Aparavi refines go-to-market and channel strategies

Aparavi is pushing hard into the MSP space with their SaaS platform, which they are positioning around data management, rather than purely as intelligent archiving.

Jon Calmes, Aparavi’s Vice President of Business Development

Santa Monica-based Aparavi came out of stealth in 2017 with a SaaS platform for long term data retention. Customer demands, however, have led to a repositioning of their Active Archive platform towards data management. While still selling direct in proof-of-concept stage, they are also actively expanding their channel, particularly among service providers and MSPs.

The company was just named a Gartner Cool Vendor in Storage for 2018, as they evolve their position within the space.

“We’ve moved away from data protection and even active archiving, to more of a data analysis focus than anything,” said Jon Calmes, Vice President of Business Development at Aparavi. “The focus has changed from archiving to data management. The bigger opportunity is in companies wanting to know what to do with their data, and we are very good at analyzing data.” Their platform is a multi-cloud data management solution designed for unstructured data, which indexes, classifies, retains, and archives it in any cloud, or on-prem.

The company’s roadmap will make this data analysis path explicit.

“Our upcoming release will introduce a full data management engine, with classification capability and context awareness,” Calmes noted. “It will know in a search that house cat and cat house are different things! Our focus going forward will be to continue going down the path of file analysis. We are one of only a few multi-tenant platforms out there that have this focus. This focus will provide partners with more opportunities for services around archives and data management.”

Aparavi’s senior leadership team, including Calmes, came from NovaStor, which has been selling backup products since 1987. Calmes,  Rod Christensen, Aparavi’s CTO and Adrian Knapp, set up a new company with NovaStor’s blessing to design a SaaS platform to provide long-term data retention in a hybrid or multi-cloud environment. The two companies have the same corporate parent, NovaVision.

“We still have a close relationship with NovaStor, but we are very different companies,” Calmes said.

Aparavi presently has a hybrid go-to-market model, although the plan is to transition to a channel-led model in due course. In October, the company launched its Aparavi Advantage Partner Program to provide partners with support, including one-on-one training, internal use licenses for partners, co-branded marketing assets and campaigns and sales assistance

“Since the launch, we now have MSPs actively coming to us and signing up for the program, as opposed to us going through our past relationships and seeing if there is interest there,” Calmes said. “We have been streamlining the delivery of the product for MSPs.” Aparavi bills partners based on their customers’ aggregate usage.

Victoria Grey, Aparavi’s Chief Marketing Officer

“Jon has been very active at signing up partners,” said Victoria Grey, Aparavi’s Chief Marketing Officer. “We are still early enough in our channel development that we talk directly to customers ourselves. We have to generate leads. There are plenty of opportunities to co-exist. Longer term, we will shift more to partners. We are having conversations with key potential service provider and MSP partners about understanding their requirements. They have a lot of specific requirements. “

“Our messaging to the channel is use the tools designed for availability of data for that purpose – the Veeams and Dattos,” Calmes said. “They are great for that. They are not great for retrieval – trying to find what you backed up years ago. We are very good at that.”

The plan is to develop a fairly select channel of partners with whom Aparavi works closely, not sign up thousands of MSPs

“Our CEO wants to develop partnerships with a smaller number of dedicated partners,” Grey said. “We want to have deep relationships with them, and not be one of many line items that they have.”

Calmes also said that Aparavi’s value proposition isn’t really that lends itself to a huge channel.

“The problem we are looking to solve isn’t a problem that thousands of MSPs will have with their customers, which is another reason we don’t want to sign up huge numbers,” he indicated. “It’s the more hands-on partners who are actively consulting with customers about what’s coming down the pipe who will see value in this.”

Aparavi recently announced certified interoperability with the Oracle cloud, which follows up other new cloud integrations with IBM, Microsoft and Caringo.

“We are also working more strategically now with other companies like Wasabi, and we are in the process of being added to the AWS Marketplace and the Google Cloud Marketplace,” Grey added.

Canada is still a relatively underdeveloped market.

“We have focused mainly in the U.S.,” Calmes said. “We haven’t done any rollouts in Canada, but we have an OEM partner with several Canadian partners in the gaming industry on the west coast.

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