Pure Storage expands Canadian leadership

SAN FRANCISCO – A little over a year ago the only Canadian-based employee of Pure Storage was Chris Gowans.

That has changed dramatically with the all-flash array vendor hiring not just a Country Manager but also a Canadian Channel Chief.

Pure Storage has appointed former Cisco Canada executive Brent Allen as the company’s first ever Canadian Country Manager. Supporting Allen is Jill Martin as the Pure Storage Canada Channel Chief. She was recently with Dimension Data Canada.

Andy Martin, the Pure Americas Channel Chief, said he found Allan while making a presentation to Cisco Canada, who is a Pure alliance vendor partner.

“We at Pure understand that Canada needs to be run in Canada and not run out of New York, Florida or Northern California. It needs to be run in country. We are slowly building up our presence in Canada and leaders such as Allen and Jill Martin gives us credibility in the market up in Canada,” Martin said.

He added that the Canadian market is a huge opportunity for Pure and for the channel with its evergreen model. For Pure, the Canadian space is not being served in terms of all flash array market and the company is 100 per cent channel friendly strategy.

“The Pure model saves dollars. If you have to buy; it costs less and there is no tech to refresh and it roughly saves around 30 per cent for most CIOs,” Martin said.

And, CIOs don’t want to give those savings back to the business, Martin has learned. He told CDN that CIOs have many other projects that have been put on hold. This leads to a channel partner opportunity because they can go in and provide an all-flash solution, save them money and then with the extra budget sell the customer value added services such as cloud readiness, unified communications or security.

“With the same amount of money the customer gets more and the partner becomes more sticky with the customers,” he said.

Jill Martin, in an interview with CDN, outlined her channel strategy for Pure in Canada. Jill Martin, who has the official title of Channel Sales Manager for Canada, is working to develop a coast-to-coast coverage model with channel partners who wish to lead with Pure technology.

And, Pure boosted its product portfolio at the Accelerate Conference with 25 new products highlighted by Pure’s announcement of the 75-blade system called FlashBlade. The FlashBlade line has a five-fold surge in both capacity and performance. FlashBlade also comes as a single system that can manage up to 75 blades.

Jill Martin’s coverage model will include national partners such as Softchoice, along with strategic partners who have expertise in a specific vertical market and then regional solution providers mainly for the Quebec market and the Maritimes.

“We want to engage with meaningful partners who will lead with Pure to improve their own value proposition. We are positioning Pure as technology that achieves client outcomes and then other outcomes for the partner,” she said.

Her analysis of the channel landscape in Canada shows that there are partners who are slow to the all-flash solution because they are protecting their incumbent base.

“But word is getting out and clients are asking resellers about Flash,” she added.

Pure channel partner Mindful Experience, a member of the CDN Top 100 list, decided to make Pure its exclusive storage vendor of record. Chris Carbone, the executive vice president and co-founder of Mindful Experience, said Pure technology is ideal for new all-digital builds. Mindful Experience is implementing Pure storage solutions as part of what will be Canada’s smartest building project in downtown Toronto.

“The issue with Pure Storage is legacy systems. Those customers are entrenched because they made a big investment and it hard to move away from that. But on new builds, like smart buildings in an apples to apples comparison Pure wins over disk,” Carbone said.

A few things to note about Pure’s channel direction. The company does not offer any back-end rebates, but Jill Martin said the channel will achieve much higher margin opportunities than traditional storage vendors.

Andy Martin also told CDN that while there are no back end margins the partner has the freedom to charge whatever the they want.

Pure also goes directly to channel in North America. Pure does have a two-tier distribution model for the rest of the world.

Both Andy and Jill Martin are open to working with distributors in Canada and the U.S., but they reiterated there are no firm plans in place to change that now.

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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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