Bocada Adds Channel Focus to Compete with EMC, Symantec

By Steve Wexler

For most of its 10-year existence, Kirkland, Wash.-based Bocada has been selling its data protection management software direct to large organizations, but it felt it wasn't reaching its potential customer base, says CEO Nancy Hurley. She tells Channel Insider the company, which competes with the likes of Symantec and EMC, has more than 250,000 clients managed in Fortune 1000 companies, but it didn't believe it had the footprint needed. 

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"This is something that every organization should need," she said. "Small, medium or large companies all back up their data, and with mid-to-large organizations, there are typically multiple backup solutions … [and] it's difficult to manage all of them." That's where Bocada comes in, offering a heterogeneous centralized backup reporting solution.

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So Bocada went back to its customers to find out why they were buying from them, and then went back to the drawing board to create a product that was easier to sell through the channel. The customers said they went from 80 percent backup success rates and as many as 30 people to manage to 99 percent success rates and a 50 percent reduction in staffing requirements. The key was focusing on managing service levels, "a service mentality."

Hurley says the company understood it didn't have the reach to penetrate a larger audience, and the realization that its value proposition was mainly about service made it a no-brainer to move to a channel model. So the Prism DPSM (Data Protection Service Management) solution was launched in January, and this week the company is unveiling its first formal channel program.

"Strategically, we built our product around going after the channel. We wanted to make it friendly for the channel in two ways—easy to sell, easy to demo, but more importantly, something they can sell around, actually help them sell additional products. It really lends itself to selling services."

Bocada has been working with Channel Chargers to build out its channel since June. "I'm really excited about shifting the majority of our sales to the channel this year."

Targeted at resellers and managed service providers, the Bocada Partner Program provides all the usual features of a top-flight program, says Hurley. It includes marketing programs to help generate demand, sales presentations for customers, product demonstration programs, product reference materials with quick guides for easy review, strong margins, and opportunity registration and lead tracking programs.

The business opportunity for the channel is huge, she adds. Of the large installed base, 92 percent of customers would recommend Bocada to peers. Administrative task costs are reduced 40 percent, and capital costs are cut by 30 percent. "The reduction in actual backup costs is quite significant and immediate." Hurley says even more important is the ability to meet SLAs and meet customer satisfaction requirements.

This article was originally published on 2010-05-07