'7 Minutes' with Stratoscale Business Development VP John Mao

Symphony strikes the right note for partners with cloud expertise and customers wary of lock-in.

Lorna Garey

February 14, 2018

4 Min Read

**Editor’s Note: “7 Minutes” is a feature where we ask channel executives from startups – or companies that may be new to the Channel Partners audience – a series of quick questions about their businesses and channel programs.**

Stratoscale had occasion to celebrate this month: It was placed in the Visionaries quadrant of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for hyperconverged infrastructure. Only Microsoft shared that prime real estate. Gartner likes Stratoscale’s “hardware-neutral solutions, enabling flexible and cost-optimized HCI platforms while avoiding system vendor lock-in.” That’s music to many customers’ ears, and Stratoscale’s support for public-, multi- and hybrid-cloud strategies will please partners looking to take on migration and integration work as well as CSPs and MSPs that wish to spin up low-cost, scalable HCI-based hosting capacity.


Stratoscale’s John Mao

Stratoscale also took “Best of Show” gold in the virtualization and cloud infrastructure category at last year’s VMworld.

Stratoscale Symphony delivers HCI via software that runs on commodity servers; technology partners include Cloudera, Docker, Intel and OpenStack. The PartnerFirst channel program is for larger resellers, integrators and distributors, and Stratoscale promises to increase partner margins and help deliver customer value. You can register opportunities, and the company offers technical, sales and marketing support as well as co-selling, co-marketing and lead generation.

Channel Partners: Tell us what customers love about your product or service. What’s the secret selling sauce?

John Mao: In one brief sentence, Stratoscale enables enterprises to develop, run and scale cloud-native applications in their on-prem environments, just like they do in AWS. Essentially, cloud-native applications are no longer limited to the public cloud, and we help companies empower their developers with IaaS and comprehensive AWS-compatible cloud services while making sure IT maintains full control.

The secret sauce is quite simple: It’s all about delivering a true hybrid and consistent solution.

Many companies have already made significant steps towards an “all-in” cloud strategy, and some are just starting out. But they are all challenged with bringing cloud capabilities to their on-prem environments, and that’s where we come in.

CP: Describe your channel program — metal levels, heavy on certifications, open or selective, unique features?

JM: We believe in a partner-first strategy. This strategy is based on teaming up with strong players that already hold a significant and highly relevant footprint in the enterprise data center, mainly hardware OEMs, but lack when it comes to supporting cloud-native applications.

CP: Quick-hit answers: Percentage of sales through the channel, number of partners, average margin. Go.

JM: Approximately 50 percent of revenue is currently related to partnerships.

CP: Who are your main competitors, and what makes your offering better? //If you prefer not to sketch out the competitive landscape that’s fine, we’ll do so in the intro//

JM: Azure Stack is a strong competitive offering, by bringing the advantages of …

… Azure’s public cloud to on-prem environments. Stratoscale made a decision to focus on an AWS-compatible private cloud solution, delivering IaaS and cloud services that include AWS-compatible APIs. In the near future we plan to expand the compatibility to other cloud platforms such as Azure and Google Cloud to deliver robust and effective private cloud which fully support cloud-native applications.

CP: How do you think your technology portfolio will change in the next three years?

JM: We are focused on large companies, and in the next three years we’ll focus on even larger enterprise accounts.

CP: How do you expect your channel strategy to evolve over that time frame?

JM: The focus on strong partnerships is a long-term one. No plans to change that.

CP: What didn’t we ask that partners should know?

JM: It is all about consistency. One of the challenges partners often face is that though they offer a robust and proven solution, it’s siloed. Applications that run on a specific environment are built specifically for it, meaning it cannot be re-deployed to other environments and cannot scale beyond the setting of that specific environment.

Modern applications have a totally different mindset, ease of use and high velocity. Developers want to use cloud building blocks, which help them delivery value faster. This is where consistency comes in. If each environment is vastly different than the other, we put a cap developer production.

Stratoscale enables partners to align their unique solutions, and the specific advantages they deliver, with the experience developers love in the public cloud. By offering AWS-compatible APIs and AWS-compatible cloud services, developers get what they want while also enjoying the robust solutions delivered by partners.

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