Asigra Partner Summit: What's Next In Cloud Storage?

At first glance, Asigra Executive VP Eran Farajun started the obvious at this week's Asigra Partner Summit 2011 in Toronto: Cloud storage is important. But listen closely and you'll hear Farajun share some key messages. For instance, he's calling on MSPs to realign their businesses to deal with the fact that cloud storage is increasingly commoditized. And he shared some key company milestones, to boot. Here are the details.

First thing's first. Much of our Asigra Partner Summit is over on TalkinCloud, since it's a cloud-centric conference. But hundreds of MSPs are attending the conference so I wanted to make sure you got a flavor for the discussions here.

Farajun says MSPs should NOT think of Asigra as a vendor in the traditional sense. Rather than a hardware or even legacy software company, Asigra is a business relationship company for MSPs, he said. The "winning formula" for success is when Asigra and their MSP partners pool resources for mutual success.

To that end, Farajun says that Asigra's brought in branding expert David Smith. The company can't grow without partner success, and partners can't succeed without a higher profile in the marketplace. Asigra's platform powers many MSP storage clouds, but Asigra's commitment to white-labeling means potential customers may be unfamiliar with the company's offerings.

Continuing on that line of thought, Asigra has started a partner development initiative to grow their deals pipeline, slowing down on acquisition and fast-tracking their efforts to connect MSPs with new cloud storage customers. And that includes increased partner suport.

Globally speaking, Farajun says Asigra's made progress in expanding their ecosystem to China and India, and he made the offer to introduce anyone interested to their partners in those regions and help come up with joint offerings. And that's just what he highlighted, making sure to mention that Asigra cloud storage is everywhere.

As far as new alliances, Asigra has announced "tight integration" with NetApp devices (building on an existing relationship)  and a partnership with Symantec. Oh, and they used the conference to launch an Apple iPhone/iPad and Google Android app -- though it hardly seems like a big deal when a vendor does that anymore.

Intriguingly, Farajun says business-to-business is well and good, and the newly-announced Asigra v11 platform (details now on TalkinCloud) continues to develop the enterprise play.

But on the other side of the coin, he says that there's a huge opportunity for MSPs and cloud service providers to take advantage of rising consumer demand for cloud storage, and it would behoove the channel not to look down its nose at the market represented by companies like Carbonite and Mozy.

Intel took the stage to promote their MSP-focused Intel AppUp Hybrid Cloud Service, with General Manager Bridget Karlin explaining how Asigra cloud storage combined with the solution enables providers to quickly provide the smallest of businesses with cloud backup services.

But Farajun closed his presentation with a reiteration of his original point: It's not about technology. It's about how you use it - and how you set yourself apart using it.

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