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Sepaton has unveiled a revamped partner program aimed at helping VARs take advantage of the burgeoning virtual tape library market.

The company has had a channel program since it was founded five years ago but has now revamped the program and unveiled new education services, tiering and broader marketing support, according to Jay Livens, director of field and channel marketing at Sepaton.

“We wanted to improve our Catalyst Partner Program and one of the fundamental new elements is the learning services,” Livens said.  “We have implemented an online e-learning system where VARs can learn about best practice, industry trends and take our training courses in their own time,” he added.

The program has also been divided into two tiers; Gold level and Silver level. Gold level partners must have the required number of Sepaton-trained salespeople and certifications as well as fulfill sales quotas, according to Mike Sutkowski, vice president of worldwide channel sales. 

He said as part of the program relaunch, the company is also on a recruitment drive for partners.  “The kinds of VARs we had when we first started are different to the kinds of VARs we have now, and we are absolutely looking to recruit more enterprise call data protection solution providers,” Sutkowski said. The company currently has 65 members in the Catalyst Partner Program and Sutkowski said the optimum number is around 100.

Livens said the company is offering VARs targeted marketing campaigns and joint co-marketing for events. “We put together targeted campaigns at specific verticals with our VARs on a one-to-one basis.”

According to a survey of 228 IT professionals in North America for analyst group ESG, almost one-third of survey respondents have implemented a VTL (virtual tape library) solution and another one-third plan to do so within the next 24 months. "If proof is in the numbers, then VTL is clearly becoming one of IT’s early favorite remedies for fixing broken tape-based data protection environments,” Heidi Biggar, an analyst at ESG, said in the report.