Igneous Invests in Partners to Boost Sales
Igneous, specialists in unstructured data protection, on Monday announced new investments in its partner organization, including new hires and partner program updates, as the vendor leverages partners to expand sales.
Jim Choumas joins Igneous as vice president of channel sales and Leonard Iventosch will act as an adviser, supporting the company’s strategic efforts. Igneous also is expanding channel-partner incentives and is creating a new program to help partners accelerate their customers’ moves to the cloud.
“Igneous wants to expand its sales. As we look at how we’re going to expand and scale, the channel is a key component of that,” Choumas told Channel Futures. “I was brought in to accelerate channel sales, bring in key hires, implement some aggressive programs and to expand our presence in this community.”
Choumas, who joined the company in April, is an IT industry veteran who was director of North America channels at Qumulo for the past four years. He also worked at NetApp, SGI and Nimbus Data. Since joining Igneous, he has hired two channel directors – one for the East and one for the West – and will continue to expand the team as the vendor’s focus on the channel expands. Igneous is 100% channel-led.
Iventosch, an industry channel executive veteran, who will act as chief channel adviser, will provide insight on the direction of Igneous’ channel partner program over the next few years. Also chief channel evangelist at Qumulo, Iventosch has worked at numerous vendors – Nimble Storage, EMC, Isilon and NetApp, to name several – in channel roles.
Prior to hiring Choumas and tapping Iventosch as an adviser, Shaun Walsh was vice president, channels and strategic alliances at Igneous, a role that was more marketing-focused, according to Choumas. Walsh left the company in May.
Recent Igneous channel partner investments include:
- Expanded incentives: The new incentives fall into three buckets: deal registration SPIF designed for partner reps and SEs in the field; first meeting SPIF for Igneous targeted accounts, again for partner reps and SEs; and a sign-up DataDiscover SPIF.
- Data Visibility program — Igneous DataDiscover helps channel partners assess a customer’s NAS data profile, giving them cost-benefit information to help produce the right modern data archive and protection operation for their customers.
- Closed deal incentive: A partner’s sales reps and SEs can earn $10,000s on DataProtect deals that are closed, providing the partner brought the opportunity to Igneous.
- Free test drive: Igneous offers partners a free, frictionless, software-based test drive experience to speed up the evaluation process and introduce Igneous to their customers.
- Professional services: Igneous will train and support partners to provide the implementation and professional services around its solutions to increase their earning opportunity.
In April, Igneous introduced a guaranteed margin model. This is a two-tier model where margins are guaranteed — higher margins for partners who bring an opportunity to the Igneous, and lower margins if Igneous brings the opportunity to the partner.
“The intent of the program is for partners to feel that margins are protected when working with Igneous,” said Choumas.
Igneous used to sell software and an appliance but is no longer in the hardware business. In April, the company told partners that if they want to sell an on-premises solution that requires a data storage platform, it would provide the bill of materials to the partner to procure hardware that the company supports ,but would no longer be a middleman. Partners earn 100% margin.
In March 2018, the company announced that it raised $25 million in Series-C funding led by WestRiver Group to accelerate unstructured data management for global data-centric enterprises.
Igneous has about 50 partners in North America and is looking to increase that number; however, the company is selective in which partners it on-boards, looking for those that align with its coverage model and who are committed to investing in the company.