5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

For the week ending Sept. 13, CRN takes a look at the companies that brought their 'A' game to the channel.


The Week Ending Sept. 13

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is HashiCorp, which has undertaken a major overhaul of its channel program and is redirecting a significant amount of its business to partners.

Also making the "Came to Win" list this week are Kaseya for its new compliance-as-a-service offering for MSP partners, Google Cloud for its move to better align its channel efforts with internal sales operations to better compete with AWS and Microsoft, Western Digital for a savvy acquisition in the NVMe-over-Fabric technology space, and Trifacta for an impressive $100 million funding round.

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Not everyone in the IT industry was making smart moves this week, of course. For a rundown of companies that were unfortunate, unsuccessful or just didn't make good decisions, check out this week's 5 Companies That Had A Rough Week roundup.

HashiCorp Shifts Channel Focus To Specialization, Redirects Enterprise Accounts To Partners

Fast-growing DevOps company HashiCorp wins kudos this week for its ambitious plan to restructure its channel efforts, including undertaking a serious overhaul of its channel program and redirecting a significant amount of the company’s business—including enterprise accounts—to partners.

This week Michelle Graff, HashiCorp’s new channel chief, told attendees at the company’s partner conference that a revamp of the HashiCorp Partner Network also will include a shift from an emphasis on sales volume to a focus on partner specialization.

The moves are part of HashiCorp’s plans to become a channel-led sales organization. The company’s “enterprise sales” organization, which oversees accounts below the Fortune 500, currently realizes 70 percent of revenue internally. In a phased process, HashiCorp plans to flip that ratio and achieve 50 percent channel sales in this current quarter, then 75 percent by the next quarter and 90 percent by Feb. 1.

The new program is also abandoning the traditional Silver, Gold and Platinum tiers based on sales volume and replacing them with Enabled, Specialized and Hyper-Specialized tiers in which partners are classified based on certifications.

Kaseya Invests $10M In New Business Unit To Provide MSPs With Compliance-As-A-Service

Many managed service providers lack the in-house expertise and financial resources to provide their clients with compliance capabilities and services. Kaseya took a big step this week toward meeting those needs by investing $10 million in a new compliance-focused business unit that will help the vendor’s MSP partners bring compliance-as-a-service to their clients.

The business unit, which is using technology from Kaseya’s acquisition of RapidFire Tools in 2018, is being managed by longtime MSP-focused executive Max Pruger, senior vice president and general manager of compliance at Kaseya.

Through the new business unit, Kaseya can offer its MSP partners compliance-as-a-service capabilities, such as HIPAA or PCI compliance, along with the necessary training, coaching and collateral materials.

Google Cloud Steps Up Enterprise Attack On Microsoft, AWS With Major Sales Restructuring

Google Cloud is taking its competition with rivals Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure to the next level with a major sales restructuring that places thousands of channel partners under its field sales organization in a bid to better align them with internal sales teams.

Google partners told CRN that the move makes them an extension of the sales organization in every part of the world where Google operates, boosting co-selling efforts in the market and greatly improving the overall customer experience. Under the current structure, deals sometimes ran up parallel channel and internal sales tracks.

Partners also anticipate the new structure will empower sales leaders to better assist partners by giving them greater authority to negotiate, structure and discount prices and margins on potential channel engagements.

Google has yet to put the new structure into operation and at least one partner was concerned the plan decentralizes the channel organization and partners could lose their partner development managers. Time will tell whether the plan succeeds, but Google Cloud is clearly no longer content with the status quo.

Western Digital Acquires NVMe-oF Startup Kazan

Data storage vendor Western Digital this week acquired Kazan Networks, a developer of NVMe-over-Fabric (NVMe-oF) technology, ASICs and adapters used in assembling high-performance data center storage systems.

NVMe-oF technology provides a way to pool flash storage so as to allow those pools to scale independently of compute resources. Servers can access flash storage inside their own chassis as well as outside the chassis and rack, providing maximum use of flash storage because capacity not needed by one server can be used by others.

Western Digital plans to leverage Kazan Networks’ technology to boost the company’s storage infrastructure capabilities and performance and expand its competitive position in disaggregated data infrastructure.

‘Data Wrangling’ Firm Trifacta Raises $100M In Financing

Trifacta has raised $100 million in a new round of financing the data preparation software developer will use to expand its sales and marketing efforts into new geographies and new vertical markets.

The Series E funding, which brings Trifacta’s total financing to $224.3 million, comes as the company reports that the number of users of the company’s software has tripled in the last year.