Santa Clara CA-based HotLink Corporation has announced the signing of a distribution agreement with Avnet covering the United States and Canada. The agreement covers the HotLink Cloud-Attach Platform, which offers native and simple interoperability between VMware management infrastructure and public and private cloud resources. It also covers HotLink Managed DRaaS [Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service]. The latter offering extends VMware vCenter to provide disaster recovery and business continuity.
“We are focused strongly on the Cloud-Attach platform, which lets the user easily leverage a cloud by attaching it to their current management infrastructure, to make it seamless,” said Jerry McLeod, HotLink’s VP of Business Development. HotLink becomes the only Avnet partner to provide this out-of-the-box public cloud integration with VMware vCenter management infrastructure, making holistic management of hybrid cloud production environments as simple as on-prem VMware deployments.
HotLink has been selling through a hybrid channel model, with a fairly small number of partners, who they had been supporting through single tier distribution. The move to two-tier distribution with Avnet came about in part because the new DRaaS offering is well suited to partners.
“When we introduced DRaaS, we learned some customers really need a lot of hand holding,” McLeod said. “They need a plan as well as the software, and the best way to do this is through partners. There is some cleaning out of their current environment as part of the move to go to DRaaS, and VARS can do this and do the DR planning as well. It’s an extremely sticky model. So our strategy now is to move as much as possible through partners.
“I’ve talked with dozens of VARs about this, and they get it,” McLeod added. “For us, it’s pure leverage, more feet on the street.”
McLeod said that the deal with Avnet came about after Avnet approached them. HotLink determined that Avnet was well suited to broaden their market presence.
“They know the channel and they also know who is doing what in the channel,” he said. “They know which channel partners are moving forward, and who are doing the most VMware stuff. They have the connections. For a small company like us, finding the right guy at a big company is hard. That’s something that Avnet can get done right away. We are the perfect play for them as far as hybrid management and DR in the cloud, and they are the perfect partner for us.”
The negotiations with Avnet happened before the company’s distribution arm was acquired by Tech Data, but McLeod said that the acquisition will be advantageous for HotLink.
“We had begun the process before the Tech Data acquisition happened,” he said. “However, Tech Data sells Azure, so now Avnet will have Azure as well as Amazon. Since we are compatible with both, it worked out well for us. Everything we hear from Avnet is enthusiastic about moving over. They believe that the cloud will be one of the things that people will want to get from Tech Data. As a result, Avnet has hired more people into the cloud business just recently. I’m regularly talking to new reps.”
McLeod, who is Canadian himself, thinks that the Avnet deal should expand HotLink’s Canadian business.
“Canada now has their own Amazon region, and that will make it easier for them there,” he said. “We have some presence in Canada now, but would like to expand. There are a lot of mid-market companies in Canada who are prime for the cloud.”