David Henderson, general manager of partners and alliances at EMC in Australia, said Commander's main attraction was its strong SMB customer base of 200,000 out of the total 900,000 Australian SMBs. Commander has 500,000 customers in total.
“The starting point is...a hell of a lot of customers. And it's almost the finishing point as well,” Henderson said.
He said Commander's ability to offer technical service and support with national sales coverage tied to strong customer relationships had sealed the deal, which could reap $8 million to $10 million in revenue for EMC in the first 12 months. “A lot of people purchase space based on their customer relationships,” Henderson said.
Steve Evans, general manager for data products and services at Commander--which sells, installs and supports data, voice, internet and video products--said the sales targets in the 12-month contract were lower than that, but $8 million to $10 million was “not unreasonable”.
Evans said that EMC's reputation as a global leader in the field, which had been confirmed by analyst firms such as Gartner Group, added to the storage giant's co-branded Dell/EMC CLARiiON CX product range would enable Commander to push into new markets.
Commander is experiencing growing demand from its customers for entry-level SAN and NAS and expects 10 percent of its data revenue to eventually come from storage.
“The EMC range is best-of-breed, very scaleable, highly reliable and is appropriate for mission-critical environments,” he said. “The EMC relationship [focus] will be on providing premium storage and data management, and we see those as growing markets and things our customers are asking for.”
Commander has eight to 10 “true” vendor partners, although it deals on a small scale with a large number of vendors on a case-by-case basis, Evans said.
The company recently hit the headlines when it announced its 1 July move from Telstra Retail to Telstra Wholesale. As part of this relationship Telstra Wholesale will provide networking to Commander, mainly through the latter's most recent acquisition, RSL COM.
“We see Telstra as a key partner moving forward,” Evans said.
EMC's Henderson said it was not looking to cut any resellers or distributors from its books, although the distribution of its archiving product was under review. “I look at some companies that have 3,000 resellers, and we've got 16...We're not adding any for CLARiiON but we are reviewing our decision on Centera,” he said.