Sphere of trust
Nilesh Patel, Vice President, Marketing, Sphere 3D, elaborates on the company’s plans to strengthen its presence in the region together with its channel partners.
In a softwaredefined IT business environment, organisations need to expedite and virtualise processes to enhance productivity and efficiency. Understanding the market demand and foreseeing the potential in cloud-based technologies, Sphere 3D and Overland Storage joined forces in a merger deal that was completed over a year ago. The merger enabled the company to leverage the in-depth solutions portfolio across its previously acquired brands. Both Tanderberg Data and V3 Systems were acquired by Overland Storage and Sphere 3D respectively in early 2014. Today, Sphere 3D boasts a host of cloud and virtualisation solutions across all four brands. Nilesh Patel, Vice President, Marketing, Sphere 3D, says, “We realised that to be relevant in the next 10 years and beyond, we must have a solution set, which
is complete and ready for cloud-type of deployments. We wanted to own our destiny to a certain extent by doing this. “We already had a huge success in building partnerdriven and partner-integrated go-to-market strategies. We also had a strong worldwide base in play with our partners’ perspective and support. However, in terms of technology and market, we want to ensure that we are driving to a point where we are able to own our destiny end-to-end.” The first step the company took in this direction was to go on an acquisition and merger strategy to bring together application virtualisation, data management and data retention solutions. “Running the business under the Sphere 3D banner, gives us an opportunity to introduce ourselves as a cloud company that now has comprehensive stack of
Reseller Middle East
application, virtualisation and data delivery solutions.” Having successfully completed the first phase of mapping out corporate strategy and integrating the businesses, the vendor now aims to strengthen its market push with aggressive sales approaches. Patel says the aim is to rethink the company’s new stack and put it out in the market in a big way and leverage its partners. He adds, “Being a partnercentric company, we rely on our partners who share a common goal of accelerated growth opportunities and those who are committed to the way we do business. We have built up a two-tier model and now aim to leverage that across the globe.” The focus for the company within the region is around two aspects – stay ahead of the curve and remain behind its partners with its product line. “We will make investments around the type of products we deliver to partners along with quality, support infrastructure, education and so on, to ensure they are successful. Just the way partners work towards being customers’ trusted advisors, we want to ensure that they see us as trusted partners for them.” Talent development has been an industry challenge within the region. But according to Patel, more than that, the issue within the channel is around time and investment. Partners interact and deal with customers’ issues on a daily basis and are in a position to understand them better. He says, often partners’ intelligence and awareness are underestimated.
“Vendors and distributors have a huge responsibility in enabling the channel in terms of talent development. As we move into an end-toend ecosystem model, our partnership with distributors such as Global Distribution, plays an important role. Global goes the extra mile in not just financially de-risking the transaction but also to be the trusted advisor and guide to the reseller partners.” Over the next few months, we will see the vendor along with its distributor partner, Global Distribution, carrying out vertical-focused events for both partners and end-users. “We will focus on communicating to our reseller network the fact that Sphere 3D is now a cloudcompany catering to a host of related solutions across verticals such as education, surveillance, data backup and retention. It is no longer just about storage or tape but about managing various containers of data along aspects such as security, control and access,” adds Mario Veljovic, VP Solutions, MEA, Global Distribution. “We are going to build a portfolio, which is guaranteeing the best TCO, reduction and return of investments.” Both the vendor and distributor aim to ensure that its reseller partners not only sell what customers ask for but also go one step ahead to understand why they need those solutions and advice if it is the right choice. “It is important for us to figure out a way to identify core aspects of understanding customer needs and training the resellers to not run after immediate gains. This is important,” adds Patel.