Software-defined storage vendor, DataCore, is set to invest heavily in the Australian channel and expects growth of more than 40 per cent in 2015.
DataCore worldwide senior vice president Carlos Carreras told ARN the "window" for software-defined was "now" and that the company was looking to expand its team 20 per cent in the next 12 months.
"Over the course of the next 18 months we believe that the storage and datacentre space is going to be completely transformed from one that has been hardware-centric for decades, to one that will be software driven.
"As a result we are investing. We are investing in our company, we are investing in our people, we are investing in our systems, we are investing in our channel."
He said it was an opportune moment for channel partners to transform their business.
"To lead with their value by understanding customers workloads, by understanding application needs and providing a flexible and dynamic infrastructure that simplifies storage management," he said.
"The boundaries that existed in the past, no longer exist. You are no longer bound to a storage array. You are no longer bound to a disc. With software-defined you have the ability to span, control manage and protect you customers data."
Software-defined storage hides the hardware under a virtualisation layer using abstraction.
But there are two schools of thought on how the hardware underneath should interact.
Traditional storage vendors like HP and EMC use closed ecosystems and specific hardware, where as open vendors like Datacore, Red Hat (open-source) and VMware can have any brand of hardware sitting underneath the hypervisor.
Carreras said he was seeing a shift to customers putting more of their workloads on their servers.
"Now they leverage those servers with their processing capabilities to not just provide the CPU or the processing capability, but also provide networking and that's really bringing around this discussion of converged and hyper-converged.
"The difference for us as we look at hyper-converged is it's all about scale-out in a way that's hardware independent, but still exploits all those underlying assets.
He said 30 per cent of the company's sales last year was on converged, to the extent that it had developed relationships with companies like Fujitsu.
"Fujitsu package a joint hyper-converged bundle powered by Datacore Europe," Carreras said.
"We are expanding that relationship through two other geographies."
He said Datacore was looking to replicate what it had done it Europe with Fujitsu all over the world, including Australia.
"Customers are talking applications and workloads," he said.
"They don't really care about the infrastructure. What they do care about is delivering on a service level. The whole conversation has shifted to one that is hardware and infrastructure based to one that is workload-centric."
Carreras said the APAC business was a key emerging growth market.
"We have had a presence around APAC now for well over 13 years," he said.
"Sydney Airport is one of our most recent successes and we are at a point now where we are investing in the business.
"You can expect to see an increase across APAC, you can expect to see an additional sales resources here in Australia, we're looking to add sales leadership within the territory.
"We will grown our team in excess of 20 per cent in the next 12 months and as part of that we will be looking at our investment in the channel.
"We have been channel-centric from day one, we sell with and through our partners, work closely with our distributors.
"You can continue to expect a very strong investment in channel programs, channel incentives, channel training all the things that help us bring this message to the forefront."
The company's Australian distributors include Avnet, IDS and Westcon.
Current customers include Transdev, Cheap as Chips, House of Travel (both on Lenovo), Murdoch university, Jetstar and RMS.
He said the company had done a "tremendous" amount of work with Microsoft, replicating Azure.
"Now we are seeing this as a way bridging workloads into Azure. Tying their on-prem to off-prem.
"We are collaborating with Lenovo and targeting the Lenovo channel through solutions bundles that simplify that customer experience and make it easier for the channel to deliver these converged technologies.
He said the Lenovo partnership had started in the US, but that they were now in early phases of looking at ways to target Lenovo channel partners to help them capitalise on the opportunity.
"You are going to see us do a lot more with server vendors to look at ways to give those servers personalities - in this case it's a converged personality," he said.
"But giving them greater value as part of a software-defined datacentre strategy.
"We believe that over the course of 2015 we will grow our business 40 per cent year over year. As part of that we are investing. We are actively recruiting and interviewing for executive positions."
He said the fact that there was now a software-defined storage category meant people were taking notice.
"The fact that we have major hardware companies talking about their software-defined storage really validates what we have been saying and helping our customers accomplish all along.
"For us this is validation of everything that we have done."