A Shift In The Channel: Scale Computing CEO Advises Partners Eyeing A Reliable VMware Alternative
Sydney Neely Hello. I'm Sydney Neely for The Channel Company. Over the past two weeks, the I.T. infrastructure space has been buzzing with talk about acquisitions such as Broadcom-VMware, and this has left some solution providers exploring new options. Here to discuss the current state of things and one of the available options is Jeff Ready, the CEO for Scale Computing. So, Jeff, what should partners look for when they are either considering a change in approach to virtualization or are forced to make a change? Jeff Ready I think there's a ton of uncertainty out there right now, both for partners and customers alike. So I think there's several things to consider. First is, of course, you've got to make sure that you replace the VMware with a technology that's going to meet the customer needs. Something that's been out there, established, and is flexible because those needs are changing. We have to consider that because right now you've got the rise of edge computing, you've got AI applications, containerization, hybrid cloud—lots of things happening, and all of those things already had customers looking for different options. The Broadcom-VMware is just adding fuel to that fire. So partners have the opportunity to say, okay, not only can I help solve this uncertainty that's been created, but also pave a path into the future. Finally, what I would encourage all partners to look at is they have the opportunity to now engage with those vendors who understand how a true partnership really should work. Sydney Neely Now, partners who are exploring other solutions might be worried about the transition process. Can you give us some insight into how easy it is to switch over to Scale Computing. Jeff Ready That's always a concern, right? I mean, if a customer says, hey, I might consider Scale, but how do I get from A to B? The good news is this is something that Scale helps customers do every single day. Partners have lots of options and we literally migrate tens of thousands of applications from VMware to Scale every year. So the partners need to know there are options within the product itself, how to import a virtual machine and have it converted. We also have tools they can use to actually live, migrate the workload so you can move a workload without ever shutting it down. We can offer this as a full kind of white glove service. So for those partners who just want us to do that for training, to train their own team on how to do it because that's a service they want to offer, that's fine. For those partners who don't want to offer that kind of service, they can actually have us do it, and we'll perform it on behalf of the partner for the customer. Sydney Neely Can you tell us how Scale Computing engages with partners and with your overall go to market approaches? Jeff Ready This is something I take very personally. I'm not only the CEO, but I'm the founder of the business, and we've been at it for over 15 years now. What every employee at Scale knows is that my stated goal is that we want to be the best-ever vendor partner that our customers or our partners will work with in their entire career. So in other words, when they retire, and when that eventually happens, if someone were to ask them who was the best vendor they ever worked with, they would say, Scale. I've built the entire company around that premise. And it's a lofty goal, right? But we're a channel first, always. We have a sales organization here that is paid to help partners win deals, not to take those deals themselves. Then we structure our whole services and support organization around the needs of both customers and partners. I think you can see the results in things like our CRN ARC report card. For years, we've had some of the highest ratings ever in that across all vendors. And we've been number one in the virtualization space for five years. Sydney Neely I've heard some exciting news about a new discount program for new partners. Tell us more about it? Jeff Ready I recognize that partners have to make a big commitment in bringing on a new vendor like Scale, understanding the product, engaging in that partnership. Right now, we're offering partners who are bringing customers over to Scale a 25% discount in addition to their normal discount for every one of those deals. So now they have an incentive to say, 'hey, I can make the investment, I can make some additional margin.' That margin is intended to offset, obviously, the cost of engaging with a new partner like us. The second part of the offering is actually for end users. We're offering end users is to say, 'Hey, whatever you've got left on that VMware contract, when you come over to Scale, we're going to add that on to your Scale licensing for free.' So if you got a year left, you're going to get a year of scale for free. Now the end users can have certainty and not lose that money. And again, the partners have the opportunity to offset their expense.