Violin Memory has taken a swipe at Pure Storage after the fledgling flash firm pinched after yet another of its EMEA execs.
On Monday, CRN's sister site Channelnomics Europe revealed Violin's former vice president for EMEA channel, Christian Putz, jumped ship to Pure Storage to lead its EMEA business after just nine months in the role. Putz's predecessor Vince Blackall stayed in his channel role at Violin for only six months before he moved to Pure, about the same time as Violin's ex-EMEA leader Steven Rose did the same.
Violin's current vice president for EMEA, Mick Bradley, said partners had not been unsettled by the changes and insisted staff movement is common in the channel.
"Yes, there have been some leadership changes, but there have been changes at Pure, have there not?" he said. "In the last two years they have had more leadership changes than we have – every company goes through that. I've been here for four years and I am not going anywhere."
Violin is still on the hunt for a new vice president for EMEA channels.
On Monday, Violin signed its first ever pan-EMEA distributor in the form of Arrow as it looks to grow its presence in the region. Bradley said Violin's partner offering was far superior to that of its rival flash firms.
"The channel is so important to me and it is all built on trust and relationship," he said. "Last year we didn't do any direct deals in EMEA, it has all been through the channel and with the channel. There has also been a shift from channel fulfilment to channel-led [deals] too. We are 100 per cent channel and we are not going to saturate the channel – I don't believe in having four partners bidding for the same business because it is not value for them or for us.
"Acquiring new customers probably costs you about 10 times as much as selling to an existing customer," he said. "If you look at the technologies at some of the smaller vendors you've mentioned [Pure Storage], they have a very low entry price, they are single-digit margins for the channel and they struggle to do repeat business in the channel. What we have is a much richer set of products with higher margin... and they have repeatability so they sell the next time and the next.
"A lot of our business is for repeat clients... but with some of those others, you can't do that, meaning you're in constant customer-acquisition mode."
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