Asigra brings converged data protection appliance to the channel

Cloud backup, recovery and restore software provider Asigra Inc. used its annual Summit conference Tuesday to launch a new data protection appliance with value-added distributor Avnet Inc.

Asigra’s Converged Data Protection Appliance for Managed Service Providers is designed to help service providers enter the cloud backup market by offering cloud backup and disaster recovery services. The appliance allows Asigra’s backup and recovery software to be delivered as an integrated solution.

“The Asigra Converged Data Protection Appliance family disintermediates storage software stacks from expensive hardware, removing the cost and complexity of secondary storage systems,” said Eran Farajun, Asigra’s executive vice-president. “We have also engineered out the complications of storage system integration, troubleshooting, fixes, patches, installation, monitoring, maintenance and the requirements for skilled hardware and operating system staff.”

Avnet Embedded, part of Avnet’s Electronics Marketing Division, focused on providing embedded solutions such as storage, computing, software and networking products, will be packaging and shipping Asigra Appliances and providing hardware-related support.

“Avnet Embedded is working with Asigra leadership to accelerate Converged Data Protection Appliance delivery by leveraging our unique position as a global solution provider,” said John Salemme, vice-president and general manager, Avnet Embedded. “Through our relationship with Asigra, we are bringing together deep technology expertise to provide managed service providers globally with the advanced solution they need to quickly and reliably stand up their backup service infrastructure without undue complexity or costs.”

The appliance will include support for public, private and hybrid cloud deployment models, protect all customer data to a single scalable repository regardless of data source location, and integrate VM replication as well as mobile endpoint geo-location/remote wipe capabilities. General availability is scheduled for August.

Channel updates

Asigra is focused on raising its brand awareness and creating thought leadership, Asigra vice-president of corporate marketing Tracy Stainland told Summit attendees.

“We want the enterprise to know about Asigra,” she said. “We’re also launching a revised partner portal. We heard from you it was difficult to navigate and needed better search functionality.”

A new series of turnkey marketing campaigns are also available focused on comprehensive data protection, Office 365, virtualization, endpoint data protection, and a generic campaign around managed IT.

“We understand not all of you lead with backup, so we wanted to make sure we provided you with a campaign you can use that includes backup, but doesn’t lead with backup,” said Stainland.

Asigra does 100 per cent of its business through the channel and Eran Farajun told CDN that it appreciates most partners don’t wake up in the morning thinking about backup and recovery.

“It’s one arrow in their quiver. For most partners it’s trailing complementary – it complements their portfolio of offerings as an upsell,” said Farajun. “We’ve aligned out business model that way. We provide marketing and digital content support, help them create demand and help with the marketing things the channel is traditionally uncomfortable at doing.”

Get trust before you talk about price

Several speakers told Summit attendees about the importance of a new style of selling that focuses on business outcomes, and builds trust before talking about price.

“You have to earn the trust, and you can’t buy it. You have to earn it,” said Asigra CEO and founder David Farajun. “If you don’t have the trust you can’t move to the next step, and the real value in technology is services.”

If you talk about value and trust first, then you can talk about price, said Farajun, and you can even command a higher price because they trust you and understand the value you can deliver. If you lead with price, customers may not trust your motives.

“If you build up trust, you’re earning the time for the customer to listen to you,” said Farajun.

Gartner analyst Tiffany Bova added the new competition isn’t around products, but rather the customer experience. There’s a reason why you’ll skip the free breakroom coffee to go downstairs and buy Starbucks.

“You need to redefine value. Are you selling your product, or what your technology can do?” asked Bova. “It’s not what you’re selling; it’s how you’re selling it.

Partners need to rethink their role in the customer’s business going forward – how will your technology help your customer grow their business?

“The sales funnel is redefining itself. (Prospects) are going up and down in the pipeline; it’s superfluid,” said Bova. “Differentiate what you do and focus on how you do it. What makes you different? It needs to be how you deliver it.”

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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