HDS ramps up the channel

HDS ramps up the channel

Hitachi Data Systems is continuing to roll out its new channel strategy, with the appointment of Avnet Hall-Mark as the first of two value-added distributors.

The announcement follows hot on the heels of last month's value-added reseller agreement with Data#3.

According to Hitachi's channel director, Graeme Gleave, Hall-Mark won the contract to distribute its enterprise storage and storage area network (SAN) solutions because of its ability to provide value-added services.

"We need a distributor with the appropriate technical skills internally and one that is truly there with the value adding, not just logistics," Gleave said.

Hitachi plans to have direct relationships with two national resellers (Data#3 and one other) and two value-added distributors with their own string of resellers.

Hall-Mark has already signed on four resellers, including Powerlan and GE Capital IT, Hall-Mark's manager Ian Ramsay said.

Gleave added that the goal is to have at least 10 resellers across the country on board by Christmas. The appointment and training of resellers will be a joint effort between Hitachi and Hall-Mark. Hitachi was previously selling direct to a small number of end users, but it has now made a $300 million commitment worldwide to move to a channel model.

Ramsay said Hall-Mark's initial revenues through the Hitachi product would be $10-20 million, but that would grow rapidly.

"The potential is massive," Ramsay said. "Hitachi is ahead of the industry generally in terms of its technology. It's early in the product lifecycle and early in the demand lifecycle. Eventually the whole market will ship to SAN."

IDC figures show the enterprise storage and SAN market is growing at 50 per cent per year.

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