SMB storage vendor moving into Canadian market

Mountainview, Calif.-based storage vendor Gridstore is looking to enter Canada and expand its channel program in North America in the next 12 months, especially within the small and medium sized business (SMB) market.

Currently, the company is based in the U.S. and Dublin. It has partners in the U.S. and U.K. but no Canadian partners yet. However, it is looking to sign several in Canada on this year and to gain 200 channel partners in North America within then next 12 months, according to Kelly Murphy, the company’s CEO and co-founder. “We’ve been working quite closely with a number of those to refine that offering,” he said.

The company is targeting the top 100 managed service providers, according to Murphy. “They are the leaders in the market,” he said.

Typically, these resellers have had to invest heavily to provide storage services. Now, Gridstore is looking to offer more for MSPs and VARs who want to move into storage solutions. “It’s a very good business for VARs to be getting into because everyone needs storage.”

The company is aiming to increasing its market share within the SMB space with its scalable network attached storage (NAS) solutions. “Storage is the thing that underpins their IT infrastructure,” he said of SMBs, so allowing resellers to enter the storage space is key. “They can’t afford to make purchase up front and don’t have IT speciality in house.”

Demand for the company’s NAS solutions has accelerated quickly, according to the company. “Now (VARs) are able to tap into a very large and very fast-growing area,” he said.

“A lot of people in the channel today are looking at how they can offer or augment their services with cloud services,” Murphy said, but cost of storage is a challenge. “Gridstore can face that particular use case very well,” he said.

“They’re like PCs in effect,” Murphy said, meaning that if a customer has the basic skill sets required to administer a Windows system, they can use these NAS solutions. “You don’t have to be a storage expert to use this system,” he said.

There’s a whole tier of VARs before that who were not selling storage before,” he said. The up front investment is also typically between $3000 and $5000, which is significantly less than enterprise solutions, he pointed out.

Gridstore also brought on Lanie Kruger in May 2011, a former channel chief with RELDATA Inc., a storage provider, to lead its channel program. “We’re definitely looking to develop programs and the tools to make each of the channel partners that we sign up successful,” Kruger said.

The solution also offers escape from having a single point of failure, which means that MSPs can offer a level of reliability that  they couldn’t before, Murphy said.

Pricing for the NAS solution starts at $499 for a 1TB node and $599 for a 2TB node.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Harmeet Singh
Harmeet Singh
Harmeet reports on channel partner programs, new technologies and products and other issues relevant to Canada's channel community. She also contributes as a video journalist, providing content for the site's original streaming video. Harmeet is a graduate of the Carleton University School of Journalism.

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