Scale, which is distinct among the hyperconverged vendors with its SMB focus, is not new to Canada, but they have added new staff and resources here, and developed new relationships with key DMRs to take their Canadian business to the next level.
Indianapolis-based hyperconverged solutions vendor Scale Computing is making a major drive into the Canadian market, and has increased the resources it is allocating here to do so. This includes the addition of a Canadian director of channel sales, and a solutions engineer, with more hires coming down the road.
For Scale, whose HC3 platform is specifically targeted at the SMB space, while other hyperconverged vendors concentrate on the midmarket and enterprise, the Canadian market is an ideal fit.
“Many of the established organizations in the Canadian market are around 500 employees, and that’s perfect for us,” said Scott Mann, Scale’s country manager in Canada. Scale has been growing its business in Canada at a faster rate than it has in the U.S. as a result.
“There’s no specific verticals which particularly stand out where we been having more success,” Mann said. “I was in Alberta last week at a school board conference, and we have had a lot of success with school boards. But in the GTA [Greater Toronto Area] we have had broad success, including transportation companies and marketing companies.”
The new hires are Kevin Greenwood, as Senior Director of Global Channel Sales, and Christopher Angell as solutions engineer. They join a Scale presence in Canada that includes Mann and a staff of inside sales people that has hit double digits in number. Mann said additional new hires are forthcoming, and will be made in areas where they are deemed likely to get business moving the fastest.
Scale sells entirely through channel partners, which the inside sales team supports.
“Our channel has traditionally had a lot of focus on local and regional VARs, and we continue to hone on regional VARs in key cities across the country,” Mann said. “We have been 10-20 active VARs in Canada. However this year we have put in effort with the DMRs to really spread across the country, because they provide larger exposure for us. We started with the DMRs at the beginning of the year, and tested the waters with them in Q1 and Q2. As of Q3, we ramped up our presence there, and have the most exposure now with CDW and Softchoice. We will put in even more effort there in 2016.”
The DMRs are particularly effective among the smaller companies where Scale plays, because Scale’s offering is very simple to use and appeals to price-conscious customers.
“Putting time and effort into the DMRs will help our growth significantly because we are a great transactional product,” Mann said. “The DMR can make a sale and go on to the next customer, which is in line with their business model.”
In the Canadian market, Mann said they most often encounter Nutanix and SimpliVity as competition, even though both formally play at a higher point in the market, and Nutanix in particular is now defining itself as having the enterprise as its primary focus.
“Nutanix has done a great job of getting to the VARs, although when we go up against them it’s usually an issue of them moving down from where they usually sell, Mann said. He also noted that while Nutanix is a key competitor, they, much more so than any other vendor, did the evangelization work for hyperconverged that now makes Scale’s life easier.
“Canada lags a little behind the U.S., and among SMBs in particular, some aren’t up to speed on new technologies,” Mann said. “Some in Canada still don’t know about hyperconverged, but people are more aware of it now, and the money Nutanix has put into marketing has definitely helped us.”
“Because we focus on SMBs, shops which typically have 1-5 IT guys, even in the U.S. we still run into some accounts where they don’t know what hyperconverged is,” said Dusty Koekenberg, Scale’s Director of Marketing.
All of Scale’s business in Canada goes through distribution.
Scale also will be promoting awareness of its brand in Canada in the upcoming year, sponsoring and attending multiple trade events throughout Canada.
“2016 will be a big year for us in Canada,” Mann said. “At the start of this year, the market was still a bit hesitant, because Canada is more conservative, but big things changed in the latter half of the year.”