Networking vendor Big Switch Networks has launched its first partner programme, opening it up to partners of both Dell EMC and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE).
Big Switch provides two software networking solutions, which can be purchased on hardware from Dell EMC and HPE, as well as Edgecore Networks.
While partners can buy the software through Dell EMC and HPE's own partner programmes, Big Switch's own programme will see partners awarded extra discounts and rebates, even if they buy via the two hardware vendors.
Big Switch VP of business development Susheel Chitre told CRN that the vendor is seeing growing success as a result of customers wanting to split networking software from the hardware to increase choice, rather than be locked in with proprietary hardware.
He added that Big Switch's partnership with Dell EMC, and the more recent partnership with HPE, has accelerated this trend.
"When we first started the company a while ago we were going to market as just a software company and getting people to adopt our software on top of their open-networking switches was the hardest part, and getting the customers to adopt this new strategy took us a while," he said.
"Now we are seeing partners coming to us because HPE and Dell haven't traditionally had a big networking play, so open networking allows them to break into these accounts where they have sold storage and servers but haven't had a networking story.
"They're beginning to see a lot of traction inserting networking solutions in the customers with their opening networking switches and our software."
The partner programme has two tiers - Authorised and Premier - with a partner's progression to the higher tier based on criteria including the number of trained staff and deal registrations.
With Edgecore Networks not having its own partner programme, partners buying through this vendor can buy through Big Switch's distribution partners, which in the UK is Ethos Technology.
Chitre said that Big Switch is going after two sets of incumbent vendors through its two software products.
The Big Cloud Fabric focuses on next-generation switching and is targeting the likes of Cisco and Juniper, while the Big Monitoring Fabric centres on network visibility and is looking to displace the likes of Gigamon and Ixia.
As well as partnering with two tier-one vendors Big Switch also has financial backing from significant parties, with the VC arms of Dell Technologies and Intel both investing in the vendor.
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