Rubrik has been expanding its approach beyond backup to increase the data protection it can offer, and has seen its channel follow the vendor’s lead.
The firm has been pitching itself as an answer for those concerned about ransomware and cloud data backups, and the evolution of its message and capabilities has been mirrored across its partner base.
“The channel adapted with us and they challenged us,” added Jan Ursi, senior director of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) channels and technology partners at Rubrik.
“The first thing that the channel stretched us on was everything to do with cloud mobility and helping customers in their journey from having their workloads on-premise to the cloud.
“Second, we’ve allowed that data, which is backed up in the cloud, to instantiate workloads that you want to move from your datacentre to the cloud – this was also under the pressure of our channel partners.”
He said that the channel wanted Rubrik to help fend off competitive challenges. “They felt the heat from the hyper scalers, Google, Amazon and Azure, which were eating their lunch, because more and more was moving to the cloud. So, they’ve also challenged us to help them get relevant to their customers,” he said.
“The good thing is that our traditional channel partners have gone on the journey together with us, so they are now more relevant to customers that are on their way to the cloud,” he added.
Ursi said that it had been clear when he stepped into the channel role in summer 2020 that the vendor saw the indirect route to market as the main way it would meet its growth ambitions.
“I stepped in to run the channel in EMEA last year, and it was the number one topic on the agenda with the executive team in EMEA, that we would put the channel at the heart of our growth strategy,” he said.
“One of the pillars is that the local customer buys from a local channel partner that buys from a local distributor, and that will remain to be the case because we do realise that because the demand is growing so quickly for our technology that we would never be able to scale without honouring that principle.”
There has been a large amount of talk over the past couple of weeks, with Michael Dell talking about it among others, around the opportunity for the channel with the growing demand for edge infrastructure and solutions. Ursi agreed that those partners that were able to talk to customers about data were in a good position.
“The edge will also start to become intelligence-based, only sending data to the core that is needed. So you will have different types of data in the edge than you have in the core,” he added. “Our channel partners are also seeing that customers are having the demand out there, and they’ve applied pressure to us to be able to help them.”
There is a sense that the momentum in the market is not going to ease off any time soon, withthe channel is already benefiting from sales around data protection.
“In EMEA in the past couple of quarters, if you look at year-over-year growth, that we’ve done together with our channel partners, it’s multi double-digit growth, percentage wise,” he added.
“If you look at our channel landscape, we see that the channel-attached business is growing very quickly as well, which shows that channel partners are increasingly understanding how they need to find opportunities with customers that are deploying...in the cloud, and that they’re able to recognise that and to give a proper answer to it.”