BitTitan CEO tries to shed all barriers for the cloud

Geeman Yip is probably one of the fastest talkers I have ever interviewed. I too have been labelled a fast talker so I can appreciate the founder of BitTitan, a Kirkland, Wash.-based cloud enablement vendor, unique way of communicating.

BitTitan recently announced new enterprise features for its MigrationWiz, a cloud-based data migration solution predominately for Office 365.

Yip value proposition for MigrationWiz is that it dramatically lowers the cost of cloud services adoption, but what it really does is help customers overcome the many technology barriers with cloud. And, just like the CEO, MigrationWiz is fast which increases speed to market for users.

Like it or not cost and speed are two of the many barriers for cloud adoption. Another barrier Yip mentioned that I found most interesting is which cloud service should they buy. And, Yip makes a great point here as the market is quite muddled at the moment.

The perception of the cloud is something Yip admitted to CDN he spends a lot of time and investment on. For Yip cloud adoption is about dollars available and potential dollars acquired. BitTitan has gone on record saying there are costs associated to cloud adoption, but the savings can be between 20 to 30 per cent depending on the organization and human costs.

But besides speed to market and cost savings another barrier Yip is trying to remove is “assurance”. There are plenty of customers who think the cloud simply will not work in their environment. BitTitan is working with channel partners to help convince customers who are looking for assurances that if the initial pilot fails for whatever reason they can move back. “Our channel partners can now get into the enterprise and do pilots and in about two weeks move 100 customers on Office 365 and if they don’t like it get back to a Google environment,” he said.

For the channel, partnering with a BitTitan is something many are contemplating and plenty others have already signed on. Yip said BitTitan currently has 6,000 channel partners in more than 150 countries including Canada. But they want more.

The challenge channel partners are finding with the cloud and specifically for Office 365 is how do you compensate sales people when you are only taking in $4 for every Office 365 deployed?

“To get to the same amount of revenue as before you have to sell a lot of that. We are always battling those perceptions,” said Yip, the former program manager at Microsoft before starting BitTitan in 2007.

His approach with the channel is suggesting to them to look at the most mature area of computing; email. He called email a commodity, but it’s the foot in the door to other cloud services. “From there you can figure out the other opportunities depending on the size of the company they may want CRM. If they are a two person company there’s not a lot of value for CRM,” he said.

Yip added that channel partners should look at having a lifetime type of customer so don’t pile on a lot of cloud services and make it more of a strategy than a standard sales piece.

In just over a year BitTitan has branched out of Office 365 to include SharePoint, Exchange, Microsoft OneDrive for Business, Dropbox, Amazon S3 and Google Drive, SharePoint Online, Azure, Google Apps, Lotus Notes, enterprise archive vault and on-premise archiving systems.

“We are universal and can migrate anything,” Yip said.

BitTitan was a showstopper at last year’s Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Washington, D.C. For the upcoming Orlando show, Yip and the team will focus on creating more partner value and automating the sales opportunity for the channel. For example, one migration may lead to an up-selling opportunity and BitTitan will provide intelligence on that from a vertical market perspective, a size of market perspective and from a geographic perspective.

Yip also told CDN the BitTitan channel program will feature a new estimator tool to gauge the scope of projects. This tool will be able to capture customer details and send it through data mining to find cross-sell and up-sell opportunities from a database that includes 10,000 BitTitan customers.

There will also be details on new incentives for the channel along with a tool that can find out all the other incentives available to a partner including Microsoft-based rebates.

And, just like the speed of Yip’s vocabulary selection these new channel program tools have the potential to quicken a partner’s ability to increase revenue with the cloud.

Two quick hits before I go. Violin Memory, Inc. announced Said Ouissal has been named the new head of Violin’s Worldwide Field Operations replacing Tom Mitchell who was at one time the channel chief for Cisco and Avaya. Mitchell will stay on at Violin and help Ouissal with the transition.

And, Dr. Sarah Muttitt has been appointed Chief Information Officer and Vice-President of the Information Management and Technology portfolio at SickKids.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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