Quantum responds to its customers

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Quantum buyers want storage products that are easier to install, while resellers have failed to take full advantage of the range of benefits available through its partner program, the vendor found at a recent partner summit.

Quantum buyers want storage products that are easier to install, while resellers have failed to take full advantage of the range of benefits available through its partner program, the vendor found at a recent partner summit.

Mike Sparkes, Asia-Pacific product marketing manager at Quantum, said customers at Quantum's Alliance Partner event at Port Douglas last month had asked for extra functionality in Quantum's storage products.

"We got some useful feedback there," he said. "The product itself needs to be simpler to install and incorporate. What our customers are looking for is a few extra management capabilities."

For example, partners wanted log data to be accessible via the web instead of simply through the system itself. Other vendors were already supplying such functionality, he conceded.

"That's something our product manager is taking back to the US, because they want products that provide that type of management," Sparkes said.

Julie Spencer, channel marketing manager at Quantum, said the event -- which 33 partners attended -- had shown that partners weren't taking advantage of all the benefits available to them in Quantum's partner program.

"I don't think they realised the full extent of it," she said. "What they weren't aware of was the amount of information you can actually get from the website."

The partner and distributor summit was mainly to promote product, but the presentation on Quantum's mainly web-based partner program had proved very popular, Spencer said.

Partners could get free training, marketing support, make cross-customer references, and register deals they had made. She highlighted the fact that: "One of the most useful things is actually the collateral they can download from the website with deal registration. They can get a discounted price as well."

Quantum has 1200 partners in the Asia-Pacific, 47 percent of whom were based in Australia or New Zealand. Quantum didn't sell direct here, Spencer said, before noting that partner feedback at the event suggested Quantum had gained ground against HP, which also competed in the storage arena.

However, Sparkes also added that tape specialist Quantum was working to cover more options in the storage market. "The direction we will be going in the future is from tape backup company to tape and backup to disk company," he said.

The company was experiencing "organic growth", Sparkes said, but declined to give numbers.

"We cannot break out revenue numbers by region. I can, however, tell you that last quarter was the best revenue quarter we have had in Australia for many years, maybe ever," he concluded.

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