The Dallas-based company has been an Azure party since its early days, but this year at WPC is also talking to a variety of potential partners, as it builds out its first partner program.
TORONTO – Longtime Microsoft partner ClearDB, who have been supporting the Azure platform pretty much from the beginning, has an additional objective at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference here this year. The Dallas-based company has launched a channel program, and is talking with prospective partners at the event.
“We provide a database-as-a-service to over 200,000 users,” said Allen Holmes, ClearDB’s Vice President of Platform Alliances. They are a longtime Azure partner, as well as working with other platforms like AWS, AppFog, SoftLayer, IBM Bluemix, and Heroku, recently acquired by Salesforce. They also support private cloud and on-prem operations,
“We are one of a limited set of third party integrations, and are the MySQL instance on multiple platforms,” Holmes said. “We were one of Azure’s originals,. They didn’t have a MySQL solution, so they came to us to stand up that solution. We are in all 26 regions of Azure, and are fully integrated with them in a number of ways.”
ClearDB’s users span pretty much the whole spectrum, from tiny players who use them to create their own mobile apps, to Fortune 100 customers.
The company recently announced new support for Azure customers in Canada, as a consequence of Microsoft’s two new data centres in Canada having recently gone live.
“When Microsoft stands up a new data centre, we provision our clusters and make our services available to them,” Holmes noted. “We are in the final stages of getting our SKUs up and running in those data centres.
“As Azure has grown significantly over the past year, we have been standing up our own structure in each region, to make sure customers have access to the MySQL technology,” Holmes added. “This has helped to drive users for our technology. We are growing considerably month on month, and are adding users at a healthy rate.”
That growth has led ClearDB to expand its go-to-market strategy.
“Not only are we here at WPC for our longstanding relationship with Microsoft, but we just launched our channel program,” Holmes said. “As a software company driven by digital marketing, we are looking to add brand new channels, and are in recruitment.”
While the precise strategy of how all this will roll out is a work in progress, and is being shaped by ClearDB’s discussions with prospective partners, several options are being considered.
“We are having conversations with some broad-line distributors about possibly using distribution to reach scale,” Holmes said. “That’s one option.”
“We are also talking with various specialized partners like CSPs and MSPs, who bring a unique value set,” Holmes added. “We have also been talking with a handful of consulting firms here who are focused more on migration and setup, about us being the back-end service for connecting with customers. They are also looking at service providers who want to create and sell their own branded database services using ClearDB clusters, and vendor technology partners who want to use ClearDB’s database services to differentiate their solutions.
Holmes indicated that they have had lots of interest at WPC from these talks.
“We have been discussing multiple ways to partner, such as whether to bring us in, or resell services,” he said. “We are collecting the data and the information, and will assess how we will move forward.”
The program itself is also a work in progress, although some basic contours have been defined.
“We will start with a one tier program, that will develop as we mature,” said Denise McElroy, Senior Director of Channel Marketing and Strategy at ClearDB, who is tasked with managing the program.
The program will also offer sales discounts, bundled service offerings, access to technical resources, go- to-market development assistance and product training. ClearDB also provides guaranteed uptime service level agreements (SLA) and 24 x 7 support assistance.
ClearDB is at Booth 1534 at WPC.