Rancher Labs Eyes Kubernetes Adoption with Program Launch

Kubernetes management platform Rancher Labs expands its platinum partner program to Europe.

Christine Horton, Contributing Editor

May 18, 2020

3 Min Read
Kubernetes logo

Silicon Valley startup Rancher Labs is taking its first steps into Europe with the launch of its Platinum Partner program across the region. The expansion is part of the container management software provider’s efforts “to hasten Kubernetes adoption everywhere.”

That’s according to the company’s co-founder, president and CRO, Shannon Williams.

Williams said there is an “enormous market opportunity for forward-thinking resellers” to help enterprises realize the potential of Kubernetes.


Rancher Labs’ Shannon Williams

“Enterprises continue to move toward cloud-native and microservices-centric strategies in a bid to simplify management, hasten time-to-market and drive efficiency,” said Williams. “Kubernetes is the obvious way to achieve these goals, but the skills needed to get Kubernetes projects off the ground are scarce — particularly in-house.

“Bridging the gap, the partner community is starting to get behind Kubernetes, recognizing the opportunity to add real value to Kubernetes deployments,” he said.

Rancher has 200 consulting partners, resellers and MSPs globally, with 50 EMEA channel partners. Five of these are now platinum partners: B1 Systems and SVA in Germany, Conoa in Sweden, Puzzle in Switzerland and Netic in Denmark.

Less than 30% of Rancher business goes through the channel, but Williams sees that changing.

“Channel partners [are] playing an increasingly strategic role in our business, hence the expansion of the Platinum program,” he said.

Launched in North America in July 2019, Rancher’s platinum program gives partners access to co-marketing, lead generation and opportunity sharing programs, MDF, and options for co-branded content.

Rancher recently closed a $40 million Series D funding round, bringing its total funding to just under $100 million. Williams said the investment covers go-to-market activities and accelerating market expansion.

Open Source Competition

The firm goes up against the likes of VMWare (Tanzu) and RedHat (OpenShift). But Williams points to “some interesting and maturing solutions from Google, Microsoft and a host of others.”

“This excites us,” he said. “What this really means is that Kubernetes is taking its rightful place within the enterprise, which is great.”

“We do a lot of work with companies that want to use a whole mix of solutions side by side. VMs, running in Rancher, integrating with Terraform, Elasticsearch, Prometheus, Kafka — in the cloud, on premises, and every permutation in between.”

Williams contends that Rancher differs from its competitors.

“It doesn’t matter what your infrastructure looks like, or where you want to run it. If you want to run it in Kubernetes, Rancher will integrate,” he said.

The exec points to figures that suggest the application container solutions market will be worth $8.2 billion in 2025.


Rancher Labs’ Peter Dalziel

“Those integrators and resellers with credible Kubernetes expertise will grow significantly,” Williams said. “If Kubernetes adoption continues at the current rate, the partner network will be critical in driving projects forward. Organizations like ours will increasingly rely on the partner community as the appetite for Kubernetes becomes more intense.”

To support the expansion, Rancher Labs hired Peter Dalziel as its EMEA channel partner director. Alex Belak, who led the initial Platinum Partner program launch, will continue to oversee the program in the Americas as director, strategic alliances.

About the Author(s)

Christine Horton

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Christine Horton writes about all kinds of technology from a business perspective. Specializing in the IT sales channel, she is a former editor and now regular contributor to leading channel and business publications. She has a particular focus on EMEA for Channel Futures.

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