Tegile CEO Pledges Increased Channel Investments After Acquisition By Western Digital, Partners Cheer Strategy

Solution providers that partner with flash storage vendor Tegile Systems won't face disruption following the acquisition of the company by Western Digital, with the main point being that Tegile will gain additional resources to invest into its channel program, Tegile CEO Rohit Kshetrapal told CRN in an interview.

Western Digital does not currently provide the sorts of performance-oriented flash storage offerings that Tegile specializes in, meaning there will be "no confusion" resulting from the integration of the companies, Kshetrapal said.

[Related: Western Digital Ups Its Flash Storage Game With Deal To Acquire Tegile]

Meanwhile, Western Digital—a storage components manufacturer that saw $19.1 billion in revenue for its fiscal 2017, which ended June 30—will bring additional resources to Tegile, he said.

"From a channel perspective, [the acquisition] allows us to significantly invest in the channel that we already have," Kshetrapal said.

The company will now "expand into the channel much more than we've ever been able to do" with its line of products, which include all-flash and hybrid-flash storage offerings, he said.

Tegile has about 500 partners currently and is looking to add to its partner ranks, Kshetrapal said. The company is "very welcoming to other channel partners that are disgruntled with the choices that the marketplace is giving them," he said.

Along with helping to ensure high margins for partners, the investments from Western Digital will enable incentives such as increases in market development funds and trial units for partners, Kshetrapal said.

Importantly, nearly all of Tegile's 300 staff members—including in its sales and marketing organization—are expected to remain on board after the acquisition by Western Digital, which is expected to close during the week of Sept. 4.

Partners praised the expected continuity and investments at Tegile following the acquisition.

"If they keep a lot of the same leadership and sales team in place, that's what really makes a difference," said Mark Galyardt, president of XIOSS, an Atlanta-based partner of Tegile. "If it just seems business as usual, but they now have more resources behind them, I would say that is positive always."

Alec Taylor, partner and consultant at Ivoxy Consulting, a Kirkland, Wash.-based partner of Tegile, added that "as long as they don't mess with Tegile, it won't be impactful in any negative way."

Ivoxy has partnered with Tegile for four years, and Taylor said that "when we go in to deals together, it's very rare that we don't close that business."

"What our customers love about it is you get a lot of performance and a lot of features at a very attractive price point. It is a very value-oriented platform. The 'bang for the buck' factor is very high," Taylor told CRN. "And it doesn't have the complexities of some of the traditional platforms. … We find a lot of places that Tegile fits."

XIOSS' Galyardt echoed the sentiment, saying that "all of our customers that have Tegile are happy customers."

"We have never had a complaint," said Galyardt, whose company has partnered with Tegile for about five years. "And in our business, in technology, that's worth its weight in gold."

Founded in 2009, Newark, Calif.-based Tegile Systems had counted Western Digital as a shareholder since 2013. Western Digital led a $33 million round for Tegile in April, bringing the firm to $178 million in total funding.

San Jose, Calif.-based Western Digital did not disclose the terms of the acquisition deal for Tegile.

In a news release, Western Digital said the Tegile products will complement its own ActiveScale products, which focus on big data. Tegile will become part of Western Digital's Data Center Systems (DCS) business unit.

"By combining Tegile's innovative storage system software with Western Digital's global scale and combination of components and systems, we expect DCS to capture a sizable share of flash array demand," said Phil Bullinger, senior vice president and general manager of Western Digital's Data Center Systems unit, in the release.

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