Hybrid backup vendor enters the channel

Washington – Carbonite has for many years sold hybrid backup and recovery products direct since 2006.

In that time, the Boston-based company has backed up more than 100 billion files and restored a further seven billion lost files.

Despite this success Carbonite is turning over a new leaf and embracing the channel with a new partner program launched at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner conference.

Called the Carbonite Partner Program, this plan supports the company’s first channel specific product on hybrid backup the Carbonite  Appliance HT10 along with a partner referral program.

“From our perspective we are unique compared to others who enter the channel without any brand recognition. We have brand recognition. It’s just not a good one because the business was based on direct sales,” said David Maffei, vice president of global channel sales for Carbonite.

Maffei told CDN that Carbonite is now committed to a partner push and developing a value proposition around business-to-business and educating current channel partners and prospects on the new strategy.

“It starts with us having a new channel-first mind set. We will do direct market but we have dramatically lowered our focus on business-to-consumer. The focus now is to drive SMB and we have reinvented ourselves,” he said.

The new Carbonite channel program is a tiered plan with that will see every partner get a dedicated sales manager. The program will also have deal registration, sales and technical training, market development funds with sign off from Carbonite, and tier 2 technical support.

The three tiers are silver, gold and platinum. The silver level has no minimum requirement. To remain silver you have to sell products over a 12 month time frame. For gold you need to get certified and sell $5,000 and higher. At the platinum level more people at the solution provider have to get certification and they have to develop a joint selling plan. There is a $50,000 minimum sales requirement for platinum.

The market opportunity for the channel start with tiny office of three users going up to mid-market organization of 500 employees, Maffei said.

“The good part with this is its affordable and easy to use. It will remove barriers. We do not want you to think about us as a company that backs up wedding photos and after the PC melts you get your pictures back and you are tickled pink. But a solution for B2B such as a dental office who’s lost patient files and getting those back in two weeks is not acceptable so it’s more about business continuity,” he said.

Currently Carbonite has approximately 5,000 channel partners in its ecosystem. In that there is a mix of managed service providers and VARs.

In terms of margin opportunities with Carbonite, Maffei said partner can see 25 points of margin, but the company has enhanced that when dealing with other Microsoft products such as Office 365, HyperV, and SQL Server.

“We need to attach well so that it’s less about selling and instead about a disaster recovery package that includes servers and anti-virus. Then we are a margin enhancer,” Maffei said.

Carbonite product is available through distribution at Tech Data, Synnex and D&H.

The company has an exclusive arrangement with Synnex Canada.

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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