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It’s already been a busy few months on the channel front at Vast Data, and the firm’s channel chief is looking to keep that momentum going as the calendar moves into 2024.
Earlier this year, Gregg Machon took up the role of vice-president for worldwide channels at Vast Data, and since then he has been supporting partners with the firm’s AI platform strategy and expanding opportunities with partnerships with AWS.
Those have been the big themes since August, and the firm’s Build Beyond event that ushered in the Vast Data Platform, which added more artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities with database management and analytics on the flash storage system. “Our data platform is Vast’s global data architecture, which really unifies storage, database, data analytics, as well as a virtualised compute engine in a highly scalable manner,” he said. “It’s really built for the future of of artificial intelligence.”
Vast is hoping it can start to deliver the benefits of AI beyond just automating mundane tasks, linking up siloed storage to uncover more insights for customers. Getting into that position will mean its channel has a more compelling pitch to make to users.
“They absolutely see massive opportunity with this Vast data platform,” he said. “I think our partners understand the massive implications of where we’re going.”
Machon has recognised that the channel is looking to the vendor to help them take advantage of AI.
“Or partners need our help and they want to lean in,” he said. “Many of them have been selling a Vast storage platform for use cases like data protection or high-performance computing, even dabbling in the AI space. Those same partners may also have a database or a big data, or even a data analytics practice. But they’ve never thought about what it would be like to have one platform that’s doing all of this that’s facilitating the storage piece, facilitating the analytics, the database all in one kind of common platform.”
The introduction of the Vast Data platform has also led to the vendor looking at widening its channel, with more database channel specialists coming on board, and Machon has also been widening its reach through distribution, with Arrow ECS taking on a global role.
“Our distributors are really helping us,” he said. “They’ve taken the message loud and clear of where we’re going, and they’ve actually proactively brought forth some partners, some resellers, some solution providers that they believe we ought to be talking to to help further drive this message.”
Machon is focusing on the year ahead, with more partner activity planned, including a fresh partner programme on the horizon, plus more support coming for those partners looking to increase their AI knowledge.
He has been busy since arriving back in April, and will remain so with roadshows planned for early next year to support its AI and data platform story, as well as more efforts to build channel relationships.
“Later in the spring, we’ll be putting together our first partner Advisory Council,” said Machon. “We’re also building our stories around services, whether it’s just kind of basic data migration services or installation services, or maybe more complex integrations. We’re going through some pilots right now with a couple of partners. The plan is to roll that out more broadly to our most strategic solutions providers and resellers.
“Then we’ll be announcing that larger partner programme,” he said. “That’s what we have in store going into next year. I think our partners more than ever can look forward to some incredible announcements and an increase in the velocity and trajectory of the company, and I’m extremely excited going into next year.”