Nutanix VDI Demand Causing ‘Surge’ In New Partner Signups: Channel Chief

“We’re very focused on recruiting, especially in some of these emerging markets and especially in areas around the world where there’s a high demand for VDI,” says Nutanix’s channel chief Christian Alvarez.


Nutanix Channel ‘Spike’ On A Global Basis

Nutanix is witnessing a surge in new partner signups as solution providers seek new options in helping businesses better adapt to working remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to Nutanix’s newly promoted global Channel Chief Christian Alvarez.

“We’ve seen a surge recently in the number of new partners that have registered with us,” said Alvarez in an interview with CRN. “That spike has been on a global basis. We’re very focused on recruiting, especially in some of these emerging markets and especially in areas around the world where there’s a high demand for VDI.”

From March through May this year, Nutanix saw more than a 25 percent increase in the monthly average of new partner signups when compared to monthly average from August 2019 through February. The figure includes all partners types and reflects signups, not necessarily registration into the program. Alvarez was recently promoted to senior vice president of Worldwide Channels, responsible for Nutanix’s worldwide strategy for partners, as well as the development of global sales and distribution programs for the channel.

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Alvarez talked to CRN about the San Jose, Calif.-based company’s surge in partner recruitment, customers’ thirst for virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solutions and Nutanix Test Drive.

As Nutanix’s new global channel chief, are there any new campaigns around onboarding new partners?

We’ve seen a surge recently in the number of new partners that have registered with us. We’ve also seen a surge in the number of current and new partners getting certifications. I think a lot of that has to do with working from home and having more time in front of their screens. We couldn’t be more pleased. We’ve kept up with the demand of new partners: enabling them, onboarding them and getting them prepared. We’re very happy about that spike. That spike has been on a global basis.

We’re very focused on recruiting, especially in some of these emerging markets and especially in areas around the world where there’s a high demand for VDI. We need partners in the last mile to effectively represent us and take care of the customer. Nutanix is very focused on doing strategic recruitment and growing our channel base.

Are these VMware partners looking to join Nutanix?

A lot of it is customers wanting to have choice. Customers that want to be able to scale. So they’ve been partners from other resellers -- we typically don’t ask them what other manufactures they represent -- but at the end of the day, partners are looking for time to value, time to revenue, profitability, ease of use, ease of doing business and we hit on all of those in spades.

Partners have been truly enjoying their onboarding experience with Nutanix, the quick growth they witness, how they’re treated with a white-glove experience, us helping them quote customers and sell solutions using VDI, our end user computing technology – those have really been the main reason for the surge.

What is the makeup of these new channel partners looking at Nutanix?

It’s been driven mostly by demand from customers. It’s the fact that we’re one of the leaders in the industry and have been very disruptive. Within customer’s peer group they’re saying, ‘Oh wow, how is Nutanix VDI?’ It’s also partners talking with other partners. We don’t know what exactly has caused the surge in partners interesting with Nutanix. As many companies around the world are needing to embrace the work from everywhere new model, we have our FastTrack and award winning VDI and end-user computing technology. We are able to deploy VDI in days – not weeks or months. That has certainly lent itself to the interest of new channel partners.

What’s a good or typical use case Nutanix is seeing around VDI during COVID-19?

One example is in healthcare. The customer was really struggling to get their core infrastructure and their applications made available to a group of doctors. Because of our partner and Nutanix’s technology, they were able to securely and quickly get their solution on a VDI infrastructure at scale.

What was the issue?

The customer had a very heterogenous environment. There was a lot of legacy concerns with security and the fact that they needed to get this deployed in short order. The use case was getting some legacy applications made available in a short period of time, but in a secure way. We were able to help people in need. It was a great win.

Is Nutanix seeing more customer VDI wins in the commercial or enterprise space?

When we look at our partners in both commercial and enterprise, we have great growth in commercial. The commercial team has been extremely aggressive getting out in the market. Our growth in commercial has been a result of our product portfolio. Our easy to consume and deploy technology has led itself to our great growth in customer acquisition. We continue to expand our portfolio.

Also what’s helped is we continue to stay above 90 percent in our Net Promoter Score. Our two main obsessions in our company is around simplicity and customer satisfaction. Those are two things Nutanix wakes up every day and thinks about.

Talk about Nutanix investment in Test Drives? What products are available for partners?

We’ve made a big investment in Test Drive. So pretty much our entire portfolio is now available on Test Drive. It’s accessible to all of our authorized partners. Imagine, they can now test an environment, play with our technology and do proof of concepts in hours versus days. There’s no need to ship out equipment, or set up in a lab, or set up use cases – all that stuff. Now they’re able to do all of that by point-and-click from home and collaboration with a prospect or existing customer that’s looking to expand and try different technologies that we have. We couldn’t be prouder of the adoption and usage of Test Drive. And it’s only the beginning. It’s one of the main areas that we’re very focused on.

What do you hope to bring to the table in your new expanded role?

I’m ready to globally lead us into our next phase of growth. We are well along our journey to subscription. Partners are and will continue to be an integral part of our go-to-market strategy. We are now more than ever committed to our partners. We’ve listened to our partners on what’s going well, what’s not, where do we need to double down on, where are the areas for opportunities, etc.

We’ve really been focused on our transformation to subscription and making sure that profitability and predictability continues to be front and center for our partners. A lot of my focus now with my expanded role is really, ‘How do we partner even more effectively and how do we increase our ease of doing business?’ I have three core principles: trust, alignment and growth.

What’s top of mind for me in my new worldwide role is partner profitability, predictability for them and ease of doing business with us so we can partner even more effectively.