Pure Storage aspires to build the next great storage company by unshackling applications and data from the inherent slowness and complexity of mechanical storage. We’re off to an auspicious start with a revolutionary product: our FlashArray uniquely employs inline deduplication and compression, as well as standard MLC flash memory hardened with software, to deliver 100% solid state storage below the price of traditional disk arrays.
But we face more than technical challenges to our aspirations. First, there is the $15B/year disk-centric array industry that would much rather sell flash caching and tiering along with ever more spindles than face the prospect of redesigning their products for the solid-state future. Second, the storage market leader and a formidable competitor, EMC, purchased an early-stage competitor of ours—XtremIO, with the intent to build their own all-flash storage array. (The good news for us is that in doing so EMC validated our architecture and market likely a year or more before they will be ready to sell product.)
How can a better product win when going up against such large go to market machines? We posed this question to alumni of the early days at Data Domain, EqualLogic, Compellent, NetApp, and so on, and got the answer we expected: The Channel.
We’re convinced. The path to ensuring that the FlashArray can achieve its all-star potential is for Pure to be the most channel-friendly storage vendor in the market. That is our commitment to the storage Value Added Resellers (VARs).
Why should a storage VAR join the Pure Storage cause? Here are the top five reasons:
- Get a piece of the action. Gartner has forecast that the all-flash storage market will grow to ~$4B by 2015! With the price hurdle removed, purpose-built flash storage is likely to displace all of the performance (15K) disk drives in the coming decade. Storage VARs that are not exposed to this market opportunity are going to look like tape vendors a few years on.
- Leverage a killer value proposition to close business. The Pure FlashArray is >10X faster (both in latency and throughput), 10X more space and power efficient, 10X simpler, and more reliable than traditional disk-centric arrays. And it costs less for the database and virtualized applications we target. For database analytics, server virtualization, and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), our sales cycles are looking extremely predictable and repeatable. We just had a channel-led deal close in 9 days.
- Enjoy access to the full customer base. Pure Storage’s goal is a 100% channel business (we are approaching 90% today). We don’t have any “enterprise” or “named” accounts that are off limits to our channel partners. When a customer engages with us directly, we go out of our way to invite the customer’s favorite VAR to the party.
- Use free tool to quantify value to customer. Pure provides a downloadable software tool that measures data reduction (deduplication & compression) to estimate how much raw flash storage is required for the enduser’s workload. This allows the VAR to show the customer how they really can get all flash for less than what they are spending on mechanical disk today.
- Enjoy the benefits of our state-of-the-art lead generation and management. Pure is applying proven techniques from other Internet businesses to the storage market, including social media, blogging, SEO, web seminars, net campaigns, and automated lead nurturing combined with more traditional marketing activities such as deal registration (with a 48 hour SLA), channel events, tradeshows, and tech. talks.
Hopefully the channel partners in our audience are intrigued to learn more. For those of you that are already doing a thriving business with EMC or NetApp, we’d still like to talk to you. Check in with EMC and NetApp to learn the timeline of their competitive offerings to the Pure Storage FlashArray, and we’re confident you’ll decide you want to get started shaping the future of enterprise storage now rather than wait.
Most importantly, you have our commitment that the Pure team is going to work our tails off for you, but all the while behaving with the integrity required to earn your trust and business. Three P’s for three win’s—win for the customer, win for the partner, and win for Pure.