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Pure Storage is undertaking a review of its channel set-up to encourage its distributors to be less reliant on the vendor for overseeing “low touch, no touch” transactions.
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Speaking to Microscope at the vendor’s annual customer and partner event, Pure Accelerate, in San Francisco, VP for EMEA, James Petter, explained how the firm manages a group of 20-25 ‘focused’ partners directly, and shouldn’t be involved in distribution-run accounts.
“You get your focused partners to address the bigger opportunity, the bigger accounts you want to go after,” he explains, adding that “we shouldn’t really be touching” the remaining business.
“We just want distribution to go and do it – low touch, no touch. Particularly with some of our products like the M10 Flash Array. We would love it if it just happened: Here’s a price, here’s a product, you can bundle it up into a server if you want to, into a mini Flash stack, and just go. Don’t come back to us. Just go sell.”
Petter alludes to a wasted opportunity currently around the M10. “Within about three months we built a price, built a programme, we built a pipeline of around 250 M10s across our channel in EMEA. We would like that to be thousands. Because that means guarantees a certain element of run rate every quarter, across your smaller accounts the direct sales guys don’t have to touch.”
Pure’s UK disties are Arrow and CommTech.
Elsewhere, Alex McMullan, VP EMEA field CTO, Pure Storage ,says one of the biggest challenges for Pure’s channel partners is leaning how to “compete with free” – incumbent vendors reportedly throwing in tech for free when going up against Pure in a deal.
“It’s a hard thing to compete with a vendor that’s so desperate to compete that’s he’s giving stuff away,” he said.
“The natural thing people want to do is go to price,” says Petter. “We talk about the cost benefits we can deliver though datacentre consolidation, less power, software savings against Oracle, SAP, etc. Getting our channel partners to articulate that message is an area where we do need to do some work. How do you sell the value of Pure, and not deviate to price? As soon as you go down that rat-hole, it’s very difficult to come back.”