Demand from resellers and SIs seeking to transition their business to cloud, or ‘as-a-service’ models is driving business continuity and disaster recovery specialist Zerto to consider introducing ‘hybrid contracts’, enabling partners to continue traditional sales while also beginning the transition to cloud services.
The company, which provides enterprise-class business continuity and disaster recovery solutions for virtualised IT infrastructure and cloud, dipped its toe into the local market this year, with plans to ramp up local engagement this year.
Andrew Martin, Zerto Asia Pacific and Japan director, says the company is seeing plenty of demand from resellers approaching it and asking to be a ‘reseller’ but also saying they want to be able to sell products using the ‘as-a-service’ model.
“So we’re thinking of even creating a hybrid contract. At the moment we have two separate contracts, but we’re thinking about whether we consolidate it because a lot of partners we’re speaking to us are saying ‘can you help us evolve our business and actually become a cloud provider or an ‘as-a-service provider.
“We’re seeing a lot of that and feel that as we grow it is going to become much more typical that we offer both mechanisms to partners and clients.”
The company is channel only.
It entered the Australian market around 18 months ago, but Martin says with only two staff on the ground, it has been mainly reactive, rather than proactive.
That, however is about to change, he says. The company has added several additional staff in Australia – including Martin himself, who came onboard in January.
“That means we have more time to be more strategic and start thinking about how we will manage the business and our growth in Australia and do more in New Zealand.”
The company already has New Zealand partners, including Datacom, who ‘reached out to us’.
“So there is reactively some business in New Zealand already,” Martin says.
“With virtualisation adoption and cloud adoption becoming the standard across all of Asia, the timing for Zerto to enter the market could not be better.
“Zerto Virtual Replication represents a fantastic opportunity for systems integrators and cloud providers across the region, and we look forward to building these partnerships and significantly growing our presence in 2015.”
Martin notes that disaster recovery is often one of the first things people think about when they look to begin the move to cloud.
“They’re often reticent to move primary IT or applications onto cloud. But a really good starting point is to have DR off-site in a very cost-effective manner, where you’re paying it from an operational budget.”
Martin says there are challenges for resellers in making the transition to service provider or cloud partner.
He says while there has previously been a tightly defined channel dynamic of vendor, distributor, reseller, end-user, that has now changed.
“The challenge is not just how do I adapt, but where do I fit in that eco-system, because it’s not the same anymore.
“I can’t be annoyed that Microsoft sell might sell cloud services direct. I’m not going to not work with Microsoft anymore.
“So now my partners are also my competitors, so there’s a lot more competition.”
Martin says for SIs and resellers, understanding and navigating that co-opetition is ‘much more challenging’ that it might be for vendors.
He cites the example of a specialist VAR doing good business for 20 years who is now struggling to stay relevant.
“He’s having conversations with us about building a new part of his business around Zerto and ways we can enable him to play in this new eco-system where he has to be able to play in cloud and virtualisation and work with, and against, people like Microsoft.
“As a vendor that is, I guess born-in-the-cloud, we can give resellers a product that they can not only sell, but can embed and incorporate into cloud and work with cloud providers.
“I think resellers will have to find more companies like us that work in this way.”
When it comes to recruiting Kiwi partners, Martin says VMware partners are crucial initially, as Zerto’s offerings work with VMware hypervisor.
“In ANZ that’s an awful lot of partners these days.
The company’s next release, this month, includes HyperV. “So we’ll be looking for VARs with skills in HyperV.
“But longer term, I honestly believe that because of the way the market is going, we will be quite generic in as much as so long as a partner wants added value services particularly around DR, BC and, something new that will start to happen as hybrid cloud really takes hold, which is movement of your IT.
“Today I have my servers on premise, tomorrow I have an enormous amount of processing to do I’d like to put them in the cloud, but only for three days and then move back.
“Zerto will do that, but I think it’s a little way off.
“But those partner who are starting to think that way, those are the kinds of partners we’ll be looking at.”
Zerto’s first public cloud support is for AWS.