Silicon Graphics turns to channel


Silicon Graphics has changed its focus to indirect sales, outlining plans to expand its global distribution channel and sign IT resellers in Australia.

Silicon Graphics (SGI) has changed its focus to indirect sales, outlining plans to expand its global distribution channel and sign IT resellers in Australia.

Darren Covington, channel director at SGI, said the vendor of supercomputers and servers, advanced graphics applications and other software, visual workstations, storage, and peripherals previously had a 70 percent direct and 30 percent indirect sales model.

SGI wanted to flip that around, aiming for a 70 percent indirect and 30 percent direct model instead.

"This is our goal," Covington said. "Named accounts will [generally] be for direct sales. Non-named accounts -- the majority of our market, including a lot of customers we've been doing business with over the last 12 months -- will go indirect."

Covington said SGI wanted to boost sales. The best way to do that -- without investing heavily in in-house resources -- was to boost its channel, he said.

SGI would likely consider system integrators, VARs and OEMs as potential partners here. Commercial resellers that wished to diversify into new areas might prove suitable, he said.

"We want to open up a new market via the channel for technical and creative [offerings]," Covington said.

He said SGI currently had eight channel partners in Australia. They were mostly specialists, like Thales Training & Simulation, Autodesk and Landmark. Digistor, Paradigm, Comsyst and Ipex were others.

SGI was launching a program, Channel Connection, to offer sales, marketing and technical support to new and existing partners. SGI had an eye in particular on the "rapidly growing" low-end to mid-range high performance technical server market.

Market research company IDC has tipped the global high performance technical server market for units under US$100,000 to grow at a compounded annual rate of 10.8 percent from 2005 to 2009.

Covington said SGI believed its offerings were more scaleable than those of its competitors. Some of its products could scale from two to 10,000 processors, he said.

SGI offered an open systems Linux environment via its Altix high-performance computing servers, Prism visualisation systems and InfiniteStorage line. Its NUMAflex architecture and shared memory capability runs on a 64-bit Linux environment using Intel Itanium 2 processors.

The vendor said it would announce new low-end products and configurations for departmental server, storage and graphical needs.

SGI was targeting government and defence, sciences, manufacturing, energy, media and new markets. New OEM partnerships would play a pivotal role in the latter, Covington said.

SGI globally also has a remarketing section for "near current" offerings.

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