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Nutanix outlines 2015 strategy, teases new Dell platforms

InfrastructureAnton Granic Headshot

Nutanix had a good 2014.  The hyper-converged infrastructure vendor has grown from a curiosity to securing major partnerships, most recently in July when it became a Dell solutions partner, one that is now on everyone’s lips.

When Anton Granic, Nutanix Canada’s senior director last sat down with CDN, he outlined his company’s 100 per cent channel-friendly strategy, including its refusal to take deals directly.  This week, he provided an update on this strategy, and what’s coming down the pipes in 2015.


New Nutanix on Dell solutions

Nutanix’ partnership with Dell may still be in its infancy, but that hasn’t stopped the two companies from forging ahead.  Granic teased a “couple new platforms” coming within three months and even more by the summer that would expand its portfolio of more than a dozen hardware solutions to address workloads in a variety of verticals.

This includes Dell PowerEdge XC series that have been in the market for a little over two months.

These solutions are meant to “expand that hardware offering to replicate the granularity and flexibility we already offer,” Granic told CDN. He explained that the new hardware offerings are designed to interoperate with any existing investments into XC platforms.  This would alleviate any sort of “lock-ins” where additional workloads can’t be added without separate management.


“Stagnant” partners

In 2014, Granic was key in securing distributor agreements with Ingram Micro Canada, Arrow and Avnet Canada.  Although he is open to exploring possibilities, Granic said that Nutanix is fairly content in the number of partnerships it has in Canada, which still hovers around 15 to 20, and is not looking to expand this number significantly.

“We look at all our partners as strategic,” said Granic.  “They are all thought leaders in their customer base.”

He explained that Nutanix’ partners fall into national, regional, and local tiers, all of whom add a significant value when they bring solutions to market.

“If you onboard too many partners too quickly, you don’t have the resources and cycles to give them the attention they deserve.  From a strategic perspective, we’re not looking to a hundred partners,” he said.

The same attitude carries over to the company’s deal registration program, where he said Nutanix will continue to honour its no-direct moto, with no changes coming in the foreseeable future.

In some cases, this has translated into healthy discounts and larger margins for partners, as high as 15 to 27 points, Granic said.


Going deeper with verticals

One change for Nutanix in 2015 is its shift in focus on training and certifying its go-to partners.  Granic said the company would try to strengthen its national presence by helping partners understand the rapid changes coming to its technology, as well as all the possibilities that a hyper-converged platform offers, including VDI and cloud.

One example he mentioned was Windows Server 2003 migration, for which Nutanix offers a completely turnkey solution.

“Anything you can virtualize, really, you can do with Nutanix,” said Granic, who added that the company has broken through the concept of offering a niche product.  “Having all these updates requires a consistent dialogue with clients.”



The last major trend this year is that Nutanix will see more  competition than ever before, with companies like VMware’s EVO: Rail hot on their heels.  Granic hopes that despite watching the direction of the market, Nutanix’ continued innovation should keep them ahead.

“It’s great seeing companies trying to compete with or mimic what we do; it’s great validation,” he said. “[But] nobody else can do what Nutanix does in the hyper converged infrastructure.  We’re 2 to 3 years ahead of everybody and in a strong position in the market.”