Storage vendor Altaro has signed distribution agreements with Prianto and Northamber as it looks to boost its VMware and education markets respectively.
The Malta-based vendor previously attributed 95 per cent of its business to Microsoft Hyper-V, before a VMware push in May saw that figure decrease to 80 per cent.
Colin Wright, vice president of EMEA sales at Altaro, said: "Prianto are a very key signing for us because of their historic links to the VMware channel. Their experience with virtualised backup and their strong focus on value-add is key. We fit perfectly in that mid-market space where there is a huge opportunity for Prianto and their channel partners to do very well with the products and the margins that we offer."
Altaro was founded in 2006 and uses distribution in every other European region it operates in, with the UK being the exception until now.
"We've done very well with distribution in every other part of Europe," explained Wright. "The UK was the only region where we ended up with a one-tier model. Revenue wise, the UK has been very good for us. But to scale up to the next level, we need distribution. We need an introduction to those partners that we don't have relationships with as a vendor. We can't succeed in getting where we need to without distribution playing a key part in our go-to-market."
The vendor signed with Northamber to focus on resellers in the education market, which Wright said is one of Altaro's key sectors.
"The education market is very strong for them. Education is one of our key markets, so we want to augment that even more. We're talking to them about creating specific hardware appliances with Hyper-V, VMware and Altaro installed on the box," he explained.
"Northamber can then go out to an MSP with a box that supports 50 workloads. Northamber is very key for us in terms of that ability to take a hardware backup appliance to market."
Alex Phillips (pictured), director of strategy at Northamber, said that Altaro is a good fit because it can be easily integrated into the distributor's "complete connect, store, protect joined-up solutions".
"Altaro is targeted at SMB and education. It is a very strong tie-in with the verticals we are targeting. It allows smaller resellers to profitably sell new and innovative solutions, so it fits really well. We will be offering Altaro access to our large reseller base. We will also help them find opportunities to incorporate Altaro into the solutions we sell. Through this we can also help our resellers increase their margins and offer a more complete solution," he said.
"Altaro is a very strong product with a proven history but it isn't as well known as it should be. So we are looking to work with them really closely to increase their profile in the channel."
Altaro has around 300 partners in the UK, but Wright says most of those are smaller resellers with a small customer base. He said the aim in using distribution is to "move up the food chain" and recruit partners working with larger customers in the SMB and mid-market space.
"Prianto and Northamber will take us up into more focused partners," he said. "We will continue to move our existing base over to distribution, but we need new partners that have those skills in virtualisation, security and hosting as well."
Yuri Pasea, CEO at Prianto, said that the distie was attracted to Altaro because it didn't have a product in its portfolio that covered both Hyper-V and VMware solutions.
"It makes sense to go with Altaro. Competitors like Veeam don't really play in that area anymore because they are more focused around the enterprise side," he said.
"We will be looking after Altaro's existing channel, but we want to get to our existing channel as well and increase the number of partners working with Altaro. There are probably 70 potential partners that I can see from our current partner base."
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