Object Storage Standout Scality Taps Solution Provider Superstar Mark Kelly To Lead Channel Charge

Steven Burke

Mark Kelly, a 20 year solution provider veteran who has held high level executive positions with ePlus, OnX Enterprise Solutions and Logicalis, has been hired as the first ever channel chief for highly regarded object storage provider Scality.

"It's exciting to be able to take that 20 years of experience as a solution provider and bring it to a company with great technology and a great story to tell in order to take the partner business to the next level," said Kelly.

Scality has already built out strong OEM relationships with industry leaders including Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Dell EMC, Cisco, Microsoft, Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Now, as the new vice president of Americas channels at Scality, Kelly said he is looking forward to building out no-nonsense "prescriptive" partnerships to break open new line of business/vertical market opportunities for partners.

"This is all about how a partner can make money in specific verticals and use cases," said Kelly. "Rather than throwing a bunch of stuff at the wall, we are looking at specific areas- whether it is in healthcare or cloud services – where we can work with partners to take a very prescriptive approach in how we attack the market together."

Kelly said he is looking forward to working with long time data center solution providers to tap into the great relationships those partners have built over many years with CIOs and IT procurement executives. "What we want to do is help partners have a different conversation/entry point into the customer," he said.

At the same time, Scality is looking to drive deeper relationships with born in the cloud partners."There's a great story for us to tell with those Cloud 2.0 partners who are already having discussions with line of business/apps folks that can take advantage of our technology," said Kelly.

Scality has been named a market leader in market researcher Gartner's Magic Quadrant for distributed file systems/object storage for three consecutive years. Scality's object storage technology opens the door for partners of all stripes to "monetize" the explosive big data opportunity, said Kelly.

"Whether it is edge or public cloud it all relies on being able to leverage data in new, innovative ways that get you closer to the customer and drive your relevance," he said."What's great about Scality is it's innovative technology with a different lens on solving the storage problems customers are facing today.We're not dealing with a lot of legacy challenges."

Al Chien, president of Dasher Technologies, one of Silicon Valley's top system integrators, No. 161 on the CRN Solution Provider 500, sees the hiring of Kelly as a Scality channel game changer.

"For Scality to attract a talent like Mark Kelly is not only a testament to their commitment to the channel, but speaks volumes about the value they place on building channel relationships," said Chien.

With Kelly driving the channel charge, Chien expects Scality to break out beyond major OEM relationships into strategic channel partnerships with more account planning and joint sales calls. "This is going to allow us to build a sales account plan with real metrics and accountability," said Chien. "Object storage is a big opportunity for us."

Scality -whose investors include Menlo Venture and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Pathfinder – is helping partners tackle the 80 percent of unstructured data that has eluded most customers, said Kelly."Most customers haven't figured out how to leverage and monetize that unstructured data at the level they need to," he said.

Kelly – who helped drive robust enterprise sales growth for OnX and Logicalis, said he is excited about leveraging his in the sales trenches expertise to help Scality and its partners grow their business.

"It's refreshing to be on the other side with a lens on the challenges facing partners," said Kelly. "A lot of OEMs don't necessarily understand the inner workings of a partner and how partners make money."

Kelly said he has already been approached by a number of his peers that are interested in teaming with Scality."I can't tell you the amount of people that have reached out and are looking forward to getting together to discuss partnership opportunities with Scality," he said.

Key to being effective in a channel chief role is focusing squarely on joint sales planning and execution, said Kelly.

"Over the years being on the other side of this business, I have had a lot of channel chiefs from a lot of newer tech companies sit in front of me and tell me it was going to be all rainbows and unicorns," he said. "What we are doing at Scality is going to partners with a very prescriptive plan around enablement, demand generation and executing together. This is all about not wasting people's time and focusing on how we can effectively execute together."

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