**Editor’s Note: “7 Minutes” is a feature where we ask channel executives from startups – or companies that may be new to the Channel Partners audience – a series of quick questions about their businesses and channel programs.**
After a somewhat bumpy IPO, Tintri is moving ahead on plans to break out of the flash storage mold set by the likes of Cohesity/Pure Storage and Tegile — and challenge hyperconverged enterprise cloud platform providers including Nutanix and HPE Simplivity. Earlier this month, it recorded a win when data-center provider Whoa.com replaced NetApp storage with Tintri gear, making it the basis of private and public cloud deployments and a disaster-recovery solution.
Tintri also announced an integration with Cisco UCS Director via a plugin to enable compute, network and storage configuration and management at the virtual machine and vDisk levels.
Tintri’s technology is a fit for partners looking to get into the cloud services provider business, as Gena Phelps, the company’s director of global channel marketing, explains in the latest installment of our 7 Minutes series. Its hardware is also targeted at enterprises looking to build their own private clouds.
Data-center spending is set to inch up, according to a June survey of 676 members of the 451 Global Digital Infrastructure Alliance. Fifty-five percent of respondents maintain company-owned or leased data centers and facilities. Almost a third (32 percent) are operating between 76 percent and 100 percent utilization, yet just 18 percent plan to fix that by leasing colocation space. When asked about pain points, more than half cited difficulty responding effectively to changing business requirements — a selling point for hyperconverged infrastructure.
Channel Partners: Tell us what customers love about your product or service. What’s the secret selling sauce?
Gina Phelps: Tintri’s secret sauce is its CONNECT architecture. It’s designed to work like building blocks – similar to public cloud – that customers can easily configure and integrate with their existing infrastructure.
And Tintri largely works in autonomous fashion, meaning customers set it and forget it. For example, Tintri automatically assigns every virtual machine to its own “lane,” so there is never conflict over resources. And when you expand your footprint, Tintri optimizes the placement of every virtual machine. That frees our customers from obsessing about storage, so they can focus on delivering enterprise cloud benefits.
CP: Describe your channel program — metal levels, heavy on certifications, open or selective, unique features?
GP: Tintri operates a program for value-added resellers, including full access to Tintri resources, deal registration, incentive programs, value-added services and certifications. The program offers tiers (Elite, Premier, Authorized, Registered) with program and financial benefits — with clear growth paths and milestones. Tintri also offers a not-for-resale (NFR) purchase program featuring significant discounts on Tintri storage for use in partner labs and demo environments.
Where Tintri really stands apart is our commitment to helping partners build cloud practices. For example, we recently announced a new certification, the Tintri Certified Cloud Expert, which educates partners on …