04 Mar 2015
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SimpliVity hones in on the ANZ region

By Catherine Knowles

Three months ago SimpliVity expanded its footprint into the Australian and New Zealand markets, partnering with Distribution Central and bringing Scott Morris on board as the vice president of APJ. 

Morris says SimpliVity is currently focused on building strong relationships with partners and building the vendor's reputation in the Australia New Zealand region.

“As the business scales it’s still a very technical discussion, so I don’t judge myself on whether I get another 100 partners today.

"It’s more about how we become relevant for a small number of partners and vice-versa. We want to really invest, instead of providing extremely thin support and not creating a differentiator.”

Morris says SimpliVity is looking for virtualisation and integration centric partners who have looked at elements of the whole stack, rather than just coming from a storage, network, or a siloed individual background.

“Ideal partners have got that consulting led consolidation of assets, virtualisation skills, and transitional capability,” he says,

Distribution Central is SimpliVity's sole distributor in New Zealand at present, and Morris says it was a ‘natural choice’ to bring them on board.

“I had worked with them before, and the tools and the platforms that they have developed internally in their business are second to none that I’ve seen in the industry.”

“They have integration capabilities, pre-integration capabilities, and can provide technical support. If a partner doesn’t necessarily have all of the right skills to cover all of the sales angles, they’ve got technical pre-sales and sales resources that will line up beside the partner to go to a customer to help and assist them set that up.”

He says SimpliVity works to make partnerships mutually beneficial, enabling partners to put a new portfolio in their business and change the conversation they’ve been having with customers for the past 5-10 years.

“It really does create a unique opportunity for [partners] to go to customers that they may be being blocked out of because of other technologies - they can now go in and say, we have a solution.

“It opens up new avenues - what was just a point solutions now has the potential of the whole of the data centre.”

In order to build the relationship between SimpliVity and partners, Morris says the vendor provides free certification training and has established an online web portal.

In terms of training, Morris says, “We take a ‘crawl, walk, run’ approach to the integration. It’s very staged and focused.”

SimpliVity’s solutions architect will work with partners to help build their first configuration, sell it and help them implement the first solution.

The online web portal was established for partner registrations, and becomes a key part of driving engagement in sales and engagement from the channel, Morris says.

It provides ‘very aggressive deal registration discounts’ to maintain and reward partners for bringing deals to the table early, he says.

It also provides a lot of materials such as references, TCO based technology tools and enablement tools for both sales and support.

Partners can also receive enablement materials at intensive two day boot camps, says Morris.

Those who have completed the training and pre-sales have the opportunity to attend a boot camp, where they can ‘delve into the technology’ and learn now to not only size it but implement it, he says.

Currently, Distribution Central is SimpliVity’s interface into New Zealand, bringing opportunities and potential partners to the vendor, Morris says.

However, the intention is to get resources into territories such as New Zealand as quickly as possible.

“We will make sure we monetise and put in resources into those early adopter market places to get some trajectory, and start deliberating on putting headcount resources in other territories,” he says.

In the last six months, SimpliVity has already developed a lot of interest in New Zealand without having a lot of resources to start off with, says Morris.

“Cisco has added weight to the message after they selected us as their reference architecture.

“That gives us immediate enterprise credibility that precedingly we would have to build that up through transactional efforts in each of the different cities and countries.

“The message is getting out there that hyperconverged is the way of the future.”

This message is ‘resonating with the partner community’ and SimpliVity has 12 partners across ANZ already signed, two in New Zealand 'very close’ to being signed, and 22 others in the discussion phase, says Morris.

Morris says a lot of SimpliVity’s focus for the next 6-8 months is going to be on ‘end user demand creation’ as well as channel recruitment. It’s about creating a demand from both the end user and channel partners, he says.

This means generating awareness and education and genuinely starting to put value back into the services and offerings, he says.

“There is a general degree of awareness and education that still needs to go with the explanation for it to make any degree of sense.

“There is a much bigger story to tell around the 300% total cost of ownership, and that’s a real value opportunity for the partners to articulate to their customers, but also then go and deliver it.”

With a target market of anyone with 10-500 virtual machines, Morris says, “We are not constrained by the market, we are constrained by ourselves getting in fast enough to really take on what we’re trying to do.”

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