Rancher Partner Program: A Partner Perspective | SUSE Communities

Rancher Partner Program: A Partner Perspective


Tim Hohman, CEO of BoxBoat Technologies, a Rancher Labs Platinum Partner, recently sat down with TFiR Insights to talk about the value of the partnership. The following is a synopsis of that conversation.

When companies form partnerships in the fast-moving cloud-native and Kubernetes space, choosing a partner who has a great product is certainly important. But so is vision.

BoxBoat Technologies was founded in 2016 to provide consulting and services around containers. At the time, Docker was a “hot technology,” says Hohman. The company based its name and logo around the idea of a container ship. Turns out “boxboat” is an expression that dock workers use for a container ship.

The Market Embraces Kubernetes

Hohman recalled “crazy times,” in the company’s early days. “Rancher had Cattle, Docker had Swarm, Kubernetes was just coming along and enterprises really didn’t know where to go with that,” he says. “There was a lot of confusion and all those technologies had merit. But then the industry kind of coalesced around Kubernetes.”

BoxBoat was watching the players and saw that Rancher was the fastest to pivot and go all in on Kubernetes. Following that pivot, Hohman says, Rancher “did a great job of building a solution that is just one by one knocking down what enterprises need to best manage multiple Kubernetes clusters and the end-to-end container workflow. They’ve done a great job of that.”

Partnership Built on Tech and Relationships

Hohman, whose company became Rancher Labs Platinum Partner in 2019, attributes much of the choice of partnering with Rancher to the technology. “Rancher has a great solution for managing multiple Kubernetes clusters and helping the development team essentially pick the container images they want, the applications they want, use the development on it and then push those things to deployment. They make that really simple. Once the [operations team starts] using Rancher, it’s very easy for them to manage and maintain their Kubernetes clusters.”

Benefits of Partnering with Rancher

But partnering with Rancher goes beyond great technology. “It comes down to people,” he says. “We’ve just been very impressed with their people, from the executives, to the salespeople, to the field engineers, to the guys in engineering.” The partnership has created “great opportunity” for both companies, he says. Since becoming a Rancher partner, BoxBoat has increased their sales pipeline, not only in services and subscriptions, but also training.

BoxBoat leverages Rancher in its implementation engineering services, helping customers build pipelines and install Kubernetes clusters. Development teams are often driving the push to adopt containers and Kubernetes, Hohman says, and sometimes operations teams get stuck. That’s where BoxBoat comes in. “We do a maturity model assessment and say, ‘where are you today in terms of being able to support container-based applications and Kubernetes, and what do you need to do to move to industry best practices around that?’ We build them a roadmap and then we come in and enable them to do that.”

Through the partnership, BoxBoat benefits from better visibility within Rancher. “Their salespeople know that we are experts in implementing the Rancher technology and the things around it,” he says. They also leverage joint marketing opportunities, such as presenting at Rancher Rodeo events, and gain exposure to new markets through the partnership, Hohman says.

Rancher recently launched its Platinum Partner Program in EMEA, expanded it in North America and rolled out sales enablement tools and technical training programs for partners. The rapid expansion of the program indicates the enormous market opportunity for forward-thinking resellers, where enterprises are increasingly relying upon trusted partners to realize the potential of Kubernetes.

Watch the full video to hear more about BoxBoat’s experience as a Rancher Platinum Partner.

Become a Rancher Labs Partner

Visit our partner page to learn more about joining the Platinum Partner program. Or sign up for trainings at the links below:

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