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Marathon Technologies had been running its own channel for about two years to deliver about half of its Microsoft Windows protection software to market.

But its latest product required a different approach that led them to team with distributor Arrow Electronics Enterprise Computing Solutions for better support.

Marathon’s high-availability applications necessitate a team of partners that the company kept to 60 VARs and systems integrators.

But the firm’s product, FTvirtual Server, a software-only version of its high-availability solution to protect Windows applications against platform faults and failures, required more of a mass-market approach than the company’s 60-VAR program could deliver.

Marathon turned to distributor Arrow Electronics, building a relationship that would bring Marathon’s solution to a large swath of partners, but in a manner that provides them with the proper support.

“It’s meant to be a turnkey solution,” said Gary Phillips, President and CEO of Marathon.

“In the past, this kind of product [high-availability] was really only feasible on the high end [where it could be supported]. This product is useable and consumable by a large percentage of the market. Now the challenge is getting it to market.”

High-availability solutions, such as Marathon’s FTvirtual Server, are increasingly important to the IT strategy that resellers and distributors offer clients, said Eric Williams, executive vice president of the Arrow’s IBM business unit.

Arrow delivers marketing and lead generation support, but Marathon retains control of who sells their product, keeping a lid on channel conflict and maintaining quality, Phillips said.