The expected rapid rollout of artificial intelligence will pile pressure on infrastructure, creating opportunities for flash storage vendors such as Pure Storage.
Amy Rushall, the company's area VP for Australia and New Zealand, told Reseller News Pure had invested in several key appointments in both sales and the channel and boosted resources to support training and to develop opportunities for partners.
"We don’t work with a large number of partners, and that’s deliberate," Sydney-based Rushall said after a December tour to New Zealand. "We invest heavily, via a range of programmes, with our committed partners and they are an extremely important strategic extension of our sales teams."
That approach is also in line with global strategy. Pure’s vice president of global partner sales, Wendy Stusrud, said last June the company was“doubling down” on current partners who were already committed to building strategies and expertise around the vendor’s portfolio.
Her visit also reinforced opportunities around key industry verticals, such as education and healthcare, the importance of cloud, including hybrid and multi cloud environments, and the excitement around artificial intelligence.
Partners were also seeing significant opportunities in Pure Storage's recently announced Pure//E family of products because they provided a viable alternative for Tier 2 workloads.
To drive that, Pure was on a mission to enable flash storage to get to a point where replacing disks became economically viable.
"That pricing parity will finally bring a close to the spinning disk era and that’s a great opportunity for our partners in New Zealand," Rushall said.
Themes seen in the New Zealand channel included resellers pivoting towards consultative sales and delivering expert guidance to address changing customer requirements.
"For example, our partner programmes will prioritise delivering comprehensive resources, encompassing demo units, online and virtual labs dedicated to partner skill development, and tailored proof of concept support, which aim to empower partners with enhanced tools for success," Rushall said.
"It goes without saying as well, that in New Zealand, as all around the world, AI adoption will continue to be a driving force."
Because AI was expected to drive data centre energy demand, Rushall also expected to see more NZ companies seeking ways to minimise its environmental impact.
New Zealand was one of the earliest adopters of the company's storage as a service offering, Evergreen//One, and was also leading the way in replacing l"egacy" disk with flash in data centres to reduce energy consumption.
Also on her agenda was to get a pulse on the state of diversity in New Zealand and see how Pure Storage could contribute to creating more opportunities for women in the tech sector.
"We need to tackle this at the source and that is in schools and encouraging girls to consider a career path in tech," Rushall said.
"I am still learning where best to focus my efforts with diversity in this region and am determined to put thoughts into action this upcoming year."
Pure remained 100 per cent channel focused and had no plans to change.
"Working with strategically important and innovative channel partners enables the best outcomes for our customers, and that’s more important than ever, considering the seismic shifts going on in data management here and around the world," Rushall said.
With pressure from regulators and an increasing reliance on technologies like AI, the opportunities for partners would only accelerate, she said.
"That goes for our distributors, as well as our systems integrators, who know the dynamics well of the relatively tight knit New Zealand market, from the finance sector to healthcare and education. Our partners add significant value."
Westcon is Pure's major local distributor while partners include CCL, Spark, Datacom, Sempre and VBridge.
"In 2024 and beyond, we expect to see the channel work towards building strategic ecosystems of technology alliances, establishing interconnected relationships that extend beyond individual partnerships," Rushall said.
This "ecosystem-oriented" approach would result in a broader market reach, enhanced solution offerings for partners, especially in emerging fields such as AI, and a more robust channel strategy, combining to drive sales of integrated solutions.
"We invest heavily with our partners on joint marketing campaigns, both technology and industry vertical based," Rushall said.
"That includes tactical considerations such as ready access to marketing development funds and physical events, for example. Any leads that are generated from these activities go straight to our partners."