Flash from Pure Storage, connecting channel with service providers
CHANNEL OUTLOOK 2018
In terms of Pure Storage’s partner programme, the vendor added a number of benefits to its P3 solution provider programme and also introduced a new category for service providers. For some select P3 partners, the vendor now offers beta testing to provide early hands-on access to upcoming products, solutions and features. Pure Storage partners are leading the way into new workloads and use cases for Pure’s portfolio and the related feedback is incredibly valuable as the vendor continues on the path of developing innovative technology for the cloud era.
For all P3 partners, Pure is extending its range of enablement tools to help drive success in the market; including training, demo gear discounts and deal registration. The programme also offers a variety of sales and marketing resources, including access to MDF funds, a self-service marketing platform called Pure Demand, and the Pure On The Go app, which allows partners to easily access sales resources, and the ability to configure, price and quote, all from their mobile devices.
In terms of service providers, Pure has a rich history of successful partnerships with service providers globally, including a number who also have hosting practices. The vendor has designed a programme that will allow service providers to offer their customers the ability to consume Pure as part of a managed or cloud deployment.
The benefit of the new service provider feature is Service and Technology Coherence – aligning technical capability with partner services activity to deliver the most effective and efficient offerings. As such, the focus is not the programme itself, but the results and outcomes it generates for the service provider partner.
Partner benefits and entitlements within the EMEA programme are as follows:
- Integrated support, reduce expense for the service provider by utilising their existing infrastructure and resources to maintain their own Arrays.
- Integrated management, published connector tools and APIs to integrate Pure into their existing data center management framework.
- SLAs for Performance and Availability, that are backed by commercial penalties – as well as alignment in delivery, this enables the flow-down of appropriate risk and reduce contingencies.
- Deferred Support, alignment of support and maintenance costs with customer service revenues.
- Payment models, a range of payment models to fit partner business requirements, to mitigate the capital risks of end-user customer sizing, usage and growth.
There are three key trends going into 2018 that the channel needs to plan for:
#1 Hybrid cloud architectures will dominate
The debate around whether to use cloud technologies is history. Multi-cloud deployment has now become the norm. As the transition from virtualisation to cloud-native and containerised applications gathers momentum there will be an increasing focus on seamless private public cloud application and data mobility through to 2020. Partners that have these technologies, which are able to integrate security with performance and multi-tenancy to enable this mobility on-demand, will become the market and mind-share leaders.
#2 AI and Machine Learning
Data from Forrester suggests that 70% of enterprises expect to implement some form of AI over the next year. However, across the full range of businesses, the benefits of machine learning are going to be felt more immediately. Machine learning’s quick wins will be lower down in the business technology stack. Machine learning based automation is already proven to save hours each day in the routine administration of IT infrastructure.
Instrumenting systems, via the Internet of Things, and using machine learning to analyse the data delivers valuable, actionable information which can be used to automatically resolve issues before they have a business impact. Channel players looking to gain a competitive advantage and grow their revenue streams, must start partnering with vendors that focus on AI Machine Learning technologies and investing in talent that have related skills and expertise.
#3 Storage conversations should become data conversations
Technically, and commercially, the problem of delivering high performance, robust, simple and scalable storage has been solved. 2018 will be seen as a tipping point, where automation and orchestration technologies abstract modern infrastructure technology operations into a REST API call from Ansible, Chef, Puppet, Kubernetes. For partners, this will require a change in business model and how they approach the sale. Partners will pivot away from being box-pushers and start positioning themselves as business consultants.