San Jose-based Nimble Storage, which makes flash-optimized hybrid storage solutions, has announced its first North American distribution agreement, with Avnet Technology Solutions. The deal will see Nimble’s SmartStack converged infrastructure solutions made available to Avnet solution providers in the U.S. and Canada. The two companies are also discussing possible distribution of Nimble through Avnet in Europe.
Nimble, which presently has about 95% of its customers from channel partners, has a fairly large channel for its type of solution, with over 400 partners presently in North America.
“We’ve had great success with local and regional resellers who are often early adopters of technology,” said Kristin Carnes, Director of Worldwide Channel Sales at Nimble Storage. “They may not get as many benefits from a larger manufacturer as they do from us, including the opportunity to do installations.”
While Nimble has dealt directly with its partners in North America – they have been using boutique distribution in Europe, Carnes said they started looking at distribution for North America several months ago, and they concluded Avnet would bring them specific advantages.
“We are looking to the distribution model to grow our number of partners,” Carnes said. “Avnet gives the ability to add partners beyond storage, data center partners who have had problems finding the right storage partner for their solution.”
Carnes said that Avnet also brings the ability to manage transactions and leverage them from an operational perspective, and also has key relationships with many of Nimble’s partners.
“In particular, Avnet is a very significant Cisco partner,” said Carolyn Crandall, VP of Corporate and Field Marketing at Nimble.
“Avnet also has people who do implementations for partners who don’t have the ability to do it themselves, and this is something we definitely want to leverage, Carnes added.
Other services Avnet will provide new and existing Nimble partners include expanded quote and configuration support when purchasing Nimble products, and a dedicated sales team focused on onboarding, enabling and supporting partners. Configuration services and testing validation for SmartStack solutions will also be offered.
Nimble’s SmartStack solutions are pre-validated reference architectures with market leaders such as VMware, Cisco, Citrix, Microsoft, and CommVault. These architectures significantly reduce the challenges associated with deploying application, server, hypervisor, networking, and storage components as an integrated solution.
“The market opportunities presented by the relationships we have with these major vendors like VMware and Cisco, as well as the ability to expand our relationship globally, made us an attractive partner to Avnet,” Carnes said.