Nutanix's senior director of EMEA channels Jan Ursi has defended claims that the firm has no clear channel strategy, suggesting that the hyperconverged vendor does not rely on conventional methods such as reward programmes in order to foster partner relationships.
The EMEA director pointed to the burgeoning presence of public cloud vendors, which he claims are disrupting the on-premise propositions of channel partners. Nutanix's main competitors are now public cloud giants Azure and AWS, Ursi told us earlier this year, and, as a result, a different channel approach is required.
"With Nutanix, [partners] sell just what is needed… it's a cloud-like consumption model. So our focused partners need to make a conscious decision to lead with Nutanix to drive growth," he said.
"This means we do have a clear channel strategy but that it is just not what people are used to. People are used to channel programmes - premier, elite, diamond, gold… [and worrying about] 'how many people do I certify', [and] 'do I get a higher discount?' We have a channel programme but that is just to give that warm and cosy feeling of familiarity. The real business growth is coming from channel partners who sit with us and put together a joint investment plan."
Andrew Brewerton, senior channel manager for western Europe at Nutanix added: "I describe the channel programme at Nutanix as a shell to operate within. It gives us a reference point with partners.
"How our business develops is much more a mutual business plan and that is our growth strategy."
Ursi said that since his firm's technology takes away the need for integration services - which consequently eat into the value-added propositions of many resellers, partners must make a "very conscious decision" to partner with Nutanix.
"Channel partners who are making the decision to do business with Nutanix… [need] to make a very conscious decision. Why? Because our technology is transformational, but we also transform our channel partners' business. The channel's business in the last 10 to 15 years has been based on selling complexity: multiple components that had to be glued together, which take a lot of integration services. And, yes, they would make a lot of revenue and profit from selling this complexity," he said.
When asked which EMEA geographies are key growth targets for Nutanix, Ursi said that Germany is a fast-growing market for the firm, but also claimed that he is taking steps to grow its footprint in the continent's emerging markets.
"With regards to other parts of EMEA, we will be going in as an emerging business in eastern Europe. A couple of quarters ago we enabled Olaf, which is a distributor that is well known in the Adriatic region. We are also building out our team in Russia," he said.
The San Jose-based company claimed it has operations across all major economies in EMEA, and increased its headcount in the last quarter by adding staff to an office in Ireland.
Ursi named European heavyweights Atea, Softcat, SCC, SecureLink and Bechtle as key partners.
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