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Asigra introduced a new channel program Oct. 27 that it says will provide
partners with more flexibility in the way they offer cloud-based backup and
recovery services and products and will level the playing field for all
solution providers.

The Toronto-based software vendor rolled out enhancements to its Hybrid
Partner Program in order to give partners more choices between selling either
public cloud services or private cloud build-out.

Asigra has primarily built up its reputation and its base within segments of
the service provider market that use the company’s software as a platform to
build out and offer unique cloud-based backup and recovery managed services.

"We sell software to service providers who use our products to deliver
managed backup services to these business customers," says Eran Farajun,
executive vice president of Asigra. "Now, sometimes these customers look
at this public cloud backup service and they say to their trusted channel
partner, ‘You know what, I’ve been buying all of this technology from you guys
throughout the years and I love you to bits, but I don’t really want to send
all of my data and back it up to you guys. Not because I don’t trust you, just
because I have mandates internally or whatever other reason. I need my own
private cloud.’"

The Hybrid program previously allowed Asigra partners to offer customers the
choice between subscribing to the partner’s service offering or buying the
Asigra platform and the channel partner’s expertise in order to build out an
internally controlled cloud ecosystem for backup and recovery.

"It’s like the movie ‘The Matrix’—you can choose the blue pill or the
red pill," Farajun says. "Our partners are hybrid. They can use our
products to deliver backup services and they can also resell our products. So
if and when the customer says, ‘No, no. Even if this service was free, I
wouldn’t sign up. But I sure do like the technology, can you resell it to me?’
that partner can say, ‘Yes.’"

The new enhancement also gives VARs the opportunity to resell services from
SAS 70 certified backup vaults owned by other Asigra service provider partners.

In addition, the improved Asigra channel program offers pro rata incentives
in order to offer fair discounts and benefits regardless of partner size.

"Before we launched this program, we did a pretty detailed
investigation into the other types of partner programs that exist in the world
of backup software. So we went out and we looked at the usual suspects and when
we looked at their partner programs, we said, ‘Eww. That doesn’t look very
attractive,’" Farajun says.

Farajun says the big vendors such as Symantec, EMC
and IBM make it extremely difficult for
smaller partners to attain the same discount and incentive levels as the big
boys due to onerous sales and training requirements.

"You know the attitude," he says. "’You guys have to sell $10
million a month, you have to train a bazillion people every year and you have
to pay for their training before you can get the deepest most platinum gold
superstar diamond status.’"

Asigra eschewed this approach by setting partner levels on four parameters:
year-over-year growth, regardless of revenue; demand generation marketing and
finding net new opportunities, rather than mining existing stale prospects;
employee training based on a percentage of support tickets and credits; and
brand ambassadorship through the procurement of joint case studies and customer

"The whole concept of a pro rata-based incentive
program is brand new in the backup and recovery space," Farajun says.
"Nobody else is doing this."