Storage startup Nexenta is hoping to massively swell its VAR ranks by rescuing storage firms from what it claims is "abuse" from giants such as EMC and NetApp.
The vendor – which manufactures open source, software-defined storage products – hit out at the top legacy vendors as it announced its arrival in the UK channel.
The California-based firm has 300 resellers globally but hopes to rapidly grow that number to between 10,000 and 15,000 within the next two years.
It currently operates direct with a handful of resellers in the UK but hopes the arrival of a soon-to-be-announced distributor will help the number shoot up.
The company's chief executive Tarkan Maner (pictured) joined the firm in August after initially coming on board as an investor. He is the third person to have sat in the hot seat this year – founder and then-chief executive Evan Powell became chief strategy officer at the start of the year to be replaced by Mark Lockareff who recently left the role to make way for Maner.
Despite the frequent reshuffling, Maner said the firm is stable and is focusing on the channel – an area that has lacked investment in the past.
"The area we're focusing on is [the] channel, which the company didn't do very well because they didn't invest," he admitted.
"They were a bunch of techies who didn't know what channel meant – this is why I came on board. To be honest with you, rather than running a bad product company with great channel, I would rather run a company with phenomenal IT and great products with a bad channel which I can improve and invest in. That is what we're doing right now.
"Our channel isn't bad, we just didn't invest," he added.
He said that despite its small channel, Nexenta still has a top-quality customer base in the UK including at least 25 Fortune 500 companies which he recently met at a partner dinner.
"These are all NetApp and EMC customers telling us ‘we are so abused by the legacy storage [companies], we want to look at companies like you because we are done with this kind of abuse'," he said.
"I'm telling you, we're going to change the industry because these old-school companies have been abusing the CIOs for a long time. They just sell pizza boxes. Granted, they build very strong channels and the channel grew up with them, not because their products are the best, but because they are the only option in town.
"Guess what, after the Arab Spring now you have the storage spring. We're the Jedi network coming in against the dark empire and we're cleaning up the mess."
"EMC and NetApp and other legacy vendors get tonnes of press with massive marketing budgets but very little innovation. Our marketing budget is [smaller] but we have a strong channel budget now and we are taking it to the next level. We're going to be present; we're going to be great!"
EMC and NetApp were both unavailable to comment at the time of publication.
Tweet using #CRNawards to join our live coverage of tonight's Channel Awards
We weed out the key information from the networking giant's Q1 numbers
CRN's Women in Channel role model Logicalis COO Natalie Matthews explains the impact of mentorship, 'imposter syndrome' and why the channel has to do a better job at selling the industry to young people
Mohit Aron claims Cohesity is having the same impact on the back-up market as the smartphone on its own space, while taking shots at the likes of Veeam