April 17, 2020
SoftNAS is changing its name to Buurst and revamping how customers are charged for its cloud data performance services.
The company will now charge customers based on needed cloud data performance levels rather than on data quantities. This removes a long-time pricing strategy dating back to legacy storage practices that no longer make sense, according to Buurst.
The new strategy is based on discussions with customers, Garry Olah, the CEO of Buurst, told Channel Futures. “We talked to customers and they felt they were getting taxed a second time after paying for storing their data,” said Olah. “We have customers that need a lot of performance and have a little data. We have customers who need less performance and have a lot of data. They can now pay based on how much performance they need, rather than how much data they have.”
Over the last seven years, customer data has been expanding, but customers are not really prepared for it, said Olah. “Their IT budgets are not doubling, but their data is doubling,” causing serious cloud cost pressures. “So they want to get it all into the cloud, where they can do analytics without being taxed for moving that data to the cloud. We’ve been listening to them say this for a while.”
This differs from competitors whose charges are based on the amount of data, essentially meaning customers pay twice for data — once for storing it and once for using it, Olah said. By changing the practice, it will lower costs for customers and increase opportunities for partners he added.
“We are aiming to disrupt the cloud storage industry by changing the pricing paradigm,” he said. “Buurst is a data performance company, while our competition sells storage. We are committed to enabling the best data performance with the best cloud economics.”
Customers will still get their storage from Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud or elsewhere, while using Buurst services for better performance and economics. “This is for ensuring the performance of data in the cloud,” Olah said.
SoftNAS was established in 2012 as a cloud NAS vendor that layers NAS-type infrastructure onto cloud architecture. The company’s products are software-based and include no hardware. The products were developed to help move customer data out of on-premises hardware and into the cloud. It is cloud-native software for controlling and managing virtually any type of data.
SoftNAS remains a core cloud data performance product offering from Buurst and is available on AWS Marketplace and Azure Marketplace.
Since Buurst doesn’t sell storage, its services prices can be based on metrics that are more equitable, Olah said.
Olah, who joined Buurst in August 2019, is working to help it rethink some of the ways it does business.
“I’m a channel guy – I get the power of the channel,” he said. Olah formerly worked for Citrix and others. At Buurst, he’s been bringing in more power to develop channel relationships and a channel focus, he said. “Our goal is to have 60 more channel partners from North America signed by the end of the year.”
The channel is critical for Buurst’s growth and he sees lots of opportunity in growing those relationships, he said.
“Traditionally, our customers have come through the marketplace, beginning with projects and growing over time,” said Olah. “But as we look to support larger accounts, the channel will play an important role because they have relationships with organizations. Buurst’s delivery of performance and cloud economics helps partners save customers money, while still getting good margins, so these relationships are win-win.”
Buurst also announced that it’s secured another $5 million in Series A funding to grow its cloud data performance business. The additional financing brings the company’s total equity capital raised to $35 million.
IDC’s Deepak Mohan
Deepak Mohan, an analyst with IDC, said he see Buurst’s strategy and pricing adjustments as positive moves for partners. “The change aligns with the evolution of cloud data storage needs in the market and with the optimizations customers are trying to make around cloud storage usage,” said Mohan. “The new offerings introduced and the broader scope of focus on the market are both timely.
Data movement, data storage cost optimization and increased choice around cloud storage are all top topics of consideration for cloud customers, said Mohan.
“With the broader portfolio, Buurst serves a broader set of use cases – offering a broader tool kit for channel partners to use when engaging their downstream customers,” he said.
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