Partners: Cisco-SimpliVity Partnership Is Driving Hyper-Converged Sales Growth

Solution providers say the partnership between Cisco Systems and SimpliVity is paying off in significant hyper-converged sales growth in the data center market.

The Cisco-SimpliVity solution is gaining traction in the data center with Cisco sales reps who see the partnership helping them win deals with the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) and the Cisco UCS Management platform that they otherwise would have lost to a hyper-converged highflier such as SimpliVity.

They said the Cisco-SimpliVity UCS combination, which began shipping 14 months ago, has much higher margins than the SimpliVity OmniCube solution powered by a Dell server.

[Related: Solution Provider - Why SimpliVity's New Program Is Unique]

Sponsored post

Dan Serpico, CEO of San Francisco-based FusionStorm, No. 47 on the 2015 CRN Solution Provider 500, said the "three-way" partnership between Cisco, SimpliVity and FusionStorm is paying off in meaningful sales growth.

"Our Cisco relationship is one of the principal reasons why we are involved in this relationship with SimpliVity," said Serpico. "Cisco is a very important partner to us and we are seeing meaningful traction with the Cisco field teams today. We are doing a lot of joint call blitzes with the Cisco-SimpliVity teams to drive the solution."

SimpliVity sales have been growing one quarter after another with record sales in the most recent quarter, said Serpico. "We saw seven figure-sales around SimpliVity in Q4 and we have an even larger sales pipeline going forward," he said. "We never imagined that a year ago. It has happened really quickly. We are all in with SimpliVity."

Ron Dupler, CEO of GreenPages Technology Solutions, Kittery, Maine, No. 159 on the 2015 CRN SP500, said the company also is seeing "momentum" with the Cisco-SimpliVity partnership.

"We are seeing good traction and have some huge-impact first-quarter deals," said Dupler. "For people that own [Cisco] UCS or are considering UCS, it gives them a hyper-converged play."

SimpliVity's sales momentum mirrors the kind of sales spike GreenPages has seen in the past from breakthrough disruptive technologies, said Dupler.

"SimpliVity is becoming a really important solution and partner for us," he said. "It's a very differentiated solution. Once our customers get their hands on it and see what it does for them in terms of their IT operations and all of the technologies it displaces, it's a no-brainer. It is very compelling."

SimpliVity CEO Doron Kempel, for his part, said SimpliVity Cisco OmniStack sales have far exceeded the company's expectations, growing five times higher than initial projections. He said SimpliVity, Westborough, Mass., has teamed with about 100 Cisco solution providers throughout the world and that sales in the most recent quarter doubled compared to the preceding quarter's high mark.

"It's growing in significant chunks in terms of the number of deals, the size of the deals, the recognition of customers," he said. "It's been very valuable for us."

Among the recent big deals won by SimpliVity Cisco OmniStack partners: a government agency that has been courted by public cloud vendors and a service provider that standardized on the Simplivity Cisco OmniStack platform.

Kempel said the biggest SimpliVity Cisco OmniStack game-changer, though, is a solution provider win that resulted in a Global 100 behemoth putting the platform in all its data centers as a part of technology refresh. "That's hundreds of systems with a rollout plan for 2016," he said. "This particular deal changes the narrative. The customer has chosen SimpliVity hyper-convergence to transform all their data centers. This is a big deal in terms of our relationship with Cisco. It mean hyper-convergence is not limited."

Kempel said the Cisco relationship has opened the door with some of the biggest and most powerful strategic service providers in the market. "Cisco has a certain halo," he said."The relationship goes well beyond dollars. It has to do with getting the right attention, and not just the very large partners, but the very large deals."

The growth comes even as San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco, which has been unable to crack the hyper-converged market with its own hyper-converged solution, eyes alternatives like Springpath.

CRN reported earlier this month that Cisco is preparing a new hyper-converged appliance that combines its UCS servers with technology gained from an OEM agreement with hyper-converged software startup Springpath.

Cisco also made an undisclosed investment in Springpath, which was founded in 2012 by former VMware storage engineers as Storvisor and emerged from stealth mode under its new name last February, sources said.

A Cisco spokesman declined to comment. Springpath representatives didn't respond to a request for comment.

"We understand that Cisco is investing in Springpath and maybe Cisco will acquire Springpath, and that's fine," said Kempel. "And when I say that's fine, I'm not dismissing anybody. I'm just saying there's significant traction with Cisco and I don't see a reason why that would diminish."

One solution provider, who did not want to be identified, said Springpath has a "long way to go" to catch up to SimpliVity.

Cisco, for its part, is not commenting on whether it is going to introduce its own hyper-converged platform. "Cisco's open-platform strategy is clearly accelerating success for our partner ecosystem in this high-growth segment," said Dhritiman Dasgupta, vice president of Cisco data center marketing, in an email. "Customer demand is demonstrating Cisco UCS to be the ideal foundation for hyper-convergence, where simplicity, performance and scalability are essential. "

MARK HARANAS contributed to this story.