Infinio Systems Inc., a 60-person firm in Cambridge, Mass., has announced the formation of a new channel program to resell its storage performance software for virtualized data centers. "Storage performance and capacity is the number one bottleneck in virtual data centers," says Infinio CEO and Co-Founder Arun Agarwal. "We are now looking for the right partners to carry our innovative software to the market."
Infinio’s software is aimed at virtual data centers using VMware, says Agarwal. By deduplicating cache items and using a single RAM and CPU pool to add cache support for multiple virtual servers, the company "makes an old EMC appliance look like a new flash array," he says. Pricing is set per CPU socket to align with the VMware pricing model, and costs a quarter or less of the price of new storage hardware.
"We don't break anything," notes Agarwal. "We just add a transparent layer. Our software can be installed in about 30 minutes and does not require a reboot." If you have customers with a virtualized data center running on VMware, Agarwal is positive Infinio can improve the company’s storage performance.
Experienced storage hardware and VMware resellers are therefore the primary focus of Infinio's new channel program. In the United States, Infinio works directly with resellers. In Europe, a two-tier distribution model will be expanded.
There are three reseller tiers, but Agarwal will start partners on the second level. "We will start everyone in the midtier so they qualify for marketing dollars as well as free sales and technical training. If resellers meet their goals, they will stay at the midlevel." Some slide down a notch to the entry-level tier and those who really take off move to the top tier.
Staffing Up for Success
Industry veteran Alan DiPietro, previously vice president of sales at vKernel (acquired by Dell) and LogMeIn, is now Infinio’s sales VP. There will be 10 to 15 marketing and sales personnel dedicated to rolling Infinio out to market and generating sales interest. A similar-size group will help partners drive sales by working in the field. The channel sales force will be based on the East Coast and in London to start. By year-end, Agarwal hopes to have as many as five salespeople out in the field supporting their reseller partners.
"We are not interested in a 'throw it over the wall' channel program," says Agarwal. "We want to work with the partners and the customers, not just announce a few discounts and turn the partners loose." He plans to spend the time and money necessary to build the program, promising to make it different from a lot of other vendor programs by providing more channel support.
Since the channel program just started the first week of February, few partners are on board, admits Agarwal. Acknowledging that resellers aren't often interested in replacing their existing storage offerings with similar hardware, Agarwal assures partners the sales cycle is efficient and reiterates, "We are channel friendly, the software takes about 30 minutes to install, and doesn't require a reboot or any other disruption."
The company’s partner portal will provide a deal registration application and account mapping as well as sales and technical training materials. Infinio sales managers will jointly acquire leads and manage business development with the partners. "We are giving our channel partners a 90-day jump start," says Agarwal. "This includes live training from Infinio experts on sales and product technology."
No data center tech believes his company’s storage runs as fast as it should, and those businesses are the target market for Infinio. Sales efforts aim at workhorse applications such as VDI, engineering applications, software development, and databases like Oracle and Microsoft SQL. "There is a large gamut of stuff we can accelerate," says Agarwal.
Product support for Microsoft's Hyper-V is coming, promises Agarwal. "But VMware is the bulk of our market, and that's our focus."