Cloud Storage Vendor Panzura Announces Channel Partner ProgramDecember 07, 2011
by Mark Cox
San Jose-based cloud storage vendor Panzura has announced its first channel program, the Panzura Access channel partner program, to support a carefully targeted group of VAR and system integrator partners.
Panzura, which makes a multi-site file system where all sites can read and write all data, so that its physical location does not impact on its usage, started up in 2008 and began offering its product about a year ago.
“There are other gateways out there, but they don’t have some things we have,” said Pete O’Brien, vice president of channel and OEM at Panzura. “We do our own read-write caching algorithms. We have the networking expertise to open up large amounts of data at gigabit rates over the WAN. And we are the only one to move the data at gigabit rates. Riverbed’s Whitewater is 240-320 MB per second, and we start at 900 MB.”
“A lot of products help customers do certain things with the cloud, but they are almost all focused on specific narrow use cases,” said Eric Thacker, senior director of marketing at Panzura. “Our technology allows you to do what they all do in a single solution, so you can do backup and archiving, multisite file sharing and storage. Panzura lets you consolidate and provision in a centralized location, which makes file access very easy.”
O’Brien said that the multi-site sharing capability is the real market-changer here.
“Our multi-site file sharing capabilities will make us one of the disruptive cloud companies,” he said. “No one can do multi site file sharing like us.” He noted that Panzura already has more connectors than anywhere else, who came to them because they liked the Panzura technology.
Panzura’s core market is in the enterprise, although they do have some applicability downmarket.
“Our sweet spot is in the enterprise, starting at about 100 TB of storage,” Thacker said. “We are an enterprise solution. That’s why I don’t really consider us a gateway product. That’s too limiting, and gateways are typically SMB. We can handle those but we were built to be enterprise class.”
Thacker said they do have SMB customers with 10-100 TB of storage requirements. Below 10 TB, he said customers wouldn’t get real value.
Panzura has a three-pronged go-to-market strategy. They have signed an OEM deal. They have a small direct sales force. And they have a select channel of partners, including Nirvanix, who was announced as a Panzura partner two months ago.
“We have a total of about ten partners now, including Nirvanix,” O’Brien said. “20 to 25 partners on a global basis is where I want to keep it.”
It’s a two tiered program—with Silver and Platinum levels. The program offers qualified sales lead generation and lead distribution to partners, joint marketing and selling with Panzura, sales training and access to dedicated Panzura sales representatives and opportunity protection through deal registration. Referral fees for non-reseller partners are also available.
Panzura also works directly with its’ partners.
“We don’t need distributors at this point,” O’Brien said.