Two of cloud vendor Nutanix's enterprise giant partners have rebuffed earlier claims of the firm having no "clear channel strategy" at Nutanix's .NEXT conference in Nice this week.
Softcat's CTO Sam Routledge told CRN that he didn't recognise the critique, explaining that during their four-year partnership, Softcat has been able to achieve triple-digit growth reselling Nutanix.
"It took us a little while to get going, and they were patient with us, which is important. And now we feel very, very well supported; there's plenty of training directly through Nutanix and the hardware vendors, which is clearly useful… It's a pretty positive experience these days.
"Probably about two years ago the dam burst, and we were seeing 600 per cent growth, 500 per cent growth and then 350 per cent growth," Routledge said.
"It did take a little bit of time to get the datacentre guys keyed up on hyperconvergence and what it meant, and for our customers to get there, but now Nutanix are a very strategic vendor for us, still with good growth. Clearly we're not going to continue to grow at 600 per cent but there's good growth in the market, and it feels like we're outstripping the market."
CDW's practice lead Guy Smith was equally quick to dispute Firstnet's account of a lack of support and communication from Nutanix, but conceded that there currently is some complexity in the vendor's channel.
"We have a longstanding relationship [five years], and we've helped Nutanix drive an awful lot of the success that they've seen today, so with our very close relationship, our view may not be so typical of the market place as a result," said Smith.
"We do have a deal reg process, as with every partner. That process is slightly more complicated as a result of the OEM relationship that Nutanix have. So, we have a process by which we have a deal reg with Nutanix - so deal with them directly - and then we have to think about how that deal reg moves between the different OEMs that come over to work with us. That can introduce some challenges."
What both Softcat and CDW have in common is that they are enterprise big fish. Softcat recently smashed through £800m in revenues earlier this year, and CDW boasted Q3 2017 results of $4bn revenue.
Firstnet Solutions meanwhile, has ambitions to post £5m by next year.
Softcat's Sam Routledge suggested that its success with Nutanix may be partly down to its size and capacity.
"I suspect that as we're a reasonably sizeable player in the UK market, we've got people from Nutanix coming along with us to look after us," Routledge said.
"A partner programme isn't all about the rebates. Clearly they are helpful because they add to our bottom line and enable us to invest more, but I think our sellers care more about GP.
"We have partners who have had strategic relationships with us for 10 years and still don't have rebates. Then, that becomes a source of frustration. But with them [Nutanix], I think it'll happen."
Nutanix currently has a headcount of 2,800 employees and 7,000 customers worldwide.
Although described as a relatively new player in the hyperconverged infrastructure market by its own execs, both resellers said they have been impressed with Nutanix's full-stack cloud solution.
The San Jose-based vendor calls it 'a one-click, one-OS, any-cloud offering", with the ability to virtualise compute and storage across multiple cloud environments.
CDW's Guy Smith explained that he anticipated further growth with Nutanix because of its potential.
"I think that the level of automation and orchestration that they show in the product is very strong. Clearly, they're able to do things that massively simplify the way in which customers do their infrastructure and they've created that hyperconverged story that many people have picked up on.
"The flipside of that is that they're still a new company and their market penetration at 7,000 customers is not the largest number in the grand scheme of things. So there is work to do to spread their message."
Softcat's Routledge added:
"People like it because I think it enables them to maybe delay their journey to the cloud a little bit because of the economics behind it.
"For us, we firmly believe that most customers will be both hybrid and mutli-cloud in the foreseeable future. However, Nutanix does offer that flexibility in the market.
"Nutanix has first-mover advantage in the hyperconverged market, and there is so much momentum."
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