Toronto-based Automated Capacity Control software vendor CiRBA has made a move to strengthen its outsourcer and cloud service provider channel partners by adding new program and license options for both groups in its’ partner program.
“Virtualization and cloud have really changed the capacity provisioning business, so there is less interest in brands of hardware and where workload is being served from,” said Chuck Tatham, CiRBA’s SVP, Business Development and Marketing. That makes software like CiRBA’s, which efficiently balances infrastructure supply and demand and manages operational risk and efficiency, more important than ever, particularly in the hosting and managed infrastructure businesses. It provides total visibility into application demand, including the pipeline of new requests, to accurately manage supply requirements for compute, storage and network resources. Its’ patented algorithms optimize VM sizing, routing and placement decisions in order to maximize efficiency while mitigating risk.
“The balance of supply and demand needs to be managed closely in any capacity-based business like schools, airlines and hotels,” Tatham said. “This software capability allows for a much closer management of the balance of supply and demand. Companies that do this have to be very efficient about it, because it’s their profit. It’s how they serve their customers. It’s extremely important.”
While CiRBA’s home office is in Canada, most of their business is global, as their focus is on Fortune 1000 companies that are increasingly virtualized. Like most software vendors selling to this market, they began by selling direct, but unlike most, they began to acquire a channel early in their history.
“In our early days, our software was used exclusively for transformational analytics, and very early on, in 2007, IBM approached us saying they needed a more modern way of advising customers, and Cisco also came in because they needed to advise customers on how to move on to UCS in a modern and empirical way,” Tatham said. “Their integrator and services arms realized our technology enabled them to do better things for their customers.”
As the market and technology evolved, the uses to which CiRBA’s software were put evolved as well, as did the kind of partners who showed interest.
“Over time, we evolved the engine to be more of a day-to-day active brain for optimal placement for workloads as environments became much more complex to manage,” Tatham added. “As our engine has become this brain of long-term management of infrastructure, this brought out other types of partner interest, like outsourcers and cloud providers, who make a profit by managing customers’ infrastructures better. This brain makes them better over the lifetime of the customer, not just in doing a transformation for a customer.”
CiRBA has acquired several of these types of partners over the last year, and is now formalizing policies to better enable them.
“These changes productize the partners’ unique needs,”Tatham said. “You start on a custom basis and as you see a market trend, you make it more programmatic.
“The most important element is the way we enable them as part of the program,” he said. “In any program, you have to do training to equip the partners – enabling their sales organization to communicate how this technology makes their offer better, and equipping their technical people with expertise to make them successful. It’s about meaningfully enabling them to do their business with our technology.”
Another key addition is licensing that suits a cloud provider.
“They don’t know what kind of volatility they will be dealing with, so we have implemented a utility license program where they report to us on a monthly basis how many workloads they are managing and we invoice them accordingly,” Tatham said.
Partners now account for about 40% of CiRBA’s business, and Tatham said the growth potential of the cloud partners in particular is large because these tend to have customers for many years, rather than just doing project-based work.
CiRBA also has a track for VAR partners that sell CiRBA licenses to the Global 2000.