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Why VMware partner program chief Frank Rauch chose Cohesity

VMware partner program executive Frank Rauch said he will lend his expertise to secondary storage vendor Cohesity as it reshapes its channel strategy.

Cohesity Inc., a relatively new vendor in the secondary storage market, is receiving guidance from one of the industry's high-profile channel chiefs.

Frank Rauch, vice president of the Americas Partner Organization at VMware, announced this week he will take an advisory role at Cohesity, with no plans to leave VMware. Founded in 2013, Cohesity currently has more than 50 channel partners in North America, including Trace3, Kovarus and Datalink. As an adviser, the VMware partner program chief will help shape Cohesity's sales and channel teams, as well as its go-to-market strategies and field operations.

Rauch revealed several reasons why he chose to advise Cohesity. Among them was the strength of its executive team. "I felt very, very comfortable with the leadership team. And I felt like, if guys of that caliber are willing to make a bet, then I'd like to be part of that," he said.

Frank Rauch, vice president of the Americas Partner Organization, VMwareFrank Rauch

He cited the current state of the secondary storage market as another factor in his decision. "If you look at secondary storage right now, it's a crowded market, but there's [a] tremendous amount of room for innovation," he said. "When I reviewed Cohesity's roadmap and current offerings, it was really very appealing to me."

From Rauch's perspective, channel partners are vital in the secondary storage market, which is essentially "a combination of ... disparate technologies," he said. With their intimate knowledge of those technologies, partners can work with Cohesity's products and put the disparate pieces together. "Just like we're putting together the pieces in hyper-converged technologies right now, [channel partners] have the ability to do that with secondary storage," Rauch said. 

The exciting part about it for me is, having run a multibillion-dollar channel at HP and currently at VMware, now is the chance to be able to build something.
Frank Rauchvice president of Americas Partner Organization, VMware

Besides its leadership and market opportunities, Rauch said he is enthusiastic about being an adviser to Cohesity because of its channel potential. "The exciting part about it for me is, having run a multibillion-dollar channel at HP and currently at VMware, now is the chance to be able to build something," he said.

Cohesity has its sights set on growing its channel in North America, with plans to expand worldwide. As they move forward, the company will introduce distribution and other channel elements, he said.

The VMware partner program chief explained he also made his decision carefully based on VMware's agenda. "I didn't necessarily want to go with a company that was going to collide in any way with VMware," he said, adding that he vetted Cohesity with executives of VMware's storage and availability business unit. "I felt very comfortable that the work I would be doing with Cohesity would also add value to VMware."

Rauch said, for now, he is simply focusing on the present engagement with Cohesity's leadership team, rather than any long-term goals with company. "I'm really excited to be working with these guys building toward the future. And wherever that leads, we'll figure it out."

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