco And NetApp Invest In Datos IO, OEM Agreement With NetApp In The Works]

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"As we rapidly grow, it's evident that many large enterprises rely on partners," Smails told CRN. "So we made the commitment to the channel and unveiled our Rebellion channel program."

Smails declined to provide specific numbers related to Rebellion margins.

Datos IO is going after what Smails said is a largely untapped cloud-first data protection and data management market.

"The problems we're solving are problems no one else is solving," he said. "But we're not doing it via rip and replace. This is for new applications, and so it's net-new opportunities for channel partners. And it's a 100 percent software solution, so there's no chasing after a new hardware scheme."

Datos IO's channel approach fits well with the investment it received from Cisco and NetApp, Smails said.

"The Cisco-NetApp advantage has been a real boon for us," he said. "It speaks to a recurring theme: Our momentum is grounded in the fact that traditional enterprises are moving to new applications. Next-generation apps and the cloud are incredibly relevant to Cisco and NetApp."

That tie to Cisco and NetApp is very important to the channel, said Ned Engelke, chief technology officer at Evotek, a San Diego-based solution provider and partner of all three vendors.

"NetApp and Cisco have their visions of hybrid cloud environments," Evotek's Engelke told CRN. "They are pushing visions that incorporate Datos IO. For us, this reduces the sales friction."

While the Cisco and NetApp investments in Datos IO can make it easier to bring the startup's offering to customers, it is Datos IO's capabilities that really can seal a deal, Engelke said.

Customers over the past 18 months have been talking about how to support transactional data or big data, he said. However, he said, the typical offering does not easily tie these technologies to IT and data protection.

"We think Datos IO ties closely to other parts of our portfolio as a way to expand our footprint with our customers," he said. "So if a salesperson goes to a customer who says it has a Mongo database, the rep can say, 'Yep, we have a way to protect that data.' This satisfies a business app need for customers and makes them happy, and gives us an opportunity for horizontal expansion."

That ability to expand the footprint in the customer's IT infrastructure is a real differentiatior for Datos IO, Engelke said.

"Most startups say, 'Yeah, we've got the 37th all-flash array you saw this week,'" he said. "There's very thin differentiation. It all defaults to price. That's a boring business for us. Datos IO lets us differentiate."