Channel may take Quantum leap

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US storage vendor Quantum is making a play for more sales in the Australian channel, enhancing its reseller program to push tape drives to SMBs.

US storage vendor Quantum is making a play for more sales in the Australian channel, enhancing its reseller program to push tape drives to SMBs.

The vendor's automated libraries were previously available to the Australian channel through its two-year-old Quantum Alliance reseller program. However, Quantum's DLT and SDLT tape drives were only available here under OEM branding.

The company claims that many channel partners had argued that the standalone tape drives, previously sold under OEM partner brands such as Dell, Tandberg and HP, would sell better if rolled into the channel program as well.

Many of the company's products were corporate-focused but the new push was expected to attract more SMB resellers via distributors Express Data, ACA Pacific and newly signed SMB specialist Digital Tape Solutions.

Key to the push would be Julie Spencer, just promoted to a channel marketing role, and Craig Tamlin, the new Australia-New Zealand country manager.

'Julie will concentrate exclusively on the channel,' said Jim Simon, marketing director for Quantum Asia-Pacific.

Spencer said that 'a lot' of resellers were specifically asking for Quantum-branded products and preferred to use a single source for the range.

'It's basically that they know the brand and they know the company,' Spencer said. '[Also] a lot of the time resellers like to deal directly with that [brand], rather than going through somebody else.'

The OEM relationship would, however, continue, the company said.

Spencer suggested that the low-end, high-volume tape drive market had considerable room for growth.

'We're growing the DLT revenue and our own market,' she said. 'IDC figures released December 2003 have predicted $40 million [total revenue] in Australia from all types of tape drive and we'll obviously be looking to gain a significant market share of that.'

Spencer said the vendor was ramping up its Quantum Alliance reseller program to help that goal along. New promotions and ongoing reseller training were expected to sweeten the mix, Spencer said.

Derville Hannon, communications division manager at Express Data, said the deal expanded the distributors' storage portfolio to both internal and external DLT drives.

'We've developed a base for the Quantum auto-loaders and libraries, and now can help our resellers build their run-rate business selling single tape drives,' she said.

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