Arkeia Launching Channel Program At LinuxWorld

The company, which traditionally has used the electronic software distribution model to sell its software, is now looking to recruit solution providers with strong storage and Linux experience, said Rick DiViesti, director of sales at Arkeia, Carlsbad, Calif.

The company's software offers backup and disaster recovery capabilities to companies with 10 to 500 employees and to departments of larger companies, DiViesti said. It includes support for disk-to-disk backups and NAS appliance backups, he said.

About 65 percent of Arkeia's North American business already comes from the channel, which DiViesti called significant since the company only started working with the channel in North America during the fourth quarter of 2004. Arkeia hopes the new program will boost this number to 90 percent, he said.

The new program offers solution providers unlimited pre-sales support either on-site, at Arkeia's offices or via Web conferencing, DiViesti said. Also included in the program is free internal licenses for testing, a lead protection program and renewable annuities as customers continue to purchase software licenses, he said.

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Solution providers can also bundle CDs with 30-day trial versions of Arkeia's software, including free support, with their other storage products, giving them a chance to go back to customers to sign up for the full version, he said.

Arkeia also co-sponsors trade show and direct marketing activities, DiViesti said. At LinuxWorld, for instance, the company will have a different solution provider working the Arkeia booth with company officials, he said.

Al Conte, principal at Sourcetek Systems, a Portsmouth, N.H.-based solution provider, said that Arkeia's solutions have become his primary data protection software for several reasons.

For instance, said Conte, while the software works on Linux and Unix servers, it has clients for other operating systems such as Windows. And, unlike many other software vendors that charge the same price regardless of what types of clients customers use, Arkeia divides the different clients into three categories with different prices for each so that the charge for a Windows client is less than for a Solaris client, he said.

Arkeia has worked with solution providers like Sourcetek on an informal basis for some time, said Conte, and he is glad to see a formal channel put in effect. "They seem to understand us as evidenced by this channel program," he said. "They realize they need the feet on the street."

While Conte does some business with larger software vendors such as Veritas and EMC/Legato, he said he prefers to working with smaller vendors such as Arkeia and San Diego-based BakBone Software because of the service he gets from them. "With Arkeia, I'm a bigger fish," he said. "Veritas and EMC don't know who I am."