Unitrends establishes UK channel

Backup button

US backup and recovery firm Unitrends has outlined its plans for expansion in Europe.

With London set to serve as the company’s satellite headquarters, Unitrends CEO Mike Coney last week visited the capital to interview for the role of UK-based European general manager to oversee operations.

The firm’s first step has been to appoint distributor e92plus, which is currently orchestrating a channel recruitment campaign for the vendor. Coney says e92plus is “very motivated” to drive business for Unitrends – particularly after it parted ways with backup rival Barracuda last month.

“Partnering with Unitrends was an easy decision for us,” says Mukesh Gupta, MD at e92plus, citing the vendor’s “simple and affordable” backup and recovery technology that protects data across hybrid environments. “We knew this was a partnership that would benefit our resellers tenfold.”

Coney hopes to get European resellers on board with what he describes as “chunky margins, a good, robust deal registration, and a unique partner loyalty programme.”

In some cases partners can make up to 40 percent on the MSRP, which is protected with a deal registration programme and partners that don’t register a deal can expect to make 5 – 10 percent.

“[The channel programme] is not tired or based on volume; partners don’t need to jump through hoops. We want to make it really simple,” says the CEO. “We’re still not well known so we’re building the brand.”

Unitrends’ portfolio of backup and recovery products includes the Recovery Series of physical appliances that support up to 97 TB of raw capacity, and its software-only virtual appliance, Unitrends Enterprise Backup.

Coney is confident of customer uptake, referring to the rapidly growing market for purpose-built backup appliances (PBBAs), where IDC expects worldwide revenue to total nearly $5.9bn by the end of 2016.

2012 was the company’s best performing year to date, posting 88 percent growth in the US. Coney says he anticipates similar results this year, and expects Europe to be the firm’s fastest growing geography. He says the UK should also play a big part: “It should represent 15–20 percent of our overall revenues,” he maintains.

The firm is eyeing a “controlled” growth strategy for now, with the next round of hires to include a country manger, and a dedicated channel management team. Also looking ahead, the CEO says he wants to avoid over-distribution: “We need one, but don’t need five [distributors],” he says. “We’ll maybe add one more big name,” he said, adding he was a “fan” of Tech Data.

The firm is expected to release details of further partner benefits in the next few days.

Christine Horton

Christine has been a tech journalist for over 20 years, 10 of which she spent exclusively covering the IT Channel. From 2006-2009 she worked as the editor of Channel Business, before moving on to ChannelPro where she was editor and, latterly, senior editor.

Since 2016, she has been a freelance writer, editor, and copywriter and continues to cover the channel in addition to broader IT themes. Additionally, she provides media training explaining what the channel is and why it’s important to businesses.