The 2012 Stratus Partner Growth Summit, “Aligning our Strategies to Win,” in Chicago (October 16-17) was an information-packed day and a half, and a welcome opportunity for face-to-face interaction. First and foremost, everyone at Stratus appreciates the time and insight given by our attending partners, which consisted of a broad mix from across the Americas.

Representing Stratus as the event host and moderator, Susan Bailey, Vice President Americas Sales, opened the Summit, introducing the agenda topics and speakers.

All of us benefitted from the perspectives provided by our industry guests:

  • Dick Csaplar, senior research analyst with the Aberdeen Group, illustrated the ever-growing challenges to maintaining uptime and the costs inflicted by unplanned downtime
  • Becky Bogart from industry publishing giant IDG (InfoWorld, Computerworld, etc.) shared research about the evolving role of IT purchase decision makers, and the influencing people and factors that help direct the purchasing process
  • Bridget Brennan, author of the new book, “Why She Buys.” The dust jacket says it all: The new strategy for reaching the world’s most powerful consumers.

Stratus’s recent acquisition of Marathon Technologies was a subject of intense interest. Formerly with Marathon, Matt Wrabley, Americas business development director of Marathon sales, reviewed products, key verticals, and go-to-market strategies for everRun MX and other products.

Stratus Director of Product Management & Marketing Dave LeClair shared the Stratus product roadmap for ftServer hardware and Avance software. Preliminary thoughts as to how the Marathon everRun product line would be integrated into the Stratus portfolio were also shared.

Other Stratus people on hand to discuss revenue-generating opportunities included Teri Wilkinson, director of Stratus Solution Services; she reviewed how to leverage the company’s managed and professional services. Marketing Director Chris Houpis described best practices for channel-building across the supply chain. I took the opportunity to update the group on the evolution of the Stratus channel program and demographics, and our plans for driving business opportunity, growth and profitability with our partners going forward.

The attendees provided us with recommendations about what Stratus could be doing better and what they would like to see more of from us. These included expanded competitive information, more frequent communication, and more industry references. Assistance competing against customers’ perceptions that virtualization is “good enough” for availability and developing persuasive arguments around total cost of ownership were also requested. We took these as our action items to address.

Looking ahead we will be establishing a Partner Advisory Council as a means of formalizing communications to improve all aspects of programs and plans involving our channel partners. Partners interested in participating may contact me at