WEKA unveils aggressive new channel program

WekaIO (WEKA), the developer of the WEKA Data Platform, recently launched a global channel initiative it said is based on a commitment to a “channel-led, partner-first sales strategy.”

Known as WEKA X, according to the Campbell, Calif.-based company the program will give value-added resellers (VARs), system integrators (SIs), and managed service providers (MSPs), a toolkit of “training, exclusive pricing, and incentives to streamline deal registration.”

The cornerstone of the strategy is its platform, which the company describes as a software-defined offering purpose-built for a hybrid-cloud world and the artificial intelligence (AI) era.

“AI, machine learning (ML), high-performance computing (HPC), and other performance-intensive workloads are reshaping how organizations store, manage, process, and analyze their data; at the same time, cloud adoption is accelerating globally,” the company said in a release.

“These next-generation technologies are straining traditional data architectures, intensifying the need for significantly higher performance, extreme scalability, better data portability, and a simpler, more sustainable approach to data management.”

WEKA president Jonathan Martin said the market has reached an inflection point. “Organizations want to use next-generation technologies like AI and ML to solve previously insurmountable challenges and achieve critical breakthroughs in research and discovery. They quickly realize their legacy data architectures are holding them back.

​“This is driving a complete rethink and replacement of the enterprise data stack as we know it, presenting a significant opportunity for the channel.”

To that end, WEKA X offers three partner tiers – Pro, Prime and Premier – aligned to annual revenue generated with WEKA.

According to the company, the program will include in-depth training about the platform, “designed to put partners on the fast track to profitability,” the ability to streamline deals in order to deliver “predictable profitability with price protection, discounts, incentives, and more,” and marketing initiatives to fuel new sales opportunities.

In a recent interview with Channel Daily News, Colin Gallagher, the company’s vice president of product marketing, and Jeff Echols, WEKA’s vice president of strategic and channel partners, talked about the importance of both the new program and the changing role of the HPC market.

The “thread tying this all together,” said Gallagher, is that HPC is now being used to drive business decisions.

The WEKA Data Platform, he wrote in a blog released last year, was “born in AWS and launched at re:Invent 2017. It is a fully containerized, cloud-native, software-defined platform that combines compute, storage, and high-speed networking to deliver a seamless, simplified, highly performant data management experience with best-in-class economics.

“For on-premises deployments, we leverage the same code that we do in the cloud to deliver the same features on our customers’ choice of hardware. But many of you have been telling us that you want a choice of cloud providers. If you’re like most companies, you have a multicloud strategy and you need access to vendor-specific capabilities of different clouds.”

A key advantage from a channel perspective, added Echols, is that since its launch, partnership deals have been signed with most major players participating in the HPC space, including Hitachi Vantara, Oracle, HPE, and Dell Technologies, as well as the big three public cloud service providers – Microsoft Azure, Google and AWS.

The firm’s most recent partnership was announced last month, with the signing of a new global agreement with Lenovo that the organizations said will be focused on combining the WEKA platform with Lenovo ThinkSystem servers to deliver a high-performance and scalable data management offerings.

The combination of the two, they said, “will accelerate AI and analytics for high performance workloads, including finance, genomics, life science, media and entertainment applications around the world by speeding time to insights while reducing associated costs.”

“We have built out all of these partnerships and ways to buy WEKA and now we are also extending that focus and the benefits to our channel community,” said Echols.

As for the current HPC market, he described it as one that is “growing rapidly and undergoing a lot of disruption. Channel partners thrive in that type of environment.

“The (platform) delivers the next generation approach they and their customers need to transition from traditional data silos to streaming data pipeline architectures and fully capitalize on AI, ML, and HPC.”

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Paul Barker
Paul Barker
Paul Barker is the founder of PBC Communications, an independent writing firm that specializes in freelance journalism. He has extensive experience as a reporter, feature writer and editor and has been covering technology-related issues for more than 30 years.

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