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‘7 Minutes’ with Comtrade Software Sales Director Mike Taylor

**Editor’s Note: “7 Minutes” is a new feature where we ask channel executives from startups – or companies new to the Channel Partners audience – a series of quick questions about their businesses and channel programs.**

Comtrade's Mike TaylorFor the latest installment in our “7 Minutes” series, we (virtually) travel to Boston to meet up with channel-exclusive hyperconverged infrastructure monitoring provider Comtrade Software. Mike Taylor, Comtrade’s sales director, U.S. East & Federal, took a few minutes to introduce the company and its channel program. Learn more here.

Comtrade’s technology partner roster includes Nutanix, which has its own value proposition for partners. While HCIs present unique challenges, including around DR, hyperconvergence can reduce complexity and thus save money. This is an area partners need to be on top of: Gartner says hyperconverged gear will be 24 percent of the integrated systems market by 2019, reaching almost $5 billion in sales, and will be fully mainstream by 2021.

Channel Partners: Describe your channel program — metal levels, heavy on certifications, open or selective, unique features?

Mike Taylor: Comtrade Software is a worldwide leader in monitoring and data protection. Our channel program has three levels — silver, gold and platinum, and has more than 100 worldwide partners. The gold and platinum levels receive the highest deal-registration discounts, company name and logo on Comtrade’s Partner webpage as a premier partner, membership in our exclusive Partner Advisory Board group, co-hosted special events and annual support/maintenance.{ad}

At the silver level, there’s no minimum commitment from the partner, and we provide technical support, as well as technical and sales training via webinars and lead-distribution programs. In North America, our Nutanix products are distributed exclusively by Promark Technology, and our F5 Networks products are distributed exclusively by Ingram Micro. We are in the process of signing a number of exclusive agreements with international partners and continue to identify partners to help distribute our solutions globally.

CP: Describe the percentage of sales through the channel, number of partners and average margin.

MT: Our business is 100 percent indirect and through our partners. We are always looking for new partners that have strong practice areas in Nutanix and F5. Average margin depends on the partner’s commitment level.

CP: Who are your main competitors, and what makes your offering better?

MT: Comtrade Software is a worldwide leader in monitoring and data protection. We compete with a number of IT monitoring and data protection solutions providers. Our deep experience in technology and relationships with partners allows us to build …

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… application-focused solutions that provide full stack visibility into these business-critical applications and infrastructure.

CP: How do you think your technology portfolio will change in the next three years?

MT: Comtrade Software prides itself in developing deep relationships with our technology partners.  Examples of these partners include Nutanix, Citrix, Microsoft and F5 Networks. Our technology portfolio will change and be driven by input from customers, channel partners and the road maps of our technology partners.{ad}

CP: How do you expect your channel strategy to evolve over that timeframe?

MT: Comtrade Software is 100 percent committed to our partners. We are constantly looking for ways to create and deploy innovative programs to help them achieve their own business objectives. We also look for ways to incorporate and adopt changes in our partner’s programs. For example, Nutanix Go — that empowers businesses to de-risk IT projects by deploying Nutanix infrastructure for short periods of time using flexible operating budgets.

CP: What didn’t we ask that partners should know?

MT: Comtrade Software offers exclusive access to special technical resources that include online and live technical trainings, marketing materials and access to senior product technicians, who help our partners remain one step ahead of their competitors. We are continuing to recruit new partners and enhance our program requirement and benefits.


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