SVA Software, which makes storage performance management software for IBM systems, has announced it has established a North American office. It has also announced its initial partner program, with several key founding members. They hope to make a big splash at the IBM Edge event in Las Vegas in September.
SVA Software is a spinoff of SVA, the largest IBM systems integrator in Germany. Until now, however, they have not had a physical presence outside of Europe.
“Ten years ago, SVA found the available management tools weren’t sufficient to service customers correctly, so they created BVQ, a storage management solution for virtualized data centres,” said Don Mead, SVP Technology & Partner Development at SVA Software. “They used it in their services organization. The product is very focused on the IBM environment. It turns data into relevant insight on the infrastructure. Leveraging tree maps, it makes it very easy to drill in and get more relevant information.”
Mead indicated that in January, SVA Germany reached out and indicated that they wanted to expand their offering outside of Europe.
“They did have customers in the U.S., but it was hard to service them, especially without a partner presence,” he said. “So in February 2016, we incorporated the company in the U.S., and spent several months learning the product’s market and channel, getting payroll set up, and translating collateral from German. That’s all behind us. We will be going to the IBM Edge event in September, where we are a Silver Plus sponsor. That will be our coming out party.”
BVQ is made for the IBM SAN Volume Controller (SVC) and the IBM Storwize family including V9000, V7000, V5000 and V2700. It is typically sold to larger customers, and will be sold in the U.S. and Canada entirely through the channel.
“Everything that we are doing is through our channel partners,” said Jo McCausland, SVA Software’s SVP Partner Sales. “One of the reasons I was convinced this was a good idea is that both Sirius and Mark III were already signed up as partners. They are important IBM partners and I have a strong relationship with both. We have also identified every large IBM Storwize partner here.”
The goal is to assemble a comprehensive channel of important IBM partners.
“We have the two largest partners signed up, and are talking with the third,” McCausland said. The objective is to get partners covering the significant metro areas – essentially any place large enough to have an NFL team.
“We want partners like Mark III in Houston – ones that can take the services lead,” she noted. “Ideally we would have between 25-30 partners in the complete ecosystem. We are trying to sign them up with direct relationships instead of using distribution.”
“The product is a services-led sale, so fits with partners who do the services engagement,” Mead said. “It goes in so easily. I have done 15 installs and all took under 60 minutes before I see data in the environment. There are also options that can be added on, like an accounting package and an SLA management package.”
“We augment the IBM solutions very nicely because we can get very deep,” McCausland added.
Mead said that the new SVA Velocity Partner Program is based on the same guiding principle as the product – simplicity.
“The message around the product is simplify performance management, and the message around the partner program is also to keep it simple,” he stated. The program includes sales and support training, product resources and marketing support to build a successful practice to sell BVQ. It includes a turnkey offering, the BVQ Health Check. This is a limited engagement that analyzes a customer’s current storage state, creating a comprehensive assessment report with recommendations for storage environment optimization.
Long term, the plan is to expand the BVQ technology beyond IBM systems.
“We will expand it beyond IBM, but that’s something that is 18-24 months off,” Mead said. “We have discussed this with the German developers.”