Druva Partner Program Helps MSPs Subvert Supply Chain Problems

Looking for an all-SaaS alternative to infrastructure? The cloud data protection provider aims to help.

Kelly Teal, Contributing Editor

June 24, 2021

6 Min Read
Steel chain with hot link

After 18 months of development, Druva this week debuted a special program for managed service providers.


Druva’s Robert Brower

The launch, channel head Robert Brower told Channel Futures, could not have come at a more auspicious global moment.

“It’s a perfect storm,” said Brower, referring to worldwide supply chain shortages that continue to inflate prices and delay deliveries.

Now, more than ever, he said, MSPs need alternatives to infrastructure-centric offerings.

And Druva, with its new strategy, nestled inside the Compass Partner Program, is positioning itself as the solution.

“What a fantastic time to be in the SaaS business,” said Brower, senior vice president of global partners and alliances at Druva.

Doing Channel Business ‘The Modern Way’

To that point, the cloud data protection provider unveiled the MSP partner program on June 23. Of course, Druva wasn’t planning to stand out so starkly when it started framing the new initiative. It began its efforts in early 2020 just as the United States and Europe were becoming aware of COVID-19 – the main reason for today’s supply chain bottlenecks. Even so, the company gave itself an inadvertent competitive lead, just by focusing on a different approach for MSPs.

“It’s time to do it the modern way,” Brower said.

“It” meaning channel business. In other words, Druva did not want to be “yet one more vendor” telling MSPs to build an equipment-heavy platform into their service catalogs, Brower said. That couldn’t happen anyway, as Druva was born in the cloud. Nevertheless, the company is going up against legacy notions and channel models with its new all-SaaS program.

Here’s our most recent list of important channel-program changes you should know.

Yet, again, Druva could not have done so at a more prescient juncture.

“We’re heading into this point of increased demand,” Brower said.

Right now, few companies can get their hands on infrastructure or assets without waiting for months. For MSPs who typically forward their pricing, that poses big problems, Brower said.

“If I’m buying stuff six months early and paying premiums, I’m blowing my business model,” he said.

Druva’s new MSP partner program avoids that outcome.

How the MSP Partner Program Works

Off the bat, the offering gives MSPs single-pane multitenancy management into Druva’s cloud backup disaster and recovery, security, compliance and other components. Druva says onboarding a new customer can take as little as 15 minutes. Keep in mind, too, that Druva maintains SSAE18 SOC2 Type II compliance, as well as FedRAMP, FIPS, HIPAA, GDPR, TRUST-E and APPI.

On top of that, partners can build their own services into the mix. Say, for example, that in addition to providing Druva’s services, an MSP needs to protect a client’s data center workloads and integrate those with identification management. Along the way, an MSP signs up to consume a certain amount of credits and, thanks to those, can craft tailored setups that dovetail with Druva.

“However you want to catalog your services and drop customers into those service profiles,” you can, Brower said.

Credits are key to the whole concept. The amount of credit an MSP receives depends upon tier. The idea mirrors legacy revenue minimums for selling hardware. In this case, the lowest threshold requires an MSP to commit to $24,000 in annual spend with Druva.

“The barrier to entry is actually quite small,” Brower said.

Plus, Druva gives each partner a grace period free from licensing costs to ramp up. Partners at the lowest tier get the shortest amount of time – 90 days – to move workloads over to Druva. Partners pledging to spend more with Druva can get as much as six months. Over time, an MSP can rise through the tiers; the higher you go, consumption credits grow less expensive. Overall, MSPs eliminate “tedious overhead,” Brower said.

Importantly, MSPs can rest assured that they will not be competing against Druva’s internal sales force.

“We built a program and product to facilitate growth and MRR,” Brower said. “It’s a very positive message.”

How to Join Druva’s New Program

MSPs interested in joining Druva’s new program must apply. Druva aims to understand each participant’s business model and goals. It also needs to ensure MSPs can meet revenue commitments.

So far Brower and his team have signed four MSPs. Three more may close before the end of this month. He…

…is shooting to add at least 17 more in the third quarter.


Observian’s Scott Plamondon

Scott Plamondon, co-founder and vice president cloud architecture at Observian, served as a beta participant.

“With Druva’s MSP offering, we’re able to very quickly and easily not only ramp up multiple customers but monitor those customers across one platform,” Plamondon said. “The single-pane-of-glass view gives us everything we need to know that our customers are safe, secure and we have all of their data backed up and available. Their data is ready to go, in the event they need it.”

Matt Bratlien, managing partner at Net-Tech, agreed.

“Druva has improved our time to revenue by dramatically improving the onboarding process of new customers,” he said. “The Managed Service Center has been a game-changer for our business. Having a service-plan oriented catalog in the portal allows me to package different offerings to my clients tailored to their needs, which enhances customer satisfaction and accelerates the sales process.”


Harbor Solutions’ Nick Barron

All that means more time to focus support and value, rather than backend processes, said Nick Barron, CTO at Harbor Solutions.

“Druva has thought, listened, and engaged with us around how we work, and has baked our needs into the platform,” Barron said. “The … dashboard provides real-time insights into our customers’ data, which helps us better manage these relationships on a long-term basis. Our customers were already asking for Druva’s technology, so our partnership was a no-brainer.”


IDC’s Phil Goodwin

‘A Better Overall Experience’

Analyst Phil Goodwin, research director at IDC, said Druva’s approach helps “deliver a better overall experience for the customer.”

“The ecosystem a provider and its partners build around a data protection solution are just as important as the technology itself,” Goodwin said. “The value partners can bring, through additional services and closer customer engagement can make all the difference in a successful project.”

To that final point, look for Druva to add capabilities to some cloud marketplaces. The vendor is in talks with a few of the big names you might expect. That way, Brower said, “any number of MSPs can take advantage” of Druva’s technology.


Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Kelly Teal or connect with her on LinkedIn.



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About the Author(s)

Kelly Teal

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Kelly Teal has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist, editor and analyst, with longtime expertise in the indirect channel. She worked on the Channel Partners magazine staff for 11 years. Kelly now is principal of Kreativ Energy LLC.

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