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‘7 Minutes’ with Stratoscale Business Development VP John Mao

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**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.**

Stratoscale had occasion to celebrate this month: It was placed in the Visionaries quadrant of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for hyperconverged infrastructure. Only Microsoft shared that prime real estate. Gartner likes Stratoscale’s “hardware-neutral solutions, enabling flexible and cost-optimized HCI platforms while avoiding system vendor lock-in.” That’s music to many customers’ ears, and Stratoscale’s support for public-, multi- and hybrid-cloud strategies will please partners looking to take on migration and integration work as well as CSPs and MSPs that wish to spin up low-cost, scalable HCI-based hosting capacity.

Stratoscale's John Mao

Stratoscale’s John Mao

Stratoscale also took “Best of Show” gold in the virtualization and cloud infrastructure category at last year’s VMworld.

Stratoscale Symphony delivers HCI via software that runs on commodity servers; technology partners include Cloudera, Docker, Intel and OpenStack. The PartnerFirst channel program is for larger resellers, integrators and distributors, and Stratoscale promises to increase partner margins and help deliver customer value. You can register opportunities, and the company offers technical, sales and marketing support as well as co-selling, co-marketing and lead generation.

Channel Partners: Tell us what customers love about your product or service. What’s the secret selling sauce?

John Mao: In one brief sentence, Stratoscale enables enterprises to develop, run and scale cloud-native applications in their on-prem environments, just like they do in AWS. Essentially, cloud-native applications are no longer limited to the public cloud, and we help companies empower their developers with IaaS and comprehensive AWS-compatible cloud services while making sure IT maintains full control.

The secret sauce is quite simple: It’s all about delivering a true hybrid and consistent solution.

Many companies have already made significant steps towards an “all-in” cloud strategy, and some are just starting out. But they are all challenged with bringing cloud capabilities to their on-prem environments, and that’s where we come in.

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

JM: We believe in a partner-first strategy. This strategy is based on teaming up with strong players that already hold a significant and highly relevant footprint in the enterprise data center, mainly hardware OEMs, but lack when it comes to supporting cloud-native applications.

CP: Quick-hit answers: Percentage of sales through the channel, number of partners, average margin. Go.

JM: Approximately 50 percent of revenue is currently related to partnerships.

CP: Who are your main competitors, and what makes your offering better? //If you prefer not to sketch out the competitive landscape that’s fine, we’ll do so in the intro//

JM: Azure Stack is a strong competitive offering, by bringing the advantages of …

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