All-flash storage technology developer Pure Storage has made several significant enhancements to its partner program, including delivering new Pure-as-a-Service tools and incentives to help solution providers work more closely with their clients.
It’s not a new partner program, said Andy Martin, vice president of global partner sales (pictured) at the Mountain View, Calif., Based company.
“This is a continuing evolution of an industry leading partner program. … The partners tell us, don’t go too far, ”Martin told CRN. “Just listen to the community of partners. And that’s what we do.
[Related: Pure Storage CEO Charles Giancarlo On COVID, WFH, All-Flash Data Centers]
This evolution is possible because Pure Storage is a 100% partner-centric business, said Martin.
“The chain is in our DNA,” he said. “A lot of vendors say they are user friendly. But that doesn’t mean 100 percent channel. Every day, I have salespeople who are fighting to get more margins for our partners. There is a passion around the chain at Pure.
“Evolution” is the right word to describe the changes to the program, said Suzanne Gallagher, vice president of cloud and data center transformation at Insight, a Tempe, Ariz.-Based solutions provider and long-time partner. Pure Storage date.
“In growing to a billion dollar business and beyond, Pure Storage has been methodical in its collaboration with its partners and the support it provides,” Gallagher told CRN.
New to the Pure Storage Partner Program is Pure WaveMakers, an invitation-only, tiered community aimed at providing support and benefits to partners based on their investment in working with the company and its products, Martin said.
“It’s the partners who really bleed orange,” he said, referring to the color associated with the company’s branding. “We really want to invest in them. This is a program based on value and not on total revenue or bookings. We believe that it is not fair that a partner with four sellers is treated differently than a partner with 4,000 sellers.
Instead, the rewards are based on certifications, the portion of the Pure Storage portfolio sold by the partner, and marketing activities conducted on behalf of the vendor, Martin said.
Pure WaveMakers appears to be similar to the initiatives of key partners of other vendors such as Microsoft or Cisco, which focus on leveraging the thought leadership they invest in their partners, Gallagher said.
“I love to see the evolution and transformation that comes with what these vendors expect from their partners in such programs,” she said.
Pure Storage has also developed a major extension of its partner portal to make it a single source of information for the latest business and technical resources, training and digital asset libraries, Martin said.
“With the COVID-19 pandemic, we are now all inside sellers,” he said. “It is therefore important to make distance selling tools available. The selling movement is changing. Some embrace change in fantastic ways, while others struggle. We want to give them the tools they need to succeed.
The portal has a new focus on training as the company’s portfolio continues to grow, Martin said. This includes the acquisition of Portworx by Pure Storage in September, a Kubernetes data service provider; modifications to its FlashArray and FlashBlade storage lines; its Pure-as-a-service offer; and its new relationship with Amazon Web Services.
“As we expand our portfolio, we want to offer dedicated learning paths through our partner portal with new training and online demonstrations,” he said.
Pure Storage has also added new incentives to its Pure-as-a-service offering to deliver cloud-style storage-as-a-service. Martin said that Pure Storage now offers Pure-as-a-service in an accounting neutral fashion, which means partners can run the service on-premises or in the cloud so that partners have the same incentives as they sell storage or service.
Pure Storage has also introduced a new version of its Pure Sizer tool to generate solution configurations, prices and quotes, Martin said. The new version offers partners two items: the cost of the bay and the subscription.
“It’s a simple and easy way to get to the market,” he said. “Partners can easily scale the deployment and view the total cost of ownership to create great looking proposals. “
Pure Storage’s expanding Pure-as-a-service offering comes as vendor competitors, especially NetApp and its Keystone program and initiatives such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s GreenLake and Dell’s Flex on Demand, win over customers , said Gallagher of Insight.
“Pure-as-a-service is a big part of Insight’s service business,” she said. “We lead with Pure-as-a-service. … As customers operate in cost-constrained environments, they need flexibility. And they need partners like us to help them navigate the movements. There are a lot of choices to navigate. Everyone has a plan, but then the pandemic or some other event happens, your client suddenly doesn’t know what they need to move forward. “