StorageTek beefs up channel with new program

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Storage vendor StorageTek has outlined plans to ramp up channel sales to 60 percent of its turnover in two years, flagging a possible raft of new local signings from early 2005.

Storage vendor StorageTek has outlined plans to ramp up channel sales to 60 percent of its turnover in two years, flagging a possible raft of new local signings from early 2005.

Sam Srinivasan, the newly appointed manager of US-based StorageTek's new commercial, channels and OEM group, said the vendor planned to focus more on channel sales, upping them from 20 percent to 60 percent of revenue in about two years.

The company turns over some US$2 billion a year.

"The channel is becoming more important to StorageTek," he said.

Srinivasan said StorageTek's new channel strategy would have several aspects. His channel-focused team would be increased from one to eight people immediately.

"We'll have more resources in place," he said.

Also, the vendor was implementing a deal registration program for authorised resellers.

That would not only enable StorageTek to target its best resellers and reward them accordingly but help prevent drive-by shootings, where another vendor or provider could swoop in to steal a sale at the last moment, Srinivasan said.

"If that partner is the one that first registered the deal, then they will get the rebates," he said.

Partners would also get a named account sales model. That meant StorageTek would only sell direct to a list of specified organisations in Australia and New Zealand, he said.

StorageTek was also introducing a new set of products that would only be available via its channel, he said.

More partners -- such as VADs, VARs and integrators -- could look forward to being signed to StorageTek in the new year, Srinivasan said.

However, the vendor had no plans to sign many partners. It would prefer to target specialised, storage experts, he added.

"We want to focus primarily on doing demand creation," he said. "When people want to buy storage alone, they look for specialised companies."

Srinivasan's appointment was timed to coincide with numerous product announcements and strategies presented at StorageTek's annual customer conference in the US.

Phil Belcher, managing director at StorageTek for Australia and New Zealand, said StorageTek wanted to work a lot more closely with its partners.

"We're looking at building our presence [by] more closely working with VARs and VADs," he said.

Belcher said StorageTek already had some strong partner relationships but the plan was to "put more emphasis" than had been the case in the 25 years it had operated in Australia thus far.

The vendor has just announced an expansion of its information life cycle management range, such as disk-based solutions and FlexLine online storage. New modular library systems were showcased for both low and high end deployment.

A new virtual tape management system would be offered to customers wanting simpler, 'enhanced' data backup, recovery and protection on disk.

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