According to Chris Dimmock, sales and marketing director for Genitech, his company is addressing a self-perpetuating IT market opportunity. System integrators are constantly faced with the problem of inexplicable hardware incompatibilities on systems with exactly the same specifications.
In the dual and quad server business, the same vendor's offering that runs the application suite without a hitch can, over a period as short as two or three months, generate incompatibilities or conflicts. They can be caused by ongoing patches, firmware upgrades or even component changes.
"With some of the larger vendors, a variation to a model of server which is designed to fix some irregularity can lead to possible unanticipated errors which uniquely occur in the circumstances your customer is running," said Dimmock. In other words, exhaustive system testing is still required where the same model, specification and application is used.
The principle behind Genitech's Blue Print manufacturing program, which is an extension of its Private Label program, is that its customer has complete control over every specification of the system. "We build exactly to customer specification in a repeatable fashion," Dimmock said.
The other major consideration is price. Dimmock claims that on average, its custom-built servers have a price advantage of between 30 and 50 per cent on high-end quad servers over an equivalent specified model from a multinational.
Genitech does have some standard models of its own, which are branded as the "MegaRange", and Dimmock conceded that while its Mega dual PII rackmount does not have the same price lead, its own standard specifications include significant competitive advantages such as six (compared to two) PCI slots, hot swappable redundant power supplies and fan failure alarms.
While establishing a reasonable, if modest, business in PC assembly, the company is carving a niche in the OEM server market. Genitech supplies VARs, system integrators and even some multinational vendors with "built to exact customer specification" product.
Dimmock explained that Genitech's server blueprinting means its customers individually approve every component used in the server assuring that nothing varies from unit to unit. If required, the slightest firmware alteration must be approved. "This gives our customer control - to the point where they can feel more confident that the configuration of the server remains constant," he said.
The way Dimmock sees it, as hardware margins diminished, it became less attractive for specialist application resellers to supply the hardware. The trend was for resellers to distance and protect themselves from the liabilities associated with the hardware, even if they were acting as the system integrator. He suggests it is now returning to the point where the software supplier "certifies" the system as running to specification, and a blueprinted, privately labelled product from Genitech will have some appeal for many.
For some VARs and system integrators, control and knowledge of the exact component specification of the server they are supplying is worthwhile. It may avoid some future software maintenance costs, and it provides a unique selling proposition against a mass of resellers offering the (apparent) same branded box.
Genitech is also the Australian distributor for AMI motherboards, BIOS and RAID technology.
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