McData to sign local system integrators

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Storage vendor McData has been negotiating terms of potential deals with at least four Australian system integrators, in a move to push McData’s medium business offerings to customers here.

Storage vendor McData has been negotiating terms of potential deals with at least four Australian system integrators, in a move to push McData's medium business offerings to customers here.

Paul Rath, vice-president of US-based McData in the Asia-Pacific, said the vendor was building a local channel to target Australian medium business customers -- with 300 to 500 staff, or 20 servers -- with its software and Eclipse products.

“I can't tell you who they are, because they are not yet signed. We have three we're talking to on Eclipse and are just about to sign one on the software side,” he said.

Rath said the deals should be concluded in the next 30 days. McData has previously partnered large OEMs globally, including Cisco, HP, Dell and former owner EMC.

The OEMs were already working with McData's software and Eclipse here, he said.

“[Medium business] is where the opportunities are in the Asia-Pacific. We are rolling out local partners -- system integrators -- in Australia to cover those two specific areas,” Rath said.

McData had made two US acquisitions in those areas -- Nishan and Sanera -- last year which it believed helped McData offer a “total solution” better than those of its rivals, he said.

He said that Nishan had enabled McData to offer an Eclipse 1620 SAN internetworking switch for storage over IP. Eclipse had already generated “massive traction” in the US in the first financial quarter 2004, he said.

Meanwhile, Sanera's 'nscale' architecture allowed McData to offer Intrepid 10000 director switching aimed at the high end, and large telecommunications companies -- such as Telstra -- were already showing interest in the product, Rath claimed.

“The [SAN management] software covers single-use software able to manage heterogeneous platforms from one interface -- we call that SANavigator,” he said.

Rath said McData was “pretty solid” financially. Revenue for the US 2003 fiscal year had totalled around US$420 million, up from US$130 million at the time of spinoff from EMC, he said.

“Our revenue is slightly less -- about US$100 million -- than [rival] Brocade's,” Rath said. “We would expect in the order of a 15 to 20 percent revenue increase for 2004.”

Much of that increase was expected to come from medium businesses. Sales of McData's Sphereon switches grew 100 percent last year, he said.

“IDC puts our market share at about 35 percent in Australia and Brocade's at about 50 percent,” Rath said. “We are increasing headcount here ... I can't give you specific numbers but I can tell you we will be doubling the business across the Asia-Pacific and more than doubling it in Australia.”


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