Pure Storage 'doubling down' on current partners

Pure Storage 'doubling down' on current partners

Partners also encouraged to consider portfolio and services adaption to capture new market opportunity.

Wendy Stusrud (Pure Storage)

Wendy Stusrud (Pure Storage)

Credit: Supplied

At its Pure//Accelerate 2023 conference in Las Vegas, Pure Storage emphasised it is “doubling down” on current partners who are already committed to building strategies and expertise around the vendor’s portfolio.

While the vendor would not fully rule out new partner recruitment, it is not intending to drive partner recruitment off the back of the expanded opportunity. Rather, it is focused on working with its current partners to capture market opportunity.

Pure’s vice president of global partner sales, Wendy Stusrud, stated that they are “doubling down” on current partners who are already committed to building strategies and expertise around the vendor’s portfolio.

“They are among our most valuable advocates outside of Pure, so we want quality over quantity, because we want them to build up expertise,” she said.

Andrew Fisher, Pure’s vice president of partners for Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ), agreed, emphasising the vendor’s commitment to its loyal partners across all major markets.

“We have a channel scarcity model, so we’re not out to recruit every partner we can find,” he told Reseller News. “I think it’d be easy to do, but it’s not the way that our partners can be successful.

“We do get approached often for new relationships … but at the moment, we’re not looking to expand beyond our current partner base and our current MSP [managed services provider] and GSI [global systems integrator] base which we have in place today.”

Pure’s distribution strategy operates along the same lines; according to Fisher, there is a “soft policy” for dual distribution in all markets.

In Australia, Pure is distributed by Dicker Data and Arrow.

New Zealand is one exception to the dual distribution policy, where Westcon-Comstor is the distributor.

“There’s some markets that, maybe from a scale or opportunity perspective, we feel that we need to ensure we’re getting the right service to the customer and also that there’s sufficient margin for the investment they need to make to be successful in their market,” Fisher said.

“As long as there’s innovation happening and we’re seeing progress, which we are, we’re very happy with our current distribution model,” he added.

Westcon-Comstor NZ managing director Dave Rosenberg emphasised Pure’s commitment to channel partnerships and profitability.

“Westcon have a strong distribution partnership with Pure in several countries in the Asia Pacific region, including New Zealand, where we were appointed in 2018,” he told Reseller News.

“I have seen how the company evolved while still staying true to its principles of innovation, customer centricity and more recently sustainability. They are a vendor who understands the value of the channel, backed up with several programmes focussed on partner profitability.”

Expanded opportunity

With an expanded all-flash portfolio that means mid-range workloads are now capable of being serviced by flash at the same price point as higher workloads, a challenge was raised to partners to think about portfolio and services adaption to capture opportunity outside of FlashArray.

Stusrud emphasised that the expanded portfolio opens up market opportunity for Pure to reach through its partners. 

“There’s a lot of opportunity in the market and we want to make sure that we capture that with our partners. As a 100 per cent channel company, we’re going to do it with them every step of the way.

“We want to continue to invest in our partners, we will continue to grow our rewards and incentives, tweak our marketing campaigns to uncover new pipeline together. That investment is key to our success.”

All-flash data storage across the entire data centre opens up customers and sectors of the market that Pure and its partners have previously not been able to reach.

“Many partners have had to walk away from business sometimes because we only had one solution – we could not occupy the entire centre,” Stusrud said.

“Our fundamental belief now is the introductions of the last six months … allow our partners to truly sell the solution for the all-flash data centre. Our customers don’t have to have a dual vendor strategy anymore and our partners don’t have to walk away from business.”

Fisher echoed what Pure’s data centre umbrella means for expanded market opportunity.

The recent announcements expand Pure’s portfolio to include the “60 to 80 per cent of the data centre that we couldn’t address until the last three months”, he said.

“I suspect there’s been opportunities we’ve not previously been invited to because we were considered a tier one, high-value workload, maybe even marginally too expensive.

“I see now the incredible opportunity for us to approach the whole data centre. That opens up every existing customer we have that does not have all-flash data centre.”

At the global partner forum at Accelerate, Stusrud “challenged” its partners – including resellers, MSPs, GSIs and distribution partners – to think about portfolio adaption to capture opportunity outside of FlashArray surrounding the expanded products.

“They’ve had a lot of experience selling FlashArray, we want to make sure they’re expanding their portfolio approach to Pure and delivering more to our customer base,” she said.

Another challenge raised for partners by Stusrud surrounded the “services opportunity” – building service solutions to wrap around evolved solutions.

“We want to work with these partners when they want to be creative and create new managed services - it drives directly to the outcomes within our customer base,” Stusrud said.

“Those services will drive more subscription services and it will augment the recurring revenue that the partners are just starting to dig into.”

Partner confidence

Backing up Pure’s claims of expanded opportunity is Kris van Dyk, solutions architect at Queensland’s Centum Services.

Centum Services focuses primarily on public sector customers delivering data centre solutions, “of which Pure is a big part of our business,” van Dyk said. They first partnered with Pure in 2016.

He corroborated Stusrud and Fisher’s claims that the expanded solutions will open up new opportunities with existing customers, where pricing was previously the barrier.

“We do find that we have to basically qualify out of opportunities in that lower tier of disk, because we can’t hit the price points – sounds like that’s been solved as well,” he said.

“I see that we can go back to a lot of existing customers and target other workloads in their data centre.”

Of particular interest for van Dyk was the announcement of the new ransomware service level agreement (SLA) for Evergreen//One, which guarantees a clean storage environment to speed recovery following an attack. 

He said that customers have been concerned about potential lockdowns and the uncertainty of recovery after a breach.

“We do a lot of work with hospitals in Queensland and they’re quite paranoid about ransomware and how they will recover,” he said.

“So, seeing that [ransomware SLA] announcement - that’s a big one for our customer base and I think that’s something that there will be a lot of interest in.”

Claudia Muldrew attended Pure Accelerate 2023 in Las Vegas as a guest of Pure Storage. 

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