Vembu Attracts 550 Managed Storage Partners

Big companies -- EMC, and soon Symantec -- are making big moves into the managed services market. But Vembu Technologies of Chennai (Madras), India, has quietly built a global managed storage business of its own.

More than 550 partners now use StoreGrid, Vembu's backup and storage solution. And Vembu is seeking to push its global partner network to more than 1,000 companies, according to Lakshmanan Narayan, president of Vembu.

"EMC's recent relaunch and Symantec’s new service is a validation of the market," says Narayan. "Couple that with Dell’s recent focus on managed services, and everyone is singing the managed services mantra. Online backup used to be the poor cousin of traditional backup. That's no longer the case." (Here's some background on the EMC and Symantec moves.)

When Vembu launched in June 2004, the company focused primarily on the peer-to-peer backup market. But customers (more specifically, VARs) started using Vembu's offering as a commercial online backup system.

"We actually had a bunch of resellers using it in that fashion two years ago," says Narayan. As buzz about the company grew virally, more resellers embraced Vembu's software. "Now, we've just crossed the 550 partner mark."

Roughly 70 percent of Vembu's partner business occurs in North America, 10 percent in the United Kingdom, 5 percent in New Zealand and the rest is spread mostly across Europe and Australia, he says. Vembu's partners, which typically range from 5 to 50 employees, all host customer data on their own.

Looking ahead, Vembu's big priority is to make sure online backup is a de-factor piece of every VAR's managed services portfolio. The company is exploring OEM opportunities, but also wants to march toward 1,000 service providers as partners. Vembu also is taking a close look at Amazon Web Services as a potential avenue for new business opportunities.

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