XSI takes on EMC

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Storage reseller XSI Data Solutions has taken on EMC’s entire storage product range, in a deal that is expected to earn the company an additional $6 million in sales revenue this calendar year.

Storage reseller XSI Data Solutions has taken on EMC's entire storage product range, in a deal that is expected to earn the company an additional $6 million in sales revenue this calendar year.

More at home selling its own XSI brand of storage services, the reseller found that customers were demanding a brand and XSI lost a few deals last year because it didn't have a big brand like EMC on its books, according to Max Goldsmith, CEO at XSI.

“We've rolled over -- we've [taken] the easy way out,” he said, adding that the company could have done an additional $6 million to $8 million in sales revenue in 2003 if it sold EMC. “We had two customers in the last month say to us, 'You're the blokes we want to deal with us but you will deliver EMC',” he said.

Goldsmith said 12 months ago he had no intention of selling EMC. “If you told me that a year ago, I would have said 'You're out of your mind',” he said.

While acknowledging that EMC's direct sales past was a concern, Goldsmith said XSI would be working directly with EMC's sales force. “We can help them -- if we can help their accounts guys win deals that we would have won -- that will open a lot of doors for us,” he said.

Goldsmith said that EMC's recent acquisitions indicated that the storage giant was becoming “more of a software house” and would make it a stronger vendor.

The bevy of software products that EMC had acquired were difficult to digest, he said. “That will take a bit of time, if that's all there, I want to get across that,” he said. Over the past year, EMC has spent $3.5 billion in cash and stock to acquire four companies, the most recent being VMware, a provider of server virtualisation technology.

Goldsmith admitted that previously he had thought EMC had no concept of running a channel. However, today he claimed that company had made a commitment to the channel, by bringing in former Tech Pacific and NEC executive David Henderson, who is GM of partners and alliances Australia/New Zealand at EMC.

“We [EMC and XSI] have been talking for a while. I did see that change in direction and change in commitment [to the channel]. Certainly the resources that they're putting it into are beyond my initial expectations,” he said.

XSI also has arrangements with NetApp, Veritas, Overland, StorageTek and ADIC.

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